The Half Tank Rule – Does It Make Sense?
The Half Tank Rule – Does It Make Sense?
The basic Answer is? YES, Anyone using common sense tells us fuel is a key factor during disasters or emergencies or just planning for normal driving in the Winter depending on where you live. Example: If you live in the South, Winter driving is not that big of a deal, but if you live in Colorado, you better keep you tanks full all the time because getting stranded on the mountain pass is not a joke. Or Let's Talk about Summer time being stuck in the middle of Los Angeles Traffic with our A/C, you will wish you had a full tank at all times. Now, lets talk about natural disasters where no one can predict where and where they will pop up i.e., Los Angeles: Earthquakes, Texas Tornados, Southern Tornados, East Coast Nor-Easters, gas crises alone can cause cars to line up around the block for hours and days and do you want to be the one in those lines? Add other disaster situations, icy roads, mud slides, wet roads, white-outs, flooded streets. Normal road construction like whats happening right now all over West Alabama with streets everywhere under construction for months, years, etc. into the mix and you have list of other conditions you have to alwas worry about. This is exactly why the half tank rule is important.
Keeping your car or truck above the halfway point is one of the easiest ways to stay prepared at all times. I travel extensively for my job and am in and out of most major cities all the time and I am always stuck in traffic and being properly prepared is key for me and it is key for everyone no matter where you are. Oddly enough, many people choose to risk running out of fuel by driving all the way until the light comes on before looking to refuel and many times you never know where the next fuel station is and if it is even open. You cannot depend on your GPS to be accurate. After all, I have the most up to date Garmin GPS and many times it tells me to turn Right In To A Cow Field.
One time last year, I took a chance because I was tired and it was super late and I just wanted to get home and blew past a fuel station knowing I should have stopped. My fuel light came on and I knew it meant I had 30 miles of normal driving; pulling a trailer, meant that may have been cut in half. I ran out of fuel pulling into my own yard. The next day I went out to the shop and I had and had 5 gallons of fuel for the tractor leftover and it was enough for me to put in the truck for me to get to a fuel station just down the road. I paid for over price fuel (10 more gallons) to make sure I could get too town to properly fuel up and I learned my lesson and will never do that again! What is the Half Tank Rule?
Always keep the tank in your vehicle at least half-full.
It is that simple! We will go further into the benefits and the drawbacks, but this one rule can help you out in almost any emergency, natural disaster, or SHTF situation.
The Benefits of Keeping Half a Tank of Gas
Have you ever ran out of gas? Most people have at some point. Hopefully, it was an easy remedy: have someone meet you with a jug of gas or hoof it down to the closest gas station. It ended up as an inconvenience that cost you some time.
Realistically, this is the best outcome. Running out of gas during a gas crisis would be worse. Running out of gas during a regional disaster while trying to evacuate can be dangerous. Running out of gas during SHTF can be life threatening. All of these are risks of varying degrees, and they are all related to your gas tank. Keeping the tank at least half full helps mitigate these risks and can make disasters and emergencies have a lesser impact on you.
Another practical benefit of the half tank rule is that you will never run out of gas again. Playing the game of chicken with the gas light in your vehicle means that just a few small problems can leave you stranded. With a reserve of half a tank rather than a gallon, you have a lot more cushion to absorb any problems with getting gas in everyday situations- not just emergencies. This can make you more reliable and timely, with fewer road incidents.
The Drawback of the Half Tank Rule
Sure, there are some drawbacks to keeping half a tank of gas in your vehicle. For starters, you need to fill up twice as often. This eats up extra time often and can be inconvenient.
It is best to see this drawback as more of an investment. You are investing extra time now to be perpetually better prepared and possibly save time in an emergency. In this light, the inconvenience does not seem so steep.
Sticking to the Rule
The half tank rule is just that- a rule and not a law. Feel free to break the rule if you really must. I would prefer you keep driving rather than stop to top off with half a tank left in the bad part of town at 2am. Common sense and situational awareness should always prevail over any arbitrary rule you read about online. The rule is there to help guide your general preparedness and is not a sticking point to follow in every situation.
Fuel is a resource that will be scarce in almost every scenario we look at in our TrueRisk analysis. If you are properly prepared for emergencies, you know that your vehicle is a huge asset and keeping it prepared is a priority. Knowledge and following a few self-imposed rules can be just as important as your emergency car kit. The simple half tank rule can keep you on the road and ready to tackle the next obstacle. Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.
I hope this helps you understand where I am coming from and how this can befit you all the time as much as how it can benefit you in case of an emergency. Once you get into a rhythm it will come second nature. I know you might once in a while go down below that mark but your weekly goal is to hit that mark. Teach others in your family and make it your family goal and be better prepared as a whole family. Next Step is to build Emergency Kits for your car and make sure you have seasonal kits for everyone's car in the family. Look for our previous Blogs on this. Thank you again for supporting our web site and YouTube Channel. EDP
Exerts from: True Prepper