After living in a “Hurricane Zone” for most of my life I have come to realize the necessity of having a back up generator for use when the power goes out. I have done tons of research and found that emergency power is a critical life line when a disaster strikes. During Hurricane Sandy, people were without power for up to 2 weeks, and even longer during Katrina. When there is no power, the gas stations cannot pump gas, so, what do you do? A generator without fuel is little more than a large paperweight. And forget about siphoning gas out of you car, Today’s fuel tanks make it nearly impossible to do this.
Therefore, the best thing to do in order to prepare for an emergency is to store enough fuel to either use your generator for an extended period, or enough to get you to your “Bug Out” location.
How much should I store?
In my opinion, you can never have too much fuel stored, but there are laws in each county that regulates just how much you can store legally. What will you need this fuel for? For most of us, storing fuel for a generator or bug out vehicle is good common sense. If you live in an evacuation area, then I would store at least the equivalent of one tank of gas for your car. This way if the grid goes down, Fossil Fuels and the gas stations cannot pump you are covered.
1 to 2 hours per gallon with nominal usage is standard for most generators, so store fuel accordingly.
How do I store fuel?
Fuel should be stored in a clean cool place away from where you live. Do not store fuel in your house; that is an accident waiting to happen. Also please note: to store fuel please go by container color: red for gasoline, yellow for diesel, and green for kerosene.
How can I protect my fuel store?
The best way to protect you fuel store is to rotate your stock every 6 months, and use a fuel stabilizer. Fuel begins to degrade as soon as it is pumped out of the ground. Use your fuel within 3 months if no fuel stabilizer is used.
Fuel stabilizers are intended to keep petroleum-based fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and heating fuel, from degrading over time. Some people believe that fuel does not go bad, and that fuel stabilizers are a waste of money. Old fuel may burn, but not as well as a fuel that has been stabilized. Often when disaster strikes, fuel stored has been found unusable for an emergency. The use of such fuel when called upon during an emergency has the potential to disable engine components such as plugging filters, carburetors, and injectors. In some cases the fuel deteriorates so much the fuel will not ignite. Gasoline when stored long-term can form a gel like substance and or a varnish in the tank.
All stabilizers are not created equal. I began using a fuel stabilizer named PRI-G. (Gasoline) when I discovered it has been used in industrial applications for years. Metal deactivators like PRI-G are one of the best types of fuel stabilizers because they reduce or eliminate the amount of sediments in your tank, making your fuel cleaner and healthier for the environment.