Keeping Your Car’s Gas Tank Full
It’s More Than a Convenience. It Could Be a Matter of Life or Death.
It used to be a far-fetched fantasy, this idea of evacuating a whole town or city. But after the New Orleans debacle most Americans – and many people around the world – have a vivid picture of the massive traffic jams and cars lined up as far as you could see in either direction on main highways and vehicle arteries. Gasoline and diesel fuel was at a premium . . . if it could be found anywhere.
Rule of Thumb
One rule of thumb in our household is to never let the gas tank on either of our cars fall below ¾ full when parked at home overnight. It doesn’t cost anything extra, but if we ever had to evacuate, the cars each have an emergency pack and extra clothes in the trunk and enough gas to get us at least 200 miles.
And, while “Shelter-in-Place” is normally the recommended action in our community, the full tanks and up-to-date maintenance on our cars are added peace of mind.
Driving After a Disaster
Delays. There are safety issues you need to keep in mind when driving the car following an event of major proportions.
First, of course, is to be aware of the condition of the roads. Traffic lights are likely to be out. Many streets could be blocked by debris, water or by emergency crews. Bridges could be down. Wherever you are headed, it could take hours and hours for you to get there.
Fire. Second, your car could start a fire! The catalytic converter on most cars runs extremely hot and passing over dry grass or leaves can actually start a fire. Likewise, in many communities – especially where homes are close together – broken gas lines (a real possibility in a major earthquake) can leak gas up through the pavement, making vehicles passing over them a potential fire starter.
We Americans love our cars. In an emergency, they may save our lives — or imperil us further. Be prepared!
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team