How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term Everyone knows that having food and water storage is crucial for your SHTF plan, but gas storage is of almost equal importance. Until SHTF happens we will have no idea how much we rely on gas. Seriously, you may say to your self now, nah, I’ll …
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A gas shortage could be merely days away for much of the United States after a pipeline that supplies gasoline for 50 million Americans exploded.
The Colonial Pipeline caught fire Monday afternoon in Shelby County, Ala., after a trackhoe hit the pipeline, causing a spark and an explosion. One member of the pipeline crew was killed while five others were injured.
The pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey and is a primary source of gas for much of the Southeast and East Coast. When the same pipeline ruptured in September, a panic ensued and many stations ran out of gas, while other stations placed a $10 limit on purchases. It wasn’t uncommon to wait an hour or more to get gas, as Off The Grid News previously reported.
Monday’s incident was yet another reminder of the fragility of America’s infrastructure and way of life; without gas, much of the country would grind to a halt.
Colonial Pipeline Company said Tuesday it expects the pipeline to be down at least for the rest of the week and added that the explosion was related to repairs it was making from the September leak. By volume, it is the largest pipeline in the U.S., transporting more than 105 million gallons of fuel each day.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency Tuesday, lifting regulations on the amount of hours a day truckers can transport gasoline. But multiple states are expected to be affected.
“I would urge motorists not to panic and say, let me fill up the tank now. They need to resist the urge to fill their tank because that’s going to make it that much more difficult for everyone in the days ahead,” Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com told Reuters.
AAA sent out a Tweet stating, “Drivers in the southeast and along the east coast may soon see price increases at the pump.”
Tamra Johnson, a spokeswoman for AAA, told AP, “We can actually start seeing some supply outages in the coming days if they don’t put a plan in place.”
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Drivers in North Carolina, South Carolina and several other Southern states continued hunting for gasoline Wednesday morning following a major pipeline leak, as the company in charge of fixing the problem said it would take “several days” for the supply to return to normal.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the state was getting only about a third of the gas supply it normally receives.
“We’ve successfully weathered fuel shortages before, and we will do it again,” McCrory said. “Now is the time to pull together as a state and to conserve fuel when it’s possible.”
A leak in the Colonial Pipeline was discovered Sept. 9, causing a shutdown to fix it and sparking havoc among the 50 million people who depend on it for gasoline. More than 250,000 gallons of gas leaked at the site in Alabama. The pipeline, constructed in 1963, spans from Texas to New Jersey.
Colonial Pipeline built a 500-foot bypass around the leak and is testing it to make sure it is properly working.
“It is expected to take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial Pipeline said in a statement Tuesday. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions.”
Many gas stations in North Carolina are completely out of gas.
— Matt Dougherty (@MattDoc) September 19, 2016
“My brother went to 11 places the other day [before finding gas],” driver Yolanda Hinton told the Raleigh New and Observer. “It was an hour-long wait last night.”
The newspaper reported that the rush to gas pumps that did have gasoline was “akin to the panics before a big hurricane.”
In South Carolina, drivers also are having a tough time finding gas.
“Today I’ve been three places,” driver Ellen Hayes, in Lancaster, South Carolina, told WBTV. “I’ve been off [Highway] 200, I’ve been over there, and now here.”
Other stations have gasoline, but it’s only expensive premium.
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RALEIGH, N.C. – The gas shortage that slammed the South over the weekend continued into Monday and Tuesday, with drivers across the region frantically trying to find pumps that were selling gasoline.
“I went to like six stations in Durham. I could not find any gas,” Stephanie Murriell told North Carolina’s WRAL.
Eventually she ended up in Raleigh, and along way the way saw four more gas stations out of gas. All total, she saw about 10 stations out of gas before she found one, an Exxon, that still had some.
“I even went on Facebook and posted on Facebook, ‘Please help me find gas in Durham and Raleigh,’ and this is the first place that I’ve come to that had gas.”
But the Exxon that did have gas was limiting customers to $10 gas purchases – and it ran out hours later.
“The people need gas. Everybody needs gas. We are almost out of gas. Too many stations here are out of gas,” Exxon station manager Jimmy Alkhateeb told WRAL.
The gas shortage throughout the South was sparked when the Colonial Pipeline – which carries gas from Texas to New Jersey — leaked more than 250,000 gallons of gasoline at a location in Alabama. The pipeline provides gas for around 50 million people.
