Emergency Fuel Storage

It’s a good idea to keep some extra fuel around in case there’s a situation where you can’t simply buy some at the gas station.  Remember Hurricane Sandy?  There were pictures and videos of people walking around with gas cans trying to find fuel to run their generators.  Seriously?  You have an expensive generator, but no fuel to run the thing?

So, what is a good way to store fuel so it’s there if you need it?  Here’s what I do:

Each month, buy a 5 gallon gas can.  I have found the cheapest gas cans at Walmart for about $12-$13 when they’re on sale.  If I had an Amazon recommendation for you I’d share it, but Walmart seems to be the cheapest.  And don’t worry about the quality of the cans so much.  As long as they seal tight, you’re good.  You can get $50 NATO 5-gallon Jerry cans if you want, but these cans will just be sitting in storage.  They really won’t be tossed into the backs of pickups and rolled around, etc.

Fill that gas can at the gas station.  Label it according to what month you filled it.  For example, if you fill you first gas can in February, take a Sharpie and write “FEB” or “2” on it so that you keep track of when you filled them.

Each month, do the same thing:  buy a can, fill it, label it.  If you do this for a whole year, you’ll have twelve 5-gallon cans, or 60 gallons of fuel.  Store the cans in a safe place, of course, like a garage or a shed.  I wouldn’t keep these on your balcony if you live in a condo.

When you get to the month that you started (February in this example), simply take the gas can, pour that fuel into your vehicle, and fill the can back up at the gas station.  Do this each month.

The beauty of this is that you won’t spend  any extra money for the fuel that is stored after the first year.  The 5 gallons that you refilled the gas can with would have just went into your vehicle anyway.

It’s a good idea to add some fuel stabilizer to make sure your fuel doesn’t go bad.  If you only have 12 cans and you cycle through them each month you’ll probably be fine.  But I like to give myself a little insurance and add some Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer.

On Amazon it’s $10.50 for 32 ounces of this stuff delivered in 2 days with Free Prime Shipping – that’s an awesome deal.  You only need 2 ounces per 5-gallon can of gasoline, so one bottle of Sta-Bil will last quite a while.

To make the process of transferring your fuel from the gas can to the vehicle much easier, I recommend you read this post on how I do it.  It will make the job much simpler and if it’s simple, you’ll do it.  If it’s a pain, you won’t.

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