Oil is the biggest driver of money, news, and power in our world. It seems that every time we turn on the news, there is another story about how the price of oil is rising thanks to international unrest or political dissention. Regardless of how you feel about the use of oil from foreign sources, you need to understand that oil is the blood of the American life. Without oil everything comes to a halt. That’s why I want to discuss fuel usage and storage. If a real emergency occurs or a SHTF scenario starts to play out, what would you do for fuel?
You probably use fuel everyday and don’t even realize it. From heating your home to running your truck/car, without fuel, we are seriously in trouble. So lets look at the many options that you have. I am not going to tell you that you need one item over another, but I am going to say that you need to have a plan and you need to have a stockpile. I am going to start with my personal favorite.
After years of watching King Of The Hill, I decided that I wanted to learn more about propane. Propane really is a great fuel. It can be stored for long periods of time and it can power cars, homes, and even farm equipment. The real issue with propane is not the gas itself but the container. Propane can be stored for upwards of 20 years if the tank is in great shape. The key here is to make sure that the valves and the tank do not rust and corrode beyond the point of being able to hold the gas.
Gas is the most common fuel used in America. The real issue with gasoline, beyond the odor, is storage. Gas is refined from crude oil and it requires a great deal of work to process the fuel. Because of this special refinement, gas does not keep for long periods of time. Typically, gas will store for somewhere between 6-18 months. Of course this requires that you keep the fuel free of water and debris.
Further, gas is a very volatile fuel. It is very flammable and very combustible. If you are going to store this fuel please make sure that you have it stored in a safe place away from your family.
Diesel is another common fuel, especially among trucks and farm equipment. Diesel is also refined from crude oil, much like gasoline. However diesel does not have the same requirements that gas does. There was a time when this fuel was cheaper than gasoline but it has since skyrocketed past gasoline. Diesel is a must if you have heavy machinery or even a large truck. Just make sure that you store it correctly and it should last until you need it in an emergency.
Wood has been used as fuel for just about as long as people have inhabited the earth. Wood is a great fuel for heating but it does nothing for your car or truck. The issues with fuel are that it can be dirty and it is very finite. Of course the same could be said for almost every other fuel type. Wood is great for heating your home and it is also a great option for cooking food.
This one used to gross me out, but as I have gotten older I have learned that everything has a purpose. Manure is a very economical fuel and it is a renewable resource as well. Many people in third world countries will use dung as a fuel to heat their homes and as fuel to cook their food.
Cow, camel, horse, sheep, and goat dung are the most common types used. The idea is to gather the manure and mix it with straw or hay. Form the mixture in to smaller discs or place it in a mold. Once it is dried thoroughly it will burn well and it will do a great job of heating and cooking.
Storing Fuel for Survival
In a survival situation, you need to have fuel on hand for operating your car, your tractor, or your generator. So how should you store fuel for emergencies? Technically, you could store it in thousand-gallon tanks buried underground. That’s basically my dream prepper accomplishment, but it’s also far from reality at this point. Instead, I have to settle for regular old gas containers. You can get gas containers at the hardware store, supermarket, or even at yard sales and flea markets.
When you store fuel, remember that it will lose its potency over time. For instance, you can store diesel for around a year if you keep your storage area less than 70 degrees. However, if the temperature goes higher, then it could cut down your diesel’s shelf life to 6 months.
To maximize you fuel storage, you should regularly rotate containers and use the fuel before it goes bad. Also consider adding fuel additives that are designed to make supplies last longer. Before you fill your gas can, just put in some of the fuel additive and then pour the gas in on top so it is well combined.
What is your plan for storing fuel for emergencies? Do you have adequate supplies on hand to keep your generator running if the power goes out?