Last updated on May 23rd, 2012
Having gas storage is almost as important as having food and water storage during disasters. It’s all about the gas can and fuel stabilizer. This world runs on gas and you will most certainly need it, especially during the beginning phase of disasters.
If you are away from home during the beginning of a disaster, you will need gas in your car to get home, or to get away. If you are at home, you may need gas in your car to get away, depending. Early in a disaster, even if you are well stocked with food and supplies, a wise thing to do is drive to your nearest gas station and fill your gas tank, provided their is still electricity to run the pumps.
If the disaster is one that triggers your bug-out plan, then you may need a lot of gas in your car to get to your planned bug-out-location or your pre-planned stay at a distant relative or friends house. You may need more gas than your gas tank can hold. This is one reason it is so important to have a number of filled gas cans ready to use.
The plastic gas can is readily available, costs significantly less than metal, and is common in a 5 gallon size. Gas weighs about 6 pounds per gallon, so a 5 gallon gas can will weigh 30 pounds, a manageable weight to lug around. How many gas cans you keep at the ready is your decision. Keep in mind that you can only fit so many gas cans in your car, along with the rest of your things. Gas will become worth a lot of “money” (barter) during a disaster, so having a decent supply will be to your benefit.
Proper gas storage is important for safety sake and for optimizing the length of time before the gas goes bad. Common sense applies to gas storage. Although a properly sealed gas can should not leak vapor, good ventilation in the storage area is wise. Keeping the gas can out of the sun and excessive heat will minimize the expansion and contraction of the can. Use a product like Stabil (STA-BIL) to add to the gas for long term storage, and it will keep the gas fresh for 12 months. When your gas storage approaches 12 months, pour it into your car’s gas tank and refill them with fresh gas.
On a side note, always keep your car gas tank as full as possible. A good rule is to never let it go below a half tank. Keep in mind that many car gas gauges are not accurate, and for example may remain above the half tank level longer than it should, and then rather quickly drop down to empty. Some might say that this is designed purposely in some cars, to have the driver feel better that there is gas in the car or the appearance of better fuel economy. In any event, when in doubt, fill ‘er up.
Go out this weekend and make a good investment by purchasing a few gas cans. Fill them up, add some Stabil, and tuck them away.
MSB legal department: Check with your local Fire Dept. of any regulations for storing gasoline at home.