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If you store gas: When would you use it?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Warp, Mar 31, 2012.


  1. Warp

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    I think/hope that we all prescribe to the theory that "1/2 is E" and keep our vehicle's fuel tanks from running down too far before refilling.

    I think that a fair number of us also store some fuel (usually gasoline, diesel for some) under the premise that it can be used in our vehicles if supply becomes problematic. I'll call this your strategic reserve.

    My question is...when would you tap into your strategic reserve?

    Here are some scenarios. Keep in mind that this is not an area on which I am more familiar than the average lay person. Feel free to provide feedback or tweaks when necessary. You may also alter scenarios to make them fit your specific situation more closely. (mostly type of work related)

    Scenario 1: There is a minor/moderate interruption in your regional supply. Something like we had here in the Southeast a few years ago when a hurricane messed with the gulf coast. Gas is a big thing that everybody talks about. The lines at the pump are long as everybody flocks to them en mass. Some stations run out of gas. The news reports on a few people here and there running out of gas on the side of the road, but these are few and far between and probably their own fault.

    Use of your stored fuel would allow you to maintain a normal lifestyle with trips to "unnecessary" (short term) locations such as, for example...the range, the gym, the movies/mall/big boys toy stores/etc. It appears that you will be able to continue necessary driving (work, daycare, groceries, doctor visits, etc) with only mild/moderate inconvenience in acquiring fuel, but going everywhere you want without above-normal restrictions requires dipping into the reserve.

    This is expected to be a temporary situation with a duration not more than 1-3 months.

    Scenario 2: There is a serious large scale problem. Perhaps there has been a major refinery/distribution line disaster. Restoring previous functionality is going to take something on the order of 3-6 months.

    Within a short period of time, perhaps a couple of weeks, there is a serious effort on the part of many businesses to allow some of their employees to work from home some of the time to reduce commuting.

    You or a spouse/family member who is covered by your strategic reserves could conceivably continue to go to work as normal, or nearly so, by tapping into the reserves. You/they could also take the option of working from home at times BUT doing so means a reduction in performance/ability and could potentially result in consequences such as reduction in work completed/sales/commission/project completion/etc and being able to be at work is expected to give you/your family member a leg up in the big picture (promotion/networking/completion of goals/etc)

    Scenario 3: Extremely serious, MAJOR disruption. Another, large scale war in the Middle East. Major, large scale, coordinated terrorist attacks on infrastructure (refineries, pipelines, ports, shipping, etc). A combination of the above, possibly.

    In order to continue working (effectively), going to the grocery store, etc, you will have to tap into your reserves. Failure to do so may result in a substantial loss of income, temporary loss of employment, using alternative forms of transportation for applicable errands (take the bus, assuming available, ride a bicycle when you normally would not, etc).

    Although you can technically continue to exist in this state for some time (paying mortgage/rent, buying basic food, etc, but getting down to the bar minimum in expenses) it would be much less bothersome to use your reserves to reduce the impact on your lifestyle.

    Scenario 4: Well, in order to get any more dire the use/don't use question probably isn't relevant. Just assume that scenario 4 is the point at which you WILL use your reserve fuel, even if it means using ALL of it, because you have no other serviceable and reasonable option.




    In what type/severity of scenario would you consider using any of your fuel, and why?
     

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    #1 Warp, Mar 31, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  2. RWBlue

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    Why not continuously rotate? Like with food.
     

  3. Warp

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    What are you talking about?
     
  4. RWBlue

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    Maybe I am thinking about this in too simple a way.
    You store however much you store. For this example let’s say 12 units.
    And for this example, let’s assume that fuel will last 12 months.
    And there is no such thing as winter fuel and summer fuel, it is just fuel.

    What would happen if every month, you used some from your reserve and replenished it?
    When there is an event you will have at least 11/12th your total reserve.
    When there is an event you will still go out and spend some time in the line so no one will know you have a store (or you will pay a premium for the fuel that is available).
    If we are just talking cost, this would be like buying mutual funds for retirement. You would find some times when you get a good deal and some time you would pay a premium. It balances it’s self out, but you are 1 year ahead.

    This isn't like breaking out the rice and beans that I don't like to eat and hopefully will never eat. This is something that can be rotated through.
     
  5. Warp

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    I am not sure if you seriously don't get this or if you are just being difficult.

    This is not a rotation question in any way.

    If acquisition of fuel is difficult enough (if even possible) that you must use reserves to drive somewhere...you won't be able to just go out and replenish your reserves.
     
    #5 Warp, Mar 31, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  6. RWBlue

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    I think you are over complicating the question by not tapping and rotating.

    But beyond that, assuming that no more fuel is coming in, it is a fairly simple question.

