Gas rotation day, today. Took three of the jerry cans and dumped ‘em in the truck, refilled them, added some PRI-G and put them back in storage. The trick to this whole process is that you dont fill the truck from the cans until you are at the gas station. Why? Because if you fill it up at home you’ll be tempted to take the empty cans and throw them in the corner and say “Ah, I’ll fill them up next time” and then the world comes to an end and you’re starting your apocalypse three five-gallon drums short. So…fill it at the truck at the pump using the cans and then refill the cans at the pump. At least, for someone with my lack of self-discipline I find that to be the method that works best.
Although ammo and freezedrieds get all the spotlight time, anyone who has ever been through a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or similar disaster will tell you that the real commodity that traded like cigarettes in a prison was gasoline. When the pumps are dry or inoperative the man with the can has the world by the ‘nads.
Although its most obvious use is in a vehicle, there are plenty of thirsty generators and other devices out there after (or during) a disaster that need a steady supply of go-juice. I remember watching the coverage of Katrina and one of the things that caught my eye is that everyone had those red plastic fuel cans tied to the handlebars of their four wheelers, piled in the back of their johnboats, or hanging from the rails of their front porches as they searched for fuel. There were also stories, unsubstantiated (which I guess makes them rumours, really) of course, about ‘the authorities’ confiscating drums of fuel for their own use from citizenry that passed through the checkpoints.
One of my favorite stories out of Katrina was about the small regional power company that had to think ‘outside the box’ in the aftermath of the disaster. They had fleets of bucket trucks that needed to get out there and start restoring service but where to get fuel for those trucks? Gotta admire this sort of thinking – one of the managers called up the fuel refinery/tank farm guys and said “We’ll get your electricity up and running right away if you give us fuel for our trucks.” The fuel guys got electricity to restart their operations and the power guys had fuel for their fleet. In a crisis, if you have fuel you have pretty good bargaining power.
And, of course, its nice have the extended range available to your vehicle that a few 5-gallon cans in the back afford. Some day when you want to leave in a major hurry youre going to want distance and a lot of it…when everyone else sputters to a halt after one tank of gas you can refill and keep going.