One man who bought gas at the Exxon station, Jeff Hawkins, had stopped at two other places that did not have any gasoline. He had driven about 160 miles from Charlotte to Raleigh and said the $10 in gas “would not help me at all.”
“That would probably not even get me home,” Hawkins told the TV station.
It even has affected law enforcement. Durham County Sheriff deputies have been told not to let their cars idle when they could be shut off, the Raleigh News and Observer reported. The deputies fill up at county-owned pumps.
And when people do find gas, they have to wait in long lines for it. In Youngsville, North Carolina, Michelle Bowers told the newspaper she saw one station where the line was “20 cars deep.”
People, she said, are hoarding gas.
“I … got behind a man filling up 10 big gas cans. The big ones,” Bowers said. “I finally told the attendant directing traffic that what he was doing didn’t seem quite right, especially since they were telling people they were almost out.
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ATLANTA — A pipeline spill that has led to gasoline shortages throughout the South and sparked a state of emergency has become simply the latest example of the fragility of America’s supply line.
Social media linked the situation — which affects around six states — to that in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max movies.
Gas stations in Atlanta had run out of gas Sunday night. Many in Nashville had run out of gas days earlier.
“I’ve seen Mad Max a hundred times and never knew it was supposed to take place in Tennessee,” one person, @SuitsNTattoos, tweeted.
In the Mad Max films, survivors fight over limited fuel supplies in post-apocalyptic Australia.
“Live look at the weather and gas situation in Nashville. Welcome to the Thunderdome,” @Brainard66 tweeted.
Pictures in The Tennessean newspaper showed gas pumps with signs that state: “Out of gas sorry for the inconvenience” taped to them.
Other pictures showed long lines at a gas stations.
“Full tank of gas for sale. $1000/gal. Who needs it?” @davidpetee tweeted.
One Pipeline Spill Leads to Mad Max in Middle Tennessee
The crisis in Tennessee and other states began with a spill on the Colonial Pipeline — an underground gasoline conduit that connects New York City with the Gulf Coast — near Birmingham, Alabama, on September 9. It provides gas for around 50 million people.
The rupture caused gasoline prices to soar in the region by as much as $1 per gallon. It also led the governors of six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Carolina — to declare states of emergency.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declared a state of emergency on Friday and then assured residents there was no gas shortage. On the same day, The Tennessean reported that 85 stations in Middle Tennessee had run out of gas. That led to drivers rushing to the pumps to fill up.
State of Emergency
Haslam’s executive order waived hourly limits on fuel truck drivers to keep the pumps working.
When Susan Logan drove to a Kroger gas station in Franklin, Tennessee, an attendant came out and told everybody to leave because the supermarket was out of gas. Logan had to go to three different stations to find fuel.
“The lines kept getting longer and longer as I was there,” Logan told The Tennessean. “I texted my friends to get gas on the way home from work.”
A picture in The Tennessean showed dozens of cars lined up at a Costco gas station.
“I was just amazed at how everybody went into panic mode when they shouldn’t have,” Jackie Dawson said after seeing a line at her local Kroger. “One woman put gasoline in three huge gas tanks as well as her car. It was bizarre. Just like in 2008. Just like the ’70s.”
Some smart citizens were prepared, however.
“Nashville’s freaking out about the #GasShortage. But hey, my freezer’s stocked w/ frozen waffles, so at least my bicycle has plenty of fuel!” @Jeff_Jetton tweeted.
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The scenario: The grid went down (either regionally or wider) but the root cause of the collapse was not an EMP, so the vehicles still run, and so does your generator. Among the multitude of problems that you are facing, one of them is non-functioning gas pumps (no electricity) and when your tanks run dry, […]
Determining the specific ramifications after something like a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) attack, or even a Carrington Event-style coronal mass ejection (CME) is kind of a guessing game at this point.
However, one thing we do know is that some of the most horrifying effects of an EMP disaster will occur about a week after our grid gets fried. That’s why I’ve decided to take a visualized journey into what the US might look like, seven days after an EMP — and let’s just say that the state of the union will be a bleak one.
If you live in a city or suburban area, then it’s no secret that when you look into the sky on a cloudless evening, you’re basically seeing a fraction of the stars that someone from, say, an Arizona desert might be viewing. The reason is that the cumulative artificial lighting from your surrounding area – the light pollution — is blocking out the stars. In a city (and other somewhat densely populated zones), you can walk around at night without a flashlight, because the area is practically bathed in artificial light.
(Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s show about a Carrington-type sun event, here.)
