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Week 21 of 52: Emergency Fuel Supply

This week we will be focusing on the importance of having an emergency fuel supply. Having fuel on hand for given disasters assists in you having your basic needs met and provides power to electrical appliances, and tools.

When a disaster threatens a given area, fuel is one of the first emergency prep items people begin stocking up on. Fuel helps power you through an emergency by providing means to keep warm, cook, and supply emergency power for generators, appliances and electrical tools. When choosing which types of emergency fuel to store, consider the following issues:

  • Any dangers the fuel may pose by being stored.
  • How much fuel needs to be stored for the given emergency.
  • What appliances or tools the fuel needs to provide power for.
  • How long the fuel will stay viable for.
  • How it needs to be stored for safety reasons.

Because storing fuel for short or long-term use presents its own set of unique challenges, ensure that you safely store your fuel supply by following these safety regulations.

When storing certain fuels, you will need to use a stabilizer to prevent the fuel from separating. Some of the most popular fuel stabilizers are Sta-bil and Pri-G or Pri-D. Both are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased online or at most super centers. Most preppers like to have enough fuel on hand for at least a 72-hour period. To be on the safe side, plan on storing enough fuel to last under your predicted worst case scenario. Put some thought into which type of fuel you can store for this minimum period of time.

If fuels are to be stored for emergencies, then it will need to be stored in containers that prevent evaporation and prevent the signs of fuel phase separation. If the storage container is made of plastic, ensure that the container is made of durable HDPE with barrier materials to eliminate hydrocarbon emissions, has an airtight seal to reduce spills when not in use and has a pour spout that controls variable flow, has automatic venting and automatic locking when lever is released. Plastic is permeable and the fuel can seep through, however; some preppers have found that metal fuel cans are best. Some preppers suggest using auto grade silicone to coat their metal cans in order to preserve them longer.

The six most popular fuel sources to store are listed below. To learn more about these popular fuel types, how long they last and how to appropriately store them, click here.

  • Firewood
  • Gasoline
  • Diesel fuel
  • Kerosene
  • Propane
  • Solar power

You are probably wondering how much fuel you should store for a disaster. The answer is largely dependent on what you plan to use the fuel on during an emergency and how long the disaster will last. If you wanted to only run a generator with gasoline to power your home and appliances during the day, plan on using 1-2 gallons of fuel per hour. In a 72-hour emergency where you are reliant on yourself to provide power, plan on needing at a minimum 48-gallons of fuel.

Those who live in apartments or duplexes will probably not be allowed to store any types of fuel in or around the buildings due to the close proximity of living. Fuel dealers in your local area can tell you about the EPA and regulatory issues associated with storing fuel in a tank on your property. Contact them for this information as well as a host of other useful information about fuel storage.

Preps To Buy:

  • Multiple amounts of plastic or metal fuel storage containers
  • Seasoned fire wood (ample supply)
  • Fuel of choice to run generators, appliances, provide electricity for 1-3 month duration (if legally allowed to do so)
  • Fuel for cooking (ample supply)
  • Alternative cooking source (a solar oven, Korean cook stove, volcano stove, dutch oven, rocket stove, propane grill or stove)
  • Propane (one weeks worth)
  • Long burning jarred candles (unlimited amount)
  • Extra wicks for candles (can be purchased at Amazon or Ebay)
  • Matches

Action Items:

1. Read about the different types of fuel and decide which fuel choice(s) is best for your family.

2. Find an appropriate area outside of the home where the fuel can be stored.

3. Ensure that you rotate your fuel regularly and check to make sure there are no signs on leaking.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on September 23rd, 2011