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In Hurricane Dorian aftermath, Nikki Fried inspects gas stations for safety

“We encourage anyone suspecting issues to report them to us at 1-800-HELP-FLA or FloridaConsumerHelp.com.”

Gas stations on Florida’s east coast have been inspected and cleared for use in Hurricane Dorian aftermath, says Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

Following the massive storm, inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services checked 250 gas stations for safety concerns in areas that were most impacted. 

What were they looking for?

They scoured pumps and underground gas tanks for damage, water contamination and credit card skimmers that could have a negative impact on the safety and security of vulnerable Floridians in the days after Hurricane Dorian.

Of the 250 pumps inspected, none of them had notable weather-related damage and only two had underground gas tanks that were penetrated by water. 

One of the two gas stations affected stopped selling fuel prior to inspectors arriving. As for the other, it was determined they don’t have to stop selling gas because there is not enough water in the tank to contaminate it, said the Office of the Agriculture Commissioner in a news release.

Further, the inspectors found and removed 15 skimmers. That amounts to six percent of the gas stations inspected had skimmer devices designed to steal credit card information.

While chaos in the Hurricane Dorian aftermath could have been much worse, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services urges Floridians to report any suspected issues. 

If you’re wondering how to identify skimmers and avoid fraud at the pump, PCMag recommends checking for signs of tampering, wiggling all the pieces at the pump that come in contact with your credit card and always being mindful of how you input credit card information.

“After a disaster like Hurricane Dorian, we work swiftly to ensure that consumers are protected at the pump – from fraud hitting their wallets, to bad fuel hitting their gas tanks,” said Commissioner Fried. 

“While we’re confident consumers should feel safe fueling up post-storm, we encourage anyone suspecting issues to report them to us at 1-800-HELP-FLA or FloridaConsumerHelp.com.”

Written By

Melissa S. Razdrih is a Tampa correspondent for Florida Politics. Razdrih graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in 2006 and went on to earn a Master's degree before switching gears to write professionally. Since then, Razdrih has been published in national blogs, like PopSugar, and local publications, like Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, on everything from self-care to cryptocurrency, but politics is her passion. Contact her at melissarazdrih@me.com.

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