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Wildfire Alert

November 5, 2012


The last few days have been incredibly stressful for the public, state officials, and small business owners like you.

Unbeknownst to many of you, Team NJGCA was (and continues to) experience our own obstacles.  Our offices have been without power for 8 days.  In order to serve you and public officials during the storm, our staff has been working remotely all week from their homes, a neighbor’s house, or even at coffee shops just to power a phone, make calls, or coordinate with state officials.   Thankfully, we found out late last night that power was restored to our area of Springfield and our Team headed in today to pick up the pieces.

To all NJGCA members who called to thank us for our efforts and offer additional help, I want to thank you for your kind words, and especially the offer to help.  For the sole rude and belligerent moron that called today to pick a fight because he did not receive gasoline...well…I meant what I said when I hung up on you!  (No it wasn’t Happy Birthday -- Profanity is not permitted at NJGCA headquarters so obviously my staff was shocked!)

Since last Wednesday I have been trying to communicate thru Wildfire Alerts and even text messages.  Many of you still do not have internet, so the text message was a little bit of an asset, however texts are limited to 160 characters making it tough to share complete information.

Friday I reported that a massive amount of gasoline was being brought in to New Jersey.  I was asked by officials in the Governor’s office to contact NJGCA members and request them to either call a special hotline or email Many of you followed the instructions and many of you did not.  Surprisingly many of you sent emails without even identifying your station or listing your address or providing a phone number.

We have also forwarded over 100 locations that contacted us with a desperate need for both electricity and gasoline to Governor Christie’s staff, FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers, and PSE&G.

PSE&G is making every effort to prioritize restoring power to gas stations that have gas in the ground but are unable to pump it. 

Thankfully many of you have had your power turned back on and some of you have received deliveries. 

However, many of you still have not had either.  I said in my previous email that I do not have any influence or any say at all to determine who receives a gas load or when it will be received.  This is still true.

I have been in touch with the lead person designated by Governor Christie to “Get the gas stations open”!

I am being told that gas deliveries began yesterday in Hudson and Monmouth Counties.  I am also being told that a lot more supply will be available tomorrow that will reach a substantial number of stations.

It will be helpful if you would email to let them know that you have received a delivery.  It will also be nice if you thank the good folks there for the huge effort that they are making to get gasoline delivered to you under very difficult circumstances.

I also want to remind you that Governor Christie signed Executive order #110 that will allow you to purchase gasoline from any supplier that you can find that will sell it to you regardless of the brand that you have on your street sign.  If you have an opportunity to buy a load of gas from another supplier…BUY IT!  Keep in mind that proper notice must be given to customers so that they know they are buying a different product.  Use common sense.

Additionally, please keep in mind that our phone lines are jammed and our email inboxes are full.  As of this writing I have 4913 emails in my inbox.  It is impossible to read them as fast as they come in.  We are doing our best to take your calls and relay your issues to the proper authorities.  It is important that the staff here and I use our time to help people and try to solve problems.

Like I said earlier, it is actually helpful if you let us know that you have been helped.  There are people working on very little sleep that haven’t had a shower or a change of clothes in a week because they are working every angle at the Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (ROIC) in Trenton.  I am grateful for their efforts.

I know some of you feel like it’s only YOU that is being affected by the outage and gasoline shortage.  Though it may seem like that, trust me you’re not alone.  Just about everyone is in the very same boat you are in.  So what do we do?

None of what I have written here may be the final-satisfactory answer you are looking for, but it is the only one I have to give you at the moment.  Until we hear more, I can only ask you to keep the faith that help is coming and that you are not alone in this struggle.   If you have any suggestions that may help me here at NJGCA, or officials in Trenton to make things happen faster……please let me know……politely please!  This is especially true for the rude, belligerent moron that called this afternoon…..

When your delivery does arrive – or when power is restored to your facility – I need you to contact and cc and to let us know so we can update your status and get a handle on where resources are to be delegated.

Until then, please reach out to us for any changes in your circumstances. It is ok to continue keeping us apprised of your circumstances but please don’t keep me away from helping other station owners who are also in desperate need of assistance.

Sal Risalvato,
NJGCA Executive Director

If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please contact NJGCA at our Headquarters at 973-376-0066 or email us at

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist