Here are my thoughts on “Alternative Fuel Storage and Fuel Preparedness”
In the event that you are no longer able to use your home features for cooking, what alternatives are you prepared to use? What are you familiar with using? Once you are into an emergency situation it is too late to learn the “How To’s” of your cooking preference. It is important to have already become familiar with your fuel source and how to operate, store and maintain that fuel source. Here are a few thoughts.
If you are asked to evacuate you’re home, obviously your fuel source will need to be portable. In my opinion you need to be prepared for the worst scenario occurring in the event of an evacuation. Blessed would be the day, when we are asked to evacuate in 80* weather, with sunny skies and clear nights, and when your entire family is home. Howbeit, I doubt that to be the case in most events. Most natural disasters occur due to extreme weather conditions which cause black outs, destruction of homes, etc. Hence, we will be forced to become displaced from our homes under dire and unwanted circumstances, so again it is proposed to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
There are lighter fuel sources available in which you can heat up small meals, such as MRE’s, and dehydrated foods. However, they are basically designed for good weather condition cooking, so be careful on choosing a hexamine or similar type product. I would recommend that in your 72-hour kit, you look for foods already cooked, which are full of high carbs and proteins, etc., to sustain you through 3 days of hard labor while you get your house back in order. However you will also need a heat source at these times. Look into the professional backpacking stoves that are light in weight, and will burn up to 15 hours. This will give you, not only a cooking source if desired, but a safe and storable fuel source for a short duration. Also, invest in commercial warming pads that are oxygen activated. If you can stay in the home, but are without a fuel and heat source, then here are some options. Of course the pro’s and con’s, along with personal preference of each item is your responsibility to understand and become totally familiar with its safety, usage and storage for you and your family. So study out what works best for you and your family’s needs and go from there.
Propane: Propane is probably one of the best defenses to use in extreme conditions. It ignites quickly, it stores easily. It is readily accessible at any location, and in any variety and size you would need. It is the most economic for its usage. The availability of burners to heat your home, or lighting to light your home, along with all sizes of cooking apparatuses is so easily to come by that this would be my first recommendation as your long-term fuel source.
Chopped wood: Great for heating your home if,… you have the fireplace to safely do so. Also great for cooking if you have the fireplace/stove combination to do so. Keeping it dry, and in adequate quantity will be your main task.
Charcoal: Excellent long term storage item. Great for cooking outside under almost any condition. Charcoal however cannot, and should not be used inside your home. Charcoal can be stored safely in its own container, however overtime becomes slightly oxidized and looses its full potential. I recommend storing in a sealed trash bag inside a seal-able 25-30 gallon metal trash can, or plastic bin, available where containers are sold. This will keep for easily 2 years at its full potential. This is not a heat source, only a cooking source, unless you are outside full time.
Coal: Coal is a quality way of cooking and heating your rooms if you have installed the proper oven that has been serviced and maintained professionally for safe use.
Kerosene: This is an excellent safe, long-term heat source and cooking source. There are burning / cooking products out there that burn 99% toxin free, that you can both cook on, and use safely within your home as a heat source when you adhere to usage instructions. Kerosene stores well for a long time under the guided conditions.
These are simply basic recommendations to provide a learning knowledge on how to start developing a search for the fuel source that will best fit your family’s needs in the event of a disaster or need for long term usage. Please remember that it is your responsibility to act on preparedness issues before they are needed. Study out what you can use in your home, how you would facilitate its usage in your home? Where would you be able to store the supplies safely? What will work best for your size of family?
- Then start cooking with it and make sure that you fully understand what is unique about whatever type of product you have chosen.