The IRS frequently allows taxpayers in the path of a natural disaster to defer filing and paying some taxes. In fact, the homepage of www.irs.gov recently featured a link to several announcements specifying the areas, dates, and types of relief from this year's hurricanes.
Hurricanes Charley and Frances, which caused critical shortages of motor fuel in Florida, triggered a new form of relief. In Announcement 2004-70, the IRS said that from September 2 to 15, truckers in Florida could use dyed diesel fuel without incurring the usual $10/gal. penalty. Dyed fuel is normally sold tax-free and is limited to off-highway use. Sellers have until October 31 to report and pay the 24.4c/gal. federal tax due on highway diesel.
Carriers operating in an area where storms create severe shortages of clear diesel should check the IRS website to see if this type of relief is granted again.