As you know, widespread gasoline shortages rocked parts of the U.S.
The Colonial Pipeline shutdown was one of the most disruptive cyberattacks in history.
At the peak, more than 16,200 gas stations were experiencing shortages.
In Washington, D.C. 88% of gas stations had no fuel.
Some customers in the parking lots sat there on empty, stalled and waiting.
For instance, Dennis L. went to four different gas stations before his car ran out of gas.
In just a single week, the nationwide average cost of a gallon of gas went up eight cents.
But, here’s what you need to take away from this whole incident…
When everything is inter-connected and everything is “online,” gas shortages can happen at any moment.
And whether it is because of a natural disaster or a cyberattack, it’s a good chance it will happen again.
That’s why it’s critical to store gas for an emergency.
And this is especially important if you use a gasoline generator as part of your survival plan.
So, here are a few ideas to help you store gasoline for the long term.
Choose your can carefully:
Most people plan on storing gas in 5-gallon cans, as these are the easiest to find.
But, you have the option of a regular plastic can or a steel can.
Plastic cans are less expensive and, you won’t have to worry about the can rusting in storage.
Also, if a fire breaks out the plastic will melt, whereas metal gas cans explode.
But some people do insist on metal cans…
Metal cans are durable. They have strong handles and can withstand a dent or two.
Also, metal cans are easier to stack if you plan on having multiple gas cans.
Plus, fuel can leach into plastic over time, but not metal.
Don’t fill the can completely:
When filling up cans for long-term storage, never fill them all the way.
Moisture condenses in gas cans. This means water mixes with the fuel.
This can reduce the performance of the gas you have stored.
But, if you only fill the gas can about 90% there is less room for condensation to occur.
This is why you should also leave a little empty room when filling up your gas tank.
Varying temperatures can cause fumes to expand and contract. Try to keep the temperature as steady as possible.
These days, refiners add ethanol to gasoline to comply with the 1990 Clean Air Act.
This means that most gas in the U.S. is 10% ethanol.
The drawback is that gasoline with ethanol has about 33% less energy compared to pure gasoline.
And Ethanol also absorbs moisture from the air. This can draw water into the engine, making it run rough.
Now, most people don’t notice this in their vehicles because they use the gas so fast, it doesn’t sit long enough to happen.
You can do an internet search for local ethanol-free gas and likely find a few stations that still sell it.
You will pay at least $1 more per gallon for ethanol-free gas, but it’s worth the cost if you are storing it long-term.
Use a fuel stabilizer:
One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your gasoline is to use a fuel stabilizer.
You can buy a stabilizer at any auto parts store and there are many different options.
For example, you can find stabilizers that specifically treat gasoline for long-term storage.
If possible, add the stabilizer to the gas can first, then add the gas. This way it mixes as you add in the gasoline.
Bottom line: our reliance on gasoline isn’t going away anytime soon and there will likely be another shortage.
So, use these tips to store some gas long-term.
And even if you don’t end up needing the gasoline from your storage…
You can rotate through it as you do with other supplies – and you’ll be prepared.