Monday, October 10, 2016

Lesson Learned - Don't Run Out of Gas

Due to a pipeline spill a few weeks ago, and aided by rumors of a resulting gas shortage in Western North Carolina, there was a run on local gas stations on a Friday (the 23rd) into Saturday morning. By late Saturday afternoon, all local gas stations were completely out of gas. No unleaded or diesel was to be had at any price in the county where I live on Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday. Most stations got unleaded back in stock on Tuesday morning, but diesel wasn't available until Wednesday at most stations. 

Fast-forward to Hurricane Matthew.  As it approached Florida last week, people started fleeing the coastal areas. With everyone suddenly filling up, gas stations began quickly running out-of-gas. This became a problem for folks needing to fill up their vehicles to escape the path of Matthew. 

In any economic or political crisis, or any natural disaster, gasoline will most likely be the first commodity to run dry. Lack of fuel for our vehicles will create major problems, and may even stop folks from bugging-out of a dangerous area. This will be particularly if the crises drags on for many days or even weeks without gas stations being able to resupply. Learn a lesson from these two examples, and be prepared for disruptions in the supply of fuel. I recommend everyone take two steps:

1)  NEVER let your gas gauge drop to even the half-way point. The rule-of-thumb I use is to fill-up my vehicles once the needle drops even slightly below the 3/4 mark. Yes, I have to fill up more often, but I won't have to face a sudden gas shortage with my tank already approaching empty. 

2)  Keep as much extra fuel on hand as you can safely store. I keep five 5-gallon gas cans of extra gasoline on hand. The cans are designed to store gas, and I keep them locked in well-ventilated deck storage box at the back of my yard, well away from the house. I keep the gas rotated every 3 months to avoid it going flat, but you can also use STA-BIL to extend the life of your gas.

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