Having a staple supply of gasoline and other fuel is an absolute necessity if you are very serious about preparing for emergencies.
Fuel powers your generator and your vehicles, essential items in a grid-down situation. Even though gasoline, diesel, propane and other fuels are flammable, they can be housed safely in large quantities as long as you rotate them out every few months, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Gasoline has become such an important part of our lives, and for many people choosing not to stock up on it is simply not an option. But it’s important that you also stock up on it very wisely; many survivalists and preppers make the right choice in choosing to stock up on gasoline, but then they make a major mistake in not handling and storing it properly.
For gasoline, the most common type of storage containers are made out of plastic and are colored red (diesel is colored yellow; kerosene is blue). These containers are relatively cheap and can hold from 5 to 25 gallons of gas. They are an excellent option to invest in.
Many people choose to store their gas in old gas containers; this is fine, but only as long as the container is completely airtight. You should carefully inspect old containers to make sure they are airtight; otherwise, the fumes could leak, meaning that the gasoline will evaporate quickly.
How much fuel should you store? The truth is that you can never have enough fuel, just like you can never have enough water, food and even ammo.
To give you an idea of how much gas you should minimally plan stocking up on, let’s say you plan on stocking up on 50 gallons. If you use 25-gallon containers, you will need 20 of those to get 500 gallons (make sure that you have plenty of storage space). That will look like a lot of gasoline, but in an extended survival situation, it may not last as long as you think. Nonetheless, if you can stock up on 500 gallons of gas, you’ll be in substantially better shape than other people, who would all be crowding the gas stations with their vehicles and gas containers.
At the very minimum, you’ll need enough gasoline to get you where you need to go and back. Take into account how much gasoline costs, the gas mileage of your vehicle, and how much gas your vehicle holds. You’ll then want to add some more gallons for any extra driving that is needed.
As for a generator, 15 gallons of gas should last you about a week as long as you use it only when necessary. If you are using the 72-hour emergency rule (first three days), plan on stocking up on 15 gallons, which could give you plenty. If you are prepping for the first month, increase that amount to 60 gallons. If you are prepping for six months, you’ll want 360 gallons, and so on.
The last thing we are going to talk about is how to adequately store your gasoline, and this is where many people make mistakes. First of all, you have to make sure that you have the space to store all of this gasoline. Wherever you store it also needs to be somewhere that is cool and out of the sun, as the gas will last longer. You should also follow the rule of not putting all your eggs in one basket, meaning that you need to diversify where you store your gasoline. Store some in your garage, some in your shed, and so on.
Lastly, you must remember to rotate your gasoline. You can’t just buy two hundred gallons all at once, call it good, and let it sit in your shed or garage. Gasoline does go bad after a while — usually after a year of sitting. (To combat this, use a fuel stabilizer such as PRI-G.) Therefore, rotate your gasoline. When the one-year mark is approaching, put that gasoline into your vehicle and then take the now-empty or nearly empty container into town to fill it up. This will ensure that your gasoline is kept clean and in good condition.
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