RW, I have not checked in quite a while, glad to see that the Preppers' Networks have taken off.
I was doing a garage cleanout and realized I needed to rotate my gas. Here are some thoughts. My gasoline storage serves one primary purpose: keeping enough gas on hand for the generator. During Ike, I had three plastic gas cans (about 20 gallons total), in addition to the gas in the generator itself. All told, I had enough for several days of running the generator to keep the fridge/freezer cold and running the window unit in the house. This allowed me the flexibility to stay for three days after the storm to evaluate damage, clean out freezers (mine, my parents, and my mother in laws), and check on loved ones houses.
Once those days passed, I went ahead and evacuated since it became apparent that we would be without utilities for 2-3 weeks. Once I returned, I dutifully refilled my gas cans, minus one I returned from where I borrowed it, and promptly forgot about them. This past weekend, I caught myself letting my car's tank run near empty. I rarely let it get below half a tank. Since I needed to rotate the gas, I filled up with the cans. Easy enough, I thought. Wrong. The bigger can (about 8 gallons), has one of the new over-engineered, locking, no emission, childproof caps. This “expletive deleted” of a gas cap was not long enough to fit in my car's tank. So, I had to use the smaller gas can, empty it into the gas tank. Then refill it using the bigger can. This took significantly longer than it should have. I am not too young to remember long metal spouts that simply dispensed gas when the can was tilted. Now, the locking hub has a separate set of directions on proper usage.
The part of this episode that worries me is the secondary reason that I keep gas at the house. The proximity to refineries and a rail line keep me on alert for an emergency evacuation due to a spill or chemical cloud. I like to think I could be out the door with wife, baby, dogs, BOBs, food, etc in only a few minutes. If I were relying on the stored gas to top off the tanks, I would waste that much more time. This 'dry run' for filling up the car showed me how reliant I am on a simple task I had never performed before.
In a real emergency, the highways would be filling up while I was still in my driveway. Keeping a proper amount of fuel on hand is not the hard part (for now, at least). An item as simple as a funnel can mean the difference between getting my loved ones out of harm's way and getting stuck in traffic. This seemingly minor thing could have a tremendous impact should an emergency arise. True, I could likely improvise a funnel to speed the process along, but I'd rather know for sure. This humbling experience has fortunately caused me to pause and re-evaluate many of my preps and plans. I hope this can be of some use to readers at TPN.
Luke N Beaumont
This continuing economic landslide we are in is showing itself more and more in this area, long considered to be insulated from the mortgage meltdown and its fallout. Refineries are shuttering expansion projects and starting small scale layoffs. First, contractors are let go, then maybe a few workers or a 'temporary' shutdown of a unit happens. I have also begun to see more homeless out on the streets along with some increases in our crime rate. Down the road in Port Arthur, gang and street violence continues to escalate. Keep your eyes open, and be careful.
Thanks Luke for this important update!
Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.