|Now in Florida|
With Irma as my first hurricane, it was a nice opportunity to evaluate my preparedness, and I see lots of room for improvement.
One of the things I've been thinking about is storing more fuel.
1) What are your favorite cans for storing fuel for the long-term? Is there a good way to store larger quantities of fuel than 5 gal cans?
2) I am trying to figure out where I can store this extra fuel. My house is built on a stem wall and has a crawlspace underneath the entire footprint of the house that is about 5ft in height. There are vents at the bottom of the wall as code requires, but I am not sure if this area qualifies as properly ventilated for fuel storage. It is directly underneath the living quarters (though the ceiling (floor of the living quarters) are concrete), so I want to be sure.
3) My car is an SUV with no separate trunk area and no storage outside the vehicle. This limits the fuel I can take with me if I have to evacuate. It's nice to have fuel at home for the return (Gas is still hard to find in Naples now a few days after the storm) but a big concern is fuel for an evacuation, as the potential for being stuck in traffic and facing low supplies on the road is high.
Would appreciate any advice or guidance on these issues.
I have some prepper friends who take the stuff seriously. here are their hints:
1] Don't use / store gas, if at all possible. Gas has a VERY short shelf life and is obviously dangerous. If you must store gas, use a FIFO system , and use StaBil for gas stored more than a month, even then, don't go more than a year.
I don't think I'd store gas in a crawl space. too much to go wrong, and then you are risking your entire house.
2] Move to Diesel instead. Diesel has none of those problems that gas has, and is so close to heating oil that heating oil can often be used in it's place, as can bio diesel, etc. This means buying a Diesel car and/or truck. Some expense there, and the favorite was the VW, but it is no longer offered for sale.
3] Propane for cooking, etc.
No way in heck I'd store gas under my house. I keep 4 5gal cans in my detached garage and use them up in the mowers, ATV etc so they get replaced about once a year. Double Stabil when refilled.
20 gallons should top off your vehicle and get you 300-500 miles of evacuation. If roads are so backed up that you are running out of gas before that, are you sure you even want to be out there?
5 gallon Jerry cans like this I have found most durable. I keep 20 to 25 gallons of no ethanol all the time. I rotate it through the small engines / vehicles as needed to keep it fresh. I keep fuel for emergency generator use.
DONT PUT THEM IN CRAWL SPACE!! Good way to blow up your house.
I just use a metal shelving unit that is under cover in my barn but not in the enclosed part. I just want to keep it out of the sunlight / weather but not in an enclosed space.
Someone I work with is in Vero Beach, FL. He hasn't been back online yet. I am assuming he still has no power. He has a diesel generator. He also has a diesel truck. I think he said he has a 55 gallon drum he uses to store the diesel for his generator. If he uses up his 55 gallons of fuel he will tap into his truck to get more fuel.
Is natural gas or propane an option for you? It's quite easy to convert a gasoline generator to nat gas or propane. I looked into this several years ago, but we don't lost power often enough to justify it. I may get a nat gas generator eventually, but there are quite a few things ahead of it on the list.
I have these 5 gallon gas cans. Bought them in a 4 pack. Honestly, hurricane season is roughly Aug 1 - Nov 30 or so. There was at least a week of notice before Irma. Worst case is you fill your cans up Aug 1, and then dump them in your cars mid November if you don't need the fuel.
|Striker in waiting|
I use good old fashioned (new) Jerry cans from Lexington Container Co. made by Valpro. They're the best quality I've found.
Unfortunately, Lexington has caved to pressure (mandate) from the EPA and no longer sells the old-fashioned nozzles, nor will they sell the cans without the new POS nozzles, but the cans themselves are just as good and you can still find the original style nozzles if you look.
Anyway, these things seal so tight, you could transport them in the passenger compartment of your vehicle if you had to in a pinch.
I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888
Is the gas for transportation only, or do you have a generator and other use for it?
It's nice to have a plan in place covering the use model of the stored fuel.
|teacher of history|
If storing gas, try and buy it without alcohol, it will last longer.
Between my zero turn mower, trimmers, ATV and assorted other small gas engines, I burn about 50 gallons of gas every summer.
I have 5 red, plastic 5 gallon containers that I rotate with non-ethanol, premium gas. I try to plan my stock so that I run out right about 10/1 when grass cutting is over for the year. I keep these in an outside garage away from any source of spark.
I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
When you have no future, you live in the past. " Sycamore Row" by John Grisham
Liberalism is a failure to find pathways to intelligence in your brain. - David Lawrence
Plastic gas cans don't last forever, even not very long if stored outside where sunlight/UV can age them.
I'm an old scrounger. For years I used to stop along the interstate to scavenge gas cans idiots left along the road. You mostly see them on Sunday mornings when the late night drunks ran out of gas and had to hike to a filling station. Or at least that's my take on it. Anyway if you look as you drive (highway hunting) you'll often see cans lying off the roadway. Once the red color starts to fade, they're garbage. Others who pick up cans know that and leave them.