    I need fuel to do X. Do I think X is important enough to use my remaining fuel?

    i.e. I need fuel to drive to work. Is working important enough for me to use my remaining fuel to get there? What are the alternatives? (walking, riding bike, taking the bus which will not be running without fuel, take PTO)
     
  7. Carry16

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    I keep 8-10 5 gallon cans in reserve. I have an F150, an HHR, an Astro Van and a Harley Ultra Classic. With the current price of gas I drive the HHR most of the time, and use the HD if we're just going out for a burger. I'm retired so I have the ultimate flexability in adjusting my trips for groceries etc.

    I rotate my gas at least once a year and treat it when I refill. In the past I have rotated early because gas may have been cheaper, but that doesn't seem to be a factor lately.

    I wish I could siphon gas out of my cars/trucks, but that seems to be a thing of the past. All my vehicles are kept topped off. My mower and tractor are diesel and I stock about 20 gallons which lasts a LONG time.

    I've been through 2-3 weeks of no power, and I started using my gas for the generator right away. Fortunately it's always been a short trip to buy more.

    I guess what I'm saying in too many words is that depending on the circumstances I can tap into my reserves immediately, and will always adjust my consumption based on circumstances.
     
    #7 Carry16, Apr 1, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  8. cowboy1964

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    I'd use it when I have to. It's no more complicated than that.
     
  9. DJ Niner

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    Warp, I would not tap the reserves for Scenario #1 or #2, but I could see some problems if the person most affected in #2 was my spouse. By my way of thinking, emergency fuel is for emergencies, and nothing in #2 rises to that level, in my opinion. I could definitely see my wife arguing for reserve fuel use to keep her job running smoothly. My argument would be: "Okay, we do that for X amount of time, then WE'RE out like everyone else, now what?"

    What happens if we need to
    - travel to procure food,
    - move/relocate/rescue a relative,
    - someone needs emergency medical transport,
    - bug-out if our section of town starts to go up in flames
    and we've already used-up the "emergency" fuel? And the answer is: whatever we would do THEN (after the reserve was used-up, in scenario #2, above), we will do NOW, and keep the reserve for true emergencies.

    However, there might be problems in holding-off too long, as well. If you are nearly the ONLY person/family left that still has fuel, you're going to stand out if you use it for transportation/food-runs/etc. on public roadways. I can see that making you a target for the have-nots, as well as possibly focusing negative attention from the authorities in your direction.

    I think before getting to #3/#4, a person might need to consider the difficulties in using fuel for transportation in urban environments, and make a decision to use any/all remaining fuel to bug-out to another (less urban) location BEFORE the situation gets to that point. This could be a really tough call to make at the time, without the benefit of knowing how long the situation will last, or how bad it will ultimately get.
     
    #9 DJ Niner, Apr 1, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  10. Warp

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    When do you have to?

    How do you determine that?

    If you have to use it to keep your job, do you?


    Thank you for the response. That (figuring when availability will be back to normal) would be a trick.
     
    #10 Warp, Apr 1, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  11. kirgi08

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    Damned fine thread Warp. :cool:
     
  12. lawman800

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    I don't have any stores worth being called strategic. I only have a few 5 gallon jugs around and that won't last a day in my Dodge Ram.
     
  13. kirgi08

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    Maybe,youse ought ta.'08.
     
  14. lawman800

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    Yes, I do... but when I actually store a few gallons, I use them up and don't always replace when I do. I have 2 empty jugs at my friend's house, maybe when I get them back, I will fill them all up and use them that way.
     
  15. kirgi08

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    Not enough.'08. :sad:
     
  16. MoneyMaker

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    Cant afford to keep my vehicle tank full now,,,if i run low i just go to the local shopping center and refill it,lol
     
  17. Kingarthurhk

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    Because stored gas in containers eventually goes bad.
     
  18. RED64CJ5

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    I don't feel like I store enough gas to even play this game.

    We keep about 25 gallons in rotation and try to keep all our tanks at least 1/2 full...
     
  19. kirgi08

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    Stored/sealed underground/with sta-bil ect.The shelf-life extends.'08.
     
  20. R_W

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    Me, too. I used to store a lot more, but I have cut back gas reserves considerably--I got tired of fighting ethanol. I have worked on not needed as much in the first place.

    Scenario 1, use up to half of it.

    2 & 3, use some. Big shopping trip (if stores are still stocked), work (as little as possible and still keep job), save as much back for food production (tractor and tiller).

    4. If it is that bad, it will only be used for food production or procurement. The only vehicles we will run are the corolla and the 100cc motorcycle. Converting the old truck to woodgas would move to top of the list, too.
     
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