In other words, whatever shortage U.S. East Coast residents are experiencing right now isn’t about to last much longer. But that doesn't stop them from stocking on gas, using whatever containers they have, regardless of whether they’re suitable for the job or not.
We’ve seen behavior of this kind many times before, including in the days leading up to a major storm. The difference is that this time, some Americans may be using containers even more unsuitable for the job than plastic buckets—containers like plastic bags. Of the kind you get at a supermarket for your groceries.
Federal agency United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is taking it upon itself to warn consumers that storing gasoline in plastic bags is a very bad idea. We should “use only containers approved for fuel,” the USCPSC writes on Twitter. While this word of advice is common sense, the agency adds that people tend to lose some of that common sense, if not all, in a panic situation.
As The Drive points out, it’s actually happened before: in 2019, a video of a woman doing just that, filling up on gas using plastic bags, went viral.
Needless to say, storing gasoline should only be done in proper canisters. Using anything else is illegal and highly dangerous: gasoline gives off toxic fumes that are both highly inflammable and, well, toxic. Think of it as a swift, doubly deadly ninja: it can either set you on fire or intoxicate you.
It’s best not to mess with it.
Use only containers approved for fuel.— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) May 12, 2021
We know this sounds simple, but when people get desperate they stop thinking clearly. They take risks that can have deadly consequences. If you know someone who is thinking about bringing a container not meant for fuel to get gas, please let them know it's dangerous.— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) May 12, 2021