Fuel is often one of the most commonly forgotten stockpile items, but yet it is one of the most important. You will need a supply of gasoline for your car or truck following a major catastrophe so that you can provide essential transportation for your network. You will need gasoline if you have a generator that you plan to use for essential electrical applications. You will need kerosene for cooking stoves, heating, and lighting. You may also need extra propane tanks for your grill to use for emergency cooking. However, the availability of gasoline and kerosene following a catastrophe will be very limited. The gas stations will quickly run out without a continual supply from larger distribution facilities. Stores will also quickly run out of kerosene and propane for the same reason.
I recommend that you store as much fuel as you can given the laws in your community. It is both unsafe and often illegal to store large quantities of gasoline in gas cans in your garage or outdoor shed. Find out what local regulations exist in your area and store that amount. Both gasoline and kerosene should always be stored in containers designed and marked specifically for those types of fuels. In addition, you will want to ensure that you store fuel containers in a well ventilated area that is secure. I recommend locking the containers together or to a fixed point with a chain bike lock. This will help prevent theft during a catastrophe.
Gasoline does not have an indefinite shelf life. In fact, its shelf life is quite limited, three months at the very most. The shelf life can be extended by adding a stabilizer, such as Sta-Bil. However, the best method is simply to use the gas that you store. After a few weeks in storage, simply use your stored fuel in your car and refill your cans. A fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil is still a good idea to use, since you may need to store that gas in reserve for more than three months after a catastrophe strikes. Aside from keeping stored cans of gasoline, one of the best methods for storing gasoline is to always keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full. This will ensure that you always have a few hundred miles worth of gas in your tank.
Kerosene has a much longer shelf life, almost indefinite according to many sources. This is a good thing since it is much harder to use your kerosene supply than your gasoline supply. I recommend that you stockpile plenty of this versatile fuel as well as a heater, cook stove, and lanterns that can burn it. Again, it is important to store kerosene in proper containers, in a well ventilated and secure area. Never store kerosene in your home.
Propane also has a much longer shelf life thank gasoline. It may be a good idea to have a few extra tanks of propane on hand for your gas grill or other propane powered appliances and rotate their usage. The benefit is that you will not run out of gas during the middle of a summer cook out. However, the downside is that propane tanks are expensive and you will not be able to refill them after a catastrophe. For this reason, I would recommend kerosene powered cook stoves and lamps for catastrophe preparation.
Storing fuels is an essential part of a catastrophe stockpile. Ensure that you and those in your catastrophe network have enough on hand to support your survival.
The information, concepts, or opinions from CatastropheNetwork.org are intended for informational purposes only and must be evaluated by the reader, in consultation with a professional, to ensure viability for their individual situation.