Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reader Question - Storing Gasoline, Non-drinking water

We love getting food storage-related questions from our readers, and we've decided to start sharing some of them here on the blog so that everyone can benefit!

We recently got the following question from Christina:

Hi- a quick question about car kits... do you keep motor oil or sare water to use for the engine (not drinking) in your car?

Also- do you keep spare gasoline at home in case you were able to leave by car? My husband and I keep debating this from the safety vs. useful standpoint. We have a 19month old so we would need to keep it away safely stored... but my theory is that if we have more gas we can throw in the back of the car we can get further away if needed!

Just curious what your thoughts are on these.

Our response:
Great questions!  I think that's a great idea to keep some non-drinking water in the car, to use for the engine. 

As for gasoline, I recommend always keeping your tank at least half full (when possible) rather than letting it get all the way to almost-empty before filling it up.  I grew up in New England and my dad taught us the importance of keeping our tanks at least half full especially in the winter, when you could get stranded in the bitter cold for hours.  So, in an emergency, if you had to get away quickly you would still be able to get pretty far on that half tank or more.

Growing up we also stored gasoline for our lawnmowers, tractors, etc.  We had a barn so it wasn't a huge safety issue (plus we kids were all older so we knew what it was).  If you have a shed that's not attached to your house, that would be a great place to store some extra gas.  If you have a garage you could keep some in there, too, but only if you feel comfortable with it.  I personally would do it - just keep it on a far wall away from the house.

All in all, I think your best bet would be to keep your tanks above halfway full, or at least above a quarter tank at all times, just in case.


What do you think, readers?  What kind of advice would you give in this situation?  We'd love to hear it!


Jessica said...

I don't have a timeframe, but I do know that gas when stored for long periods of time can cause engine damage. There are additives you can use to help with this. I would suggest researching the issue before I spent a lot of money storing gasoline.
Love your blog! Thank you so much for the great resources and encouragement!

Tina said...

My father lives in the New Orleans area and keeps a store of 5 gallons gasoline at the start of hurricane season to run a generator if needed. Just like food storage, which you use and replenish, he puts that gasoline in the lawnmower and at the end of the hurricane season, uses it in the car.

kdonat said...

One of the additives for stored gas is Stabil. Most automotive supply stores and big box stores (Home Depot/Lowes, etc) carry it.

I had a similar discussion with my DH just yesterday. He is not a prepper, but tolerates my constant additions. With all the other "stuff" in our garage he probably wouldn't notice a 5 gallon gas can until I pointed it out to him. And, since I wouldn't be able to lift a full one, I'd probably store two smaller gas cans. Marking them as Stabilized Gas so he wouldn't confuse them with the gas/oil mixture he uses for the lawn mower.

Pearl said...

We generally store at least 5 gallons of gasoline or more all the time (we have 3 5-gallon cans and 1-14 gallon can). We cycle through it regularly (every other fill-up is from the cans, so there is no problem with it going bad) and take the empty cans when we get gas at the store. We store it all in the detached garage, still as far from the house as possible.

We always fill the cans when we do our big $1 Fred Meyer gas discount for the month, I think they have a 35 gallon limit but we have never had a problem.

RayTurn said...

for Gasoline, use Sta-Bil Marine formula as it will better counteract the ethanol & water in the stored gas. Also, rotate thru the cans just as with stored food. I actually keep 2- 5 gal cans away from the house under some bushes where there are large overhanging branches.

Michael said...

Be careful how much gasoline you store, I know some areas have ordnances regarding how much flammable materials you can have, mainly as a safety concern in case of a fire. Just a warning, you should be able to contact your fire department and they could tell you if there is a limit.