How to Store Different Fuel Types for Emergency Preparedness

How do you store gas long term? How do you store propane? What about diesel? How about wood? And what about kerosene?

Not only do we not want to waste money, but we want these fuel sources to be there when we really need it. Whether that’s for everyday use or for an emergency or disaster. So of course, we want them to last as long as possible.

How to store gas

Gas can be stored safely for up to 1 year.

With a stabilizer it can last up to 1 year.

Without a stabilizer it can last only a couple months.

To use a fuel stabilizer, follow the directions on the bottle as it will depend on how much fuel you need to preserve, as well as the type of stabilizer. For instance, one small bottle of stabilizer can preserve a full tank of gas for a car or truck. Another example, some brands say to use 1 ounce per gallon. It depends on the brand and how much you’re wanting to stabilize.

You can stabilize gas in drums, gas cans, cars, trucks, lawn mowers, etc. The gas can be stabilizer wherever it’s able to be safely stored.

You can store the gas in a shed or garage, the warmth is ok, though some recommend no more than 80 degrees F, however, it has been in our garage and shed in hotter conditions and has been just fine, you may also choose to leave a window open for additional ventilation. But you want to stay away from direct sunlight. Keep it in a dark place. Most canisters these days have safety vents and locks and everything needed for proper safe storage.

Place the containers on pieces of wood or cardboard instead of directly onto concrete.

Keep away from any type of ignition source.

How to store propane

Propane tanks can be stored outdoors. Preferably in the shade and under a covered area away from direct sunlight and the elements. A damaged propane tank can be dangerous.

They can also be stored inside of a garage or shed.

Propane tanks should be kept between 120 degrees F and -40 degrees F. In saying that, freezing temps don’t much both propane tanks, they don’t even need to be covered during the winter. Same with the hotter weather, it’ll still work just fine in hot conditions. Keep it in the shade and covered.

Place on a wood slab or some other sturdy surface.

Propane has an indefinite life when kept in a good propane tank with good storage practices.

If you have a bad looking tank, trade it in for a new, full, tank at your local hardware store or anywhere that sells propane tanks.

How to store diesel

Diesel fuel can last between 1-2 years if kept in ideal conditions.

Diesel lasts the longest when it’s kept at around 70-80 degrees F.

You can use a stabilizer in diesel to help it last longer.

Diesel should be stored outdoors or in a shed and away from rain, making sure to keep moisture out.

How to store wood

Wood should be kept in a dry area, covered to keep it out of the elements so it can dry properly and stay that way.

Keep the wood off the soil. It’s best to elevate up off the ground, even if storing it in a shed.

It’s recommended to keep all of your wood near your home for easy access, but not inside of your home. Only bring in enough wood for the day/evening.

Allow for proper air circulation by keeping it up off the ground and away from walls. Only cover if the wood is dry, if there’s any chance of wet or moist wood, keep the tarp off for a while, but keep the wood under cover to keep out of the elements.

How to store kerosene

Kerosene can be stored in its original bottle in an outdoor space away from direct sunlight, such as in a garage or shed. Ambient temperature isn’t as big of a deal, but absolutely keep it away from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will degrade the fuel.

Most recommend trading out the kerosene after a year. However, it will still work after that time, it may just not be as efficient and be more difficult to light. But try to rotate it every year or two if you can. It generally has a max shelf life of up to 5 years. After the 5 year point, it’s really breaking down past the point of being a usable fuel.

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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