Gas availability in Louisiana, will "hinge on how many people rush out to fill up" ahead of Hurricane Ida, according to GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan.
On Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, warning that all of the state’s coast is in the forecast cone of what could become a major hurricane in the coming days. Edwards called on residents to immediately begin storm preparations.
Despite concerns regarding the storm, though, consumers should avoid filling up for the sake of filling up because it would "make the problem much worse" De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said.
Instead, "motorists should prepare by reducing their gasoline demand as much as possible, and use the fuel for evacuations as necessary," De Haan said.
However, on the day the state of emergency was announced, gasoline demand rose sharply.
"Louisiana gasoline demand up sharply yesterday, over a 25% gain versus the average of the last four Thursdays," De Haan tweeted.
De Haan also noted that "several refineries in the path of Ida" are already starting to prepare for the hurricane although "some signal they may attempt to continue normal output.
The National Hurricane Center said Ida could make landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.