After an EMP, however, everything will go as dark as a lifeless desert or wilderness mountainside. Since at this point, people will be running out of battery juice for their flashlights, cloud-covered evenings will be pitch black.
This might not necessarily be such a bad thing, if you’re planning on running your bugout operation under the cover of complete and total darkness.
But the absence of light won’t be the only “darkness.”
There will be a cognitive, communicative darkness sweeping from sea to shining sea, especially since the methods that we’ve depended upon to exchange information will have been gutted
- Emergency services will not be able to coordinate or exchange information.
- The Internet infrastructure in the US will have been completely destroyed.
- Telephones and cell towers will have been fried.
- Radio and TV stations will have been destroyed.
- Even ham radio operators (that have not hardened their systems to EMP) will have nothing but electronically damaged gear.
Most people will have no clue what happened (because let’s face it, most people aren’t aware of these types of threats). It will be a complete and total information blackout and a true time of total darkness in the US after an EMP takes its hefty toll.
If anything, this type of information blackout will become cause for a nationwide sense of desperation. The US is primarily an info-based society, because we currently enjoy the ability to share information and to communicate globally with ease. In a way, that’s what makes this modern digital era such a time, which has been ripe with opportunities.
However, we’ve become extremely dependent on easily accessible information via electronic means, and almost totally independent on word-of-mouth sources (the likes of which were the norm during pre-modern times).
Confusion soon becomes desperation, because not only will people become very concerned that the state of things has not improved within a seven-day timeframe, but they also will have no ability to obtain information as to what exactly is going on. The effects of this will be extremely psychologically destructive. And at the same time, we will have a snowball-effect problem in the works …
- EMP strike renders the grid inoperable.
- Grid electricity is required to pump gasoline through pipelines and into tractor trailer trucks and locomotives (the primary movers of goods in the US).
- Supply chains will stop because tractor trailer trucks and locomotives are no longer going anywhere, due to fossil fuels becoming inaccessible at local pumps.
- A complete shortage of consumer goods will occur, since companies can no longer get their goods from distribution centers to retail/grocery stores.
Also within days of the EMP strike, it will become quickly apparent that law enforcement can no longer communicate effectively, thereby disabling their ability to maintain law and order. Looting will likely ensue shortly thereafter.
In addition, dangerous and disruptive aftershocks of this crisis will being to occur on a national scale. For instance, all across the US, flooding, fires and town-leveling explosions will begin to erupt without warning. Not only will many homes and businesses burn to the ground due to the initial electromagnetic wave that causes smaller scale electrical fires, but when entire utility substations begin to leak millions of gallons of flammable-toxic liquids, this will result in major cataclysms.
But regardless of proximity to massive ecological disasters and multi-kiloton gasoline blasts, there will be hundreds of millions of personal crises occurring. After seven days of people not having been able to use their credit/debit cards to make transactions, nationwide looting in even rural areas will become commonplace.
There will be a temporary run on the banks, but since cash isn’t nearly as common these days, most people will be forced to resort to theft and bartering in order to feed themselves and their loved ones.
Through the culmination of depleted consumer grocery/retail goods, the widespread coordination breakdown and manpower deficiencies of emergency services, and a total information blackout of communication, including the blanket of darkness at night, the state of the union at seven days after an EMP would, in essence, be one of nationwide disorder.
The US would begin its descent into an epidemic of anarchy.
At this point, not only would the federal, state and local government be rendered practically useless, but even if they were able to maintain a certain level of solvency, they wouldn’t have the ability to communicate with the population at large.
Virtually everyone, regardless of wealth status, creed, race or gender, will have no possible way of accessing their electronically held funds … and because of the relative newness of the crisis, most people will not yet have thought to adopt the barter system to slow the nation’s economic hemorrhaging.
One week after an EMP, each household and individual will have to provide for and protect themselves, carrying the tremendous weight of the same fundamental responsibilities and capacities that the national law enforcement, military, civil government, and US economic system had been carrying only a week ago. And since everyone now will have become hopelessly impoverished, having most likely burned through the contents of their pantries at this point, then the US population at large will have reached a maximum state of confusion and desperation … as it takes its final dive into utter chaos.
A Crisis of Confusion
In a way, it isn’t a forgone conclusion to suspect that FEMA will not have to round up a single person to check in at their nationwide franchises. No, most people will probably elect to check themselves in for a free meal and “secure” lodging. Martial law would be the next step.
