Category: Fuel

Long-Term Fuel Storage For Preppers

Long Term Fuel Storage for Preppers

If it finally happens and the proverbial “stuff hits the fan,” it’s probably going to be bad. Say “goodbye” to fully stocked shelves at the grocery store, readily available medical care, and just about every other modern comfort you can think of. Everything, as we know it today, will change in the blink of an eye.

I’m not saying that overnight our society will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic scenario like in Mad Max where we all become War Boys scouring the wastelands looking for fuel and supplies while screaming, “For Valhalla!” I mean… it might… but let’s not get carried away with fantasy. I’m just saying it’s not going to be pretty, and preparation will be key if everything comes crashing down.

As in most apocalyptic movies there are usually three crucial things that every person needs to survive in a catastrophe: food, medical supplies, and fuel. I’m assuming most people are already aware of the need to stockpile food and medical supplies, but fuel is often overlooked. Many people are unaware of the need to store fuel. Not just for the family van, but for heat, cooking, electricity, and of course transportation. When I say fuel storage, I am not just talking about gasoline. We also have to consider kerosene for heating, propane and butane for cooking, and diesel and gasoline for generators and transportation.

Storing Kerosene

Kerosene should be stored in a container that is approved for this specific fuel. I’m sure you’ve seen the different colored gas cans in the hardware stores. There is a reason for the different colors; it isn’t just to make them look pretty. Blue is the color container that is earmarked just for Kerosene. Therefore, if you need a storage container for this fuel, you will need to purchase a blue-colored container.

As with most fuels Kerosene will start to degrade after about three months of normal storage. This degradation can be postponed though by following a few guidelines. First, when filling the container leave a little air in the top for fuel expansion from changes in temperature.

Always avoid using open containers. An open container can lead to water contamination and oxidation resulting in bad or poor performing fuel. You always want to store Kerosene in a cool and dry location. The use of fuel additives can also greatly extend the life of Kerosene. A fuel stabilizer such as PRI-D will extend the life of this fuel from several months to even years if the fuel is re-treated with a fuel stabilizer periodically.

Storing Propane and Butane

How do you store Propane and Butane? Aren’t pressurized containers dangerous? They can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to store them. Propane should always be stored in a dry and well-ventilated area, preferably in a storage shed located away from residential areas. Never store propane containers in an area where there may be a source of ignition such as garages or a well/pump house.

You also want to be sure that propane and butane storage containers are not kept in any areas that may cause the container to rust. Butane specifically requires a cool and dry storage location, but it must also be stored indoors at all times and never placed in direct sunlight for any length of time. Be sure to watch for possible ignition sources with Butane such as electrical outlets, stoves, and other heat sources. Improper storage of these pressurized containers may result in an explosion, a runaway canister, or a dangerous gas leak – any of which could potentially be fatal.

Storing Gasoline and Diesel

Probably the most commonly used fuels we need are gasoline and diesel. It can be difficult to determine how much of these fuels you should store. Usage factor is determined on an individual basis. A single person may not need as much gasoline as someone with a family of six. I can get buy on a relatively small generator to power what I need, but someone with a large family may need a lot of gasoline or diesel to power a larger generator to meet their needs.

Storage of gasoline and diesel is very similar to that of kerosene. They must be stored in a location that is dry and cool to maximize the storage life. Remember, it is vitally important to keep condensation away from any fuel you are storing. Water and air don’t play well with stored fuels. Also, don’t forget to store gas and diesel in their appropriately colored containers. Red is for gasoline and yellow is for Diesel.

Gasoline can normally be stored for up to three months before it begins to break down and lose its effectiveness. Diesel can typically be stored for up to six months. As with kerosene, gasoline and diesel can benefit from the addition of a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers such as STA-BIL Storage and STA-BIL Diesel can keep fuel fresh and ready for use for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately, we can’t keep gas and diesel fresh indefinitely. The best way to keep a fresh supply of fuel is to use what we have stored when it is close to going bad and then replenish our stock. With proper rotation of stored fuel and proper storage techniques we can easily be prepared for just about any situation.

By Alex Vanover

Alex Vanover is an auto industry professional and avidly writes about the advancements and new technologies in today’s automotive industry. He is also the purveyor of Motorcycle Trading Post. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, first-person shooter video games, and riding his Harley Davidson.

Ways To Conserve Energy Use At Home

Ways To Conserve Energy Use At Home

Each year, Americans are spending troubling amounts of money on their energy expenses. In fact, the average family will spend close to $2,200 on their utility bills during the course of a year. The truth of the matter is that many individuals are spending more than necessary because they are not making an intentional effort to conserve energy in their home.

For some, it’s easier to neglect energy conservation practices because, for whatever reason, it simply isn’t a high enough priority. For the readers of My Family Survival Plan, we know this isn’t the case. You care deeply about saving money and minimizing the impact your day-to-day choices have on the earth. So, let’s take a look at some the best ways to conserve energy at home.

Heating and Cooling

Heating and Cooling account for just about half of energy-related expenses in the average family home in the United States. Because of this, focusing your efforts on conserving heating and cooling energy could be the most effective starting place.

