Customers wait in line for gas at a Hess fuelling station in Brooklyn, New York, November 9, 2012. (Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging residents to be patient as they get used to the city's new odd-even gasoline rationing plan.
Gas rationing is also in effect on Long Island and in New Jersey where fuel is still in short supply in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
There were similar shortages in Japan after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami there.
ABC News reporter Akiko Fujita in Tokyo covered that disaster.
She remembers long lines and sometimes getting to the front of the line only to find out they had run out of gas.
"We would line up again at another gas station, essentially begging anybody to give us gas," she said.
Fujita also recalls how patient the Japanese were.
Outside a shelter one night she says she was struck at how quietly they were waiting.
"People were not complaining they were just standing there because they knew that everybody else was in the same boat," she said.