Yet in such a crisis, there will be a good bit of hope for those of us who have adequately prepared ourselves in advance. Not only will we have the cover of darkness shielding our escape to the backwoods, but confusion tends to obfuscate the movements and actions of the tactically wise and strategically sound. And so, in the event of an EMP, I would like to say…
On that darkened day of calamity, you fellow vigilant Off The Gridders: I wish you and all of your loved ones a safe, speedy bugout and a flourishing homestead thereafter.
What would you add to this picture of an America, post-EMP? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Stockpiling supplies for an emergency is at the very core of survival. Unfortunately, though, not everything stores well, especially when we’re talking about months and years. Most food items don’t store well, but we are able to make up for that by the way we preserve and package them. Other items aren’t quite as easy.
Gasoline is one of these items. I think we all would agree that a good stockpile of gasoline will be extremely valuable in just about any survival scenario. The problem is in finding a way that we can store gasoline without it going bad.
What Makes Gas Go Bad?
Gasoline is not a simple chemical substance, such as ethanol or citrus acid. It’s a mixture of a number of different hydrocarbons, with the actual carbon ranging from four to 12 in a single atom. The fractional distillery which refines gasoline from petroleum also mixes in various additives, intended to help a vehicle’s performance.
Most of the chemicals in gasoline are highly volatile. Contrary to popular opinion, this doesn’t mean that they burn easily, but rather that they evaporate easily. It is the gasoline vapor, not the liquid gasoline, that we burn.
Typically, the most volatile parts of the gasoline mixture are also the most reactive or most flammable. As gasoline sits, these volatile parts evaporate, leaving the less flammable parts in place. While an internal combustion engine will still burn those parts and work, some efficiency will be lost.
The second thing that can go wrong with gasoline is that certain parts of it will oxidize, mixing with oxygen in the air to form new compounds. These new compounds are not as reactive as the original ones and, in fact, can cause problems in an engine. These new compounds congeal together, forming particles of a gum-like substance that can plug injectors and fuel filters. Fortunately, these are visible and filterable from the gasoline. They also cause the smell of the gasoline to change to a distinctly sour one.
Finally, the third culprit in the process of making gas go bad is water. The heating and cooling of the gasoline causes water to condense on the inside and outside of the container. The water condensation then mixes with the gas, reducing its reactivity.
What About Ethanol?
Chevron states on their website that adding ethanol to gasoline has no discernible effect on its life expectancy. However, ethanol is known to draw water out of the air, so it would seem that gasoline augmented with ethanol would absorb more water than pure gasoline would.
With all this, it would seem that it is virtually impossible to store gasoline for a prolonged period of time. Nevertheless, there are things that can be done in order to make it possible to store gasoline for months or even years.
To start with, gasoline needs to be stored in truly airtight containers, whether metal or plastic. I prefer metal myself, as plastic containers can allow some small amount of oxygen to pass through. Generally speaking, the seals on plastic containers are made of plastic and there is a mold line running right through the sealing surface. Metal containers, on the other hand, do not have a mold line to contend with and use rubber seals.
During World War II, one of the ways that gasoline was shipped to the South Pacific was in five-gallon Jerry cans. Even with months of storage and shipping, the gas wouldn’t lose any of its potency. I use a 55-gallon drum, which seals tightly and has a non-sparking brass valve. The bung has been reinserted in the hole with Teflon tape to ensure that there are no air leaks.
The fuller the container is, the less air there is in it to react with the gas. This will reduce the possibility of evaporation, oxidation and water contamination. However, a gas can should not be filled completely because some space needs to be left for expansion of the gas when it is hot.
It is safer to store gas outside the home, perhaps in a shed. But it is better for the gas if you can store it in a cool, dry place, such as a basement. The more consistent temperature will eliminate the expansion and contraction of the gasoline, allowing the container to be filled more. This also will reduce the likelihood of condensation by not allowing the gas to get cold enough to cause it.
Gas additives, such as Sta-bil, work well to extend the life of gas as well. They claim that they can add an additional six months to the life of the gas, without any other additives or change. Sta-bil works by replenishing chemicals that may have evaporated from the gas, and also reduces oxidation.
Another aid in storing gas for prolonged periods of time is to rotate your stock. Every month use five or 10 gallons of your existing stock and replace it with fresh gas. That ensures that you always have fresh gas on hand.
Finally, always be sure to filter any old gas, when using it in an internal combustion engine. That will allow you to remove any of the oxidized solids which have formed in the gas. This one step can make it possible to use gas that otherwise wouldn’t be usable.
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