Once you purchase an Emergency Power Generator, the next important thing after proper maintenance is fuel. How much do you need? How much do you store? How do you store it? What do you store it in? Those are critical questions you must have the answers to if you are going to be prepared for power outages. By addressing this issue now, you won’t be in a state of panic if the lights go out.
It goes without saying that an Emergency Power Generator without fuel is like a light bulb without electricity. If that light bulb has no electricity it doesn’t produce any light. If the generator doesn’t have any fuel, it WILL NOT produce any electricity. I realize that’s elementary. However, it becomes a serious issue when a person is facing an ice storm or a power outage and they are just about out of gas. The situation becomes critical if there is no access to gas stations. Now what? This is exactly what people face in real time.
During the ice storm that blanketed the eastern part of the nation in 2009, numerous people with emergency power generators ran out of gasoline. The primary reason why? They didn’t know the rule for storing fuel.
To be clear, this is a general rule, guideline or rule of thumb that we use to cover most scenarios. The standard emergency power generator has a five-gallon capacity. Based on that figure let’s do some math, which I hate incidentally. The average consumption rate for a generator hovers around 0.67 gallons per hour. That means that a five gallon tank will provide you with roughly a little over five hours of power.
The question is, “How many hours do you plan to operate your emergency power generator before needing to refuel?” To answer that question we’ve got to factor in variables such as inclement weather, gas stations closed, gas stations out of fuel, roads closed, vehicle immobile due to weather, etc., etc. There’s no way that we can say how long any of those variables will last or how long they will impact your community. What we can do is look at past history and come up with a rule of thumb.
That being said, we find that storing a thirty-two gallon supply of gas, in addition to the five gallons already in your emergency power generator, is a great rule of thumb to follow. That provides you with a total of roughly fifty-six hours of power. Incidents such as the 2009 ice storm, Hurricane Katrina, the blackouts in Florida and New York taught us an invaluable lesson: BE PREPARED! Assuming that you’re conserving fuel by only running the absolutely necessary appliances and devices, your fuel consumption may be a little better.
The next issue to address is the type of gasoline container to use. There are all types of gas cans on the market. Cheap ones. Medium range ones and expensive ones. They come in various types of materials such as metal, plastic and polyethylene. The issue here is threefold: (1) The size of the gas can and remember, we’re talking about thirty two gallons. (2) It’s ability to dispense gasoline safely. You don’t wont the type of gas can that you have to wrestle with the spout or it has known splashing issues. (3) Can it safely store gasoline in any element; hot or cold weather?
Taking those questions into consideration, there are a number of brands that can suit your needs. Some examples are, Justrite, Flo N’ Go DuraMax and Eagle and there are a few others. These manufacturers put out reliable products that will compliment your emergency power generator very well. The smart thing about storing gasoline for emergencies is this: keep recycling the gas if have no outages. That means, use the stored gasoline for other outdoor power equipment and then replenish your storage container with fresh gas.
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