Preppers Beware: Gas Can Manufacturers Warn of Shortage During 2012 Hurricane Season

Less than two weeks to hurricane season, amateur preppers: not so much time to study up on your Mormon theology or survival medicine before the ol' cones start showing up and the TV weathermen experience the only exciting time of their year.

As you've surely learned from us by now, a central tenet of prepping is that you never know what's coming, and it's best to do all you can for any type of scenario. This year, however, economic situations have put a pinch on a valuable commodity: gas cans to hold the extra fuel for your escape route out of town.

The Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association is spreading the word that "supply chain issues" could "threaten their ability to meet consumer demand" this season.

A chief member of that association has been Blitz USA, which says it manufactures around 75 percent of those red plastic gas cans sold in the United States. But last year, Blitz went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. "If the company's reorganization efforts fail," the association says in a release, "there will be a severe shortage of consumer gas cans as early as this summer."

The companies warn that "other manufacturers face similar uncertainty." A visit to the association's website yields even more dire information: "The portable fuel container manufacturing industry as we know it is fast reaching a point of no return. The small companies which comprise our industry are being overwhelmed by product liability lawsuits."

Seems that when people aren't hoarding gas cans, they like suing the companies that make them, probably because they do stupid things and ending up spilling gas and lighting themselves on fire, or using gasoline to start fires.

In response, the industry is fighting for mandated safety standards for gas cans, which somewhat surprisingly don't seem to already exist. That way, people couldn't sue the companies as easily, because the cans they buy would have already been certified as standards-compliant.

Anyway, best get to Home Depot and start fillin' up before financial troubles and Ma Nature conspire to send your house elsewhere. Just don't get fancy and try to use that gas to light the barbecue.

Stefan Kamph: Follow on Twitter | 

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