Food storage may seem like a crazy concept in this age of the 24 hour supermarket. Many of your friends, family, and others around you will call you crazy for your efforts of being prepared and will continue in their blind belief that “it can never happen here.”
But economic forces are converging in such a way that skyrocketing food prices no longer seem like a possibility, more and more they appear to be an impending certainty. Political forces around the world seen to point to some global catastrophe that will change the political landscape forever. While I could be wrong and the world might continue in its peaceful prosperity, there’s no harm in being prepared.
While every person’s preparation will be different, the following suggestions about food storage are presented to help you decide what’s best for you and your family.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Educate yourself. Learn the proper order of preparation (water-food-shelter then everything else)
- Decide what you are preparing for – civil unrest, or Economic collapse/Hyperinflation which will have some amount of lead time before any type of total collapse. Solar flare/EMP/Nuclear attack will involve little if any warning. All will involve a possible electrical grid down situation.
- No refrigeration, plan for emergency assuming no electricity.
- Be nutritious, there may be some more physical activity required (ie. Blizzard requires more shoveling)
- Keep calorie count
Recommend you start with 2 week supply of food
Good no-cook food items
- Energy bars / breakfast bars
- Peanut butter
- Tuna packages
- Canned pasta
- Dried fruit / canned fruit
- Dry milk
- Instant coffee
- V-8 juice
Plan around the way you already eat.
Build around 3 categories of food
- Grocery store goods: often inexpensive, and it’s all familiar stuff. (i.e. mac & cheese)
- Freeze dried foods: lightweight and don’t take up much room. more expensive up front, but priced out per serving, it’s budget friendly.
- Bulk dry food: rice, beans, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, cornmeal, wheat, dried milk, etc. It will be the backbone of your food storage and last up to 20-30 years.
Don’t stock up on it unless you know you like it.
Look at ingredients. You don’t want something high in sodium or preservatives
Pay attention to shelf life. Take a look at package, can. Soup doesn’t need water and can store this for a few years. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes – 1 yr max
Easiest way to store is by using cleaned out 2 liter soda bottles. You can easily clean out with hot water, drop of soap. Rinse thoroughly. That type of plastic is safe for storage.
Recommend 2 liter soda bottle / per person / per day. For consumption and washing.
If a situation where water is an issue, be sure to have stash of paper plates & freeze dried meals.
If you can heat water, then at least you can enjoy a hot meal (i.e. mac & cheese, pasta, soup)
5 main enemies to storing food
- Temperature: ideal is 40 degrees – 72 degrees. For every 18 degrees above 72, food will lose its’ nutritional value by half
- Humidity: Store food off the floor and away from outside walls
- Pests: Keep food in air-tight containers clean up food particles on the shelves or floor
- Oxygen: Use oxygen absorbers, rotate food, vacuum packing food to reduce oxidation
- Light: Keep your pantry area dark. If food is in clear containers, keep them in labeled boxes with lids.
Look for places where can you declutter
- You can store food in bin under a bed, clear out space in closet and designate a shelf.
- I recommend pieces of furniture that can double as storage. (i.e. Bench that opens up with a storage component – especially good for small homes)
- Store in a place that you won’t be dipping into constantly.
Items like toilet paper, can be bulky but it can be stored in garage, attic, shed, etc. moisture will affect it but temperature won’t.
Non-food items, purposefully 1-2 weeks supply
- Go through entire day and jot down every non-item used. Soap, shampoo, contact solution, etc. buy extras of those.
- Keep easily organized in buckets (i.e. dental, laundry, etc.)
Give serious consideration to how your family will cope when power is down. Communication, entertainment, What would we do to take care of pets? Keep things cool in the home, etc?
Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation
This has been an introduction to a preparedness plan. For more details, see other articles on this website or search the web for more detailed lists of preparedness items.
And, always remember to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.