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?