Tips for Storing Fuel for Emergencies

Having an emergency supply of fuel can help create warmth in your home to assist in regulating your body temperature, assist in cooking food, and also help in powering essential emergency tools such as generators, and household appliances. Ensure that you have purchased proper fuel storage containers or tanks for safety.

However, storing fuel for short or long-term disasters is not without its own set of unique challenges. Storing fuel can create fire hazards if not stored properly. Ensuring that you follow safety regulations for properly storing fuel, and knowing the regulatory issues associated with storing fuel will help you in your fuel storage preparedness. Contacting fuel dealers that are in your area can also provide you with a host of useful information on the issue, and on alternatives.

To ensure maximum safety, follow these guidelines when storing fuel:

• Use proper fuel containers to store fuel in
• Keep fuel dry
• For safety reasons store fuel in an isolated area. Do not sore fuel near your home or near appliances such as water tanks
• Do not store fuel near ammunition
• Store fuel downwind from any homes or buildings
• Store fuel in a cool, dark area away from any sunlight or high temperature fluctuations.
• Rotate your fuel supply regularly
• Have a fire extinguisher on hand in the area where the fuel is stored
• Check the storage containers or tanks regularly to ensure that the fuel is safely stored away and that there are not any signs of leaking

Knowing how much fuel to store is dependent largely on what you plan to use the fuel for during an emergency. If you wanted to only run a generator with gasoline to power your home and appliances during the day, plan on using 4-8 liters of fuel per hour. In a 72 hour emergency where you are reliant on yourself to provide power, plan on needing a minimum 180 litres of fuel. Small portable generators cost between $400 and $700, but they must be operated outside and can only be plugged into a limited number of appliances at once.

Remember, any appliance in the home that burns a fuel, whether it’s a gas appliance or a stove, if the home stays closed and there’s no way to bring fresh air in and oxygen, there is significant risk for a CO (carbon monoxide) issue. Even the carbon monoxide emitted by candles can lead to poisoning if they’re left burning for an extended period of time without fresh air flowing into the home. Placing generators or barbecues inside a garage, particularly those with poor ventilation, should be avoided entirely.

When making fuel storage preparations, think about what types of fuels your emergency equipment will need, and prepare accordingly:

• Firewood
• Gasoline
• Diesel Fuel
• Kerosene
• Propane
• Solar

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