Its like a body farm, studying how they break down. They don't last a year around here. I'd guess other regions see different results based on heat and sun. On the other hand, they last nearly forever if kept inside.
But if you really want forever, I've got my dad's 1950 vintage "ternplate" one gallon can. I still like it so I keep it in a place of honor, empty.
Unhappy ammo seeker
|The success of a solution usually depends upon your point of view|
I don't store the gas long term.
I have a couple of different plastic 5 gal cans in the garage that I filled up with ethanol free gas about the time they started predicting a Florida impact, Way before the big rush at the stations.
I will put it all into my truck sometime this week or next and re-fill them the next time it looks like we are in for another storm.
I only keep a 2.5 gal gas can of ethanol free gas on hand which I use in my small engines and to mix up oil/gas a separate 1 gal can.
“Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat.” - Vince Vaughn
|I Am The Walrus|
Get a hitch from these guys:
Always go with the highest class rating and tongue weight you can get. In your case it should be class 3 with 500+ pounds of tongue weight.
Then get a hitch cargo carrier from these guys:
They're always sending out coupons so you can get these for $40. I assembled mine with red loctite.
Get a hitch lock, I got mine from Home Depot. Uses a key, made of 5/8" solid steel.
Get some thick chain and high quality lock. In the event you have to evac, fuel cans get stored in the back chained to the hitch. That hitch cargo carrier is also great for the black/yellow top storage totes from Home Depot. Important items go inside of the vehicle along with clothes. If space is really tight in the vehicle then clothes can go in heavy duty garbage bags (to keep clothes dry) and in the tote on the cargo carrier.
This is the method I use when I travel long distance. I have driven through rain storms and my stuff has always stayed dry using this method.
Also, ditch those stupid safety spouts and get these:
I believe they sell them at Tractor Supply and Amazon, too.
|Just for the|
hell of it
Do not store gasoline under your house. Gas is very flammable, diesel less so.
Gas also has a short shelf life.
I would get a few 5 gal jerry cans. Fill them well before a storm. After the storm use the gas in your car while it's still good and then refill them again as needed.
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. Jack Kerouac
|Get Off My Lawn|
Before I moved from my house, I use to store two 5 gal. real honest-to-goodness jerry cans of Stabil'd premium gas in a shed outside, replace every 6 months. Also a smaller plastic container for use in lawn tools. Plastic cans do leak air, so if you can get the metal ones, all the better. 10 gallons would have been OK for hunkering down for awhile, and also to take along for bugging out. I usually have at minimum half a tank in our vehicles at all times.
"Did IQ's just drop sharply while I was away?"- Ellen Ripley, Aliens, 1986
On a related note, are any of the small battery powered pumps on Amazon any good? I'm no longer able to lift even small gas cans and have been reading the mixed reviews and am leery of buying a piece of junk.
In the land of the dark,
the ship of the sun is driven by the Grateful Dead
Again, back to my hobby of highway hunting. When you see a gas can off the side of the road, take note. Go back during a light traffic period when you can safely get off the road and stop. Check out even the older cans. Those would be the ones with decent gas caps on them. If the can itself has been holed or cracked, see if the cap is still good and of a type that pleases you. It took longer to type this than it takes to stop and see. Those would be free caps and sometimes free gas cans.
Also yard or garage sales.
Unhappy ammo seeker
|Savor the limelight|
A lot of Floridians own boats or RVs and will fill them up before a storm. Our 5th wheel toy hauler has two 40 gallon tanks. One for the generator and one for the fueling station. Non-ethanol gas and stabil before the season starts and then I use it in my lawn equipment and cars once the season is over. As others have mentioned, gasoline doesn't store well long term. Diesel has it's share of long term storage problems as well like algea.
It's hard to beat propane for long term storage, but make sure you fill the tanks before season. There were long lines everywhere around me for propane. I don't know how difficult propane is to find after a storm.
I use to buy VP race gas by the 55 gallon steel drum. When I ordered a new drum they delivered it and would take the old to refill it (sort of a core charge). These had the screw cap to seal and need a pump to get it out (VP sells the tool and pump). It would take me about 2 months to burn through that. Check your local race gas rep for spare barrels. Use ethanol free gas, stabil and I wouldn't keep for more than a year, cycle through it (every 3 months would not be an issue). They just rolled it off the tailgate of their truck onto an old tire, no fancy delivery truck required, so you can do it yourself that way. They also have smaller sized steel barrels that you can transport in your suv.
I speak jive.
Is the short shelf life of gasoline on purpose/by design, and if so, caused by what/whom?
It seems like an exceptionally poor attribute. Why hasn't it be engineered out?
|Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici|
Metal cans, like these - enamel interior. Never plastic.
You can find marinas and other places nearby that sell alcohol free gas.
Stabilize it, rotate it, use it.
Don't store under your house!
NRA Endowment Member
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
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