Use a smart thermostat to program your HVAC unit to adjust based on your needs each day. Adopt the recommendations provided by Energy.gov, setting your air conditioner at 78 degrees during the day and bumping it up to 80 degrees while you are away from home or asleep. During the wintertime, opt for bundling up so you can lower your heater’s settings to 68 degrees during the day and as far as 60 degrees while you are away or asleep.

As much as 20 percent of heating and cooling energy is wasted because air is leaking through ducts, doors, and windows. Spend the time and money to regularly check for and repairs leaks and you may see a significant difference in your heating and cooling costs over the long term.

Lighting

Your typical American family can expect to spend 10 percent of their utility budget to the lights in their home. Lessening the energy consumed by lighting is all about making a few smart habits and sticking with them for the long term.

An easy fix is to switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which not only last a lot longer before needing a replacement, but also use up to 75 percent less than traditional light bulbs. When it comes time to replace your bulbs, always recycle your old bulbs and check with your local power company about rebates or discounts for CFL bulbs.

lighting
Via Modernize

Appliances and Electronics

The electronics and appliances in your home have this annoying trait: they use energy passively even when they are not in use. Cutting back on this passive energy consumption can be accomplished with a few different strategies.

Use a power strip for your electronics and turn it off when they are not being used. Give up your desktop computer for a laptop, which consumes significantly less energy. If you stick with a desktop, set it to hibernate when it is not being used instead of using a screensaver.

When it comes to appliances, they key is to use them less. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using your dryer, and opt for warming food in a toaster oven instead of heating your conventional oven. If it is time to replace an appliance, chose an energy-efficient model whenever possible, using the guide provided by Modernize for making the best choice for your needs.

Don’t stop here! Approach energy conservation with your whole home in mind, developing a holistic plan to include each room, appliance, and electronic device. Involve your whole family in your energy conservation efforts, educating them on the effect their day-to-day choices have on the budget and the well-being of the world we live in.

Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.

How To Produce Your Own Fuel

In the event of a crisis situation, you never know for how long you will be isolated in your home, and how scarce the resources will be. You can be forced to live off your stored goods for months in a row, even years, and as a proper survivalist, I am sure you will not lack food or fresh water.

However, you might be missing another crucial resource for survival: fuel.

Overview

First off, you will need an alternative to gasoline. When society will suffer a breakdown, fuel will be on a high demand, for obvious reasons. Gas will be hard to find and extremely expensive, and you will need a cheap and renewable resource that you will be able to use for both personal reasons, and for bartering.

What if I told you there is an alternative fuel that is renewable and cheap to produce? You would probably shake your head in disbelief. However, there is such a product and it has been available for the past century. It can be used with small vehicles, engines and lawn tractors and its name is ethanol.

The benefits of ethanol are never-ending. It has been proven to reduce greenhouse emissions, it is eco-friendly and it can be produced at home with very little effort.

I mentioned this fuel could be produced in your community. However, in the United States, you need to apply for a permit with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). After the legal procedures will be completed, you will be free to produce and consume ethanol.

You will need the following tools and materials:

• 1 large container (around 20 lbs)
• 5 pounds of rotten fruit, corn or cereals
• 2 pounds of Distillers’ yeast
• 1 hydrometer
• 1 large distillery container
• 2 fuel filters

Here are the steps you need to take in order to produce ethanol on your premises:

1. Gather the rotten fruit from your local grocery store. You can get it for free, as these foods will most likely end at the cesspool, anyway.

Time lapse video of rotting fruit and veg

2. Place it in a large container, until a quarter of the barrel is full. This procedure must be followed accordingly, as the barrel might overflow during fermentation, if the quantity of waste is higher.

container

3. Add the yeast and mix well. The main benefit of using distiller’s yeast is that it increases the speed of fermentation and can cut in half the total time needed for this production. Contact a local brewer or distillery for this product, and use at least two packs for every 5 lbs.

4. Pour warm tap water and fill the container, but not up to the brim. Cover the container and leave the fruit and the yeast in a fermentation process for the next 10 days.

fermentation

5. Use a hydrometer to check the level of sugar in the mixture. This process should be repeated on a daily basis, as it will provide you with accurate data regarding the necessary time left for production. Once the sugar is eliminated, the product is ready for distillation.

distillation

6. Begin the distillation right after the sugar has been removed. Otherwise, chemical compounds could develop in the product, which might later turn the fuel ineffective.

7. Pour the mixture into the distillery container and place it over a small fire. The special plates contained by the distillery barrel will slowly evaporate the remaining water, while the alcohol vapors will journey in a vertical direction inside the container. The most powerful fumes will be collected at the top and form the basis of your fuel.

vapors

8. Use the fuel filters to get rid of all the impurities that might still be in the resulting product. This way, you will prevent water molecules from remaining in the ethanol.fuel filter

9. Add gasoline. This is only an optional procedure and it can be used if your engine requires an E85 type Ethanol, which is composed of 85% Ethanol and 15% Gasoline. Therefore, you will have to add the necessary amount of gas, depending on the quantity that you want to use.

10. Store the resulting product in tight closed barrels and store them in a safe place, away from any possible fire hazard. Also, make sure that your family is perfectly aware of the dangers that might result if this substance is used improperly.

store fuel

There you have it! Now you can fuel your lawn tractor, your motorcycle or any other small engine that you have in your backyard. You are no longer dependent on the oil companies and you can use this technique to produce and store fuel for darker days.