Everyone needs to eat. And while you may be able to go to Burger King around the corner and snag $3.99 for a Whopper right this minute, there’s no guarantee that option will be available to you in the event of disaster.
So you owe it to yourself and your family to invest in emergency food storage. But while you may have a basic understanding of what things you want to include (food, water, first aid supplies), actually putting together a stash that will get you through tough times is a little trickier than it seems; people have written entire books on the subject.
And while there isn’t enough space here to take you through a master’s course on the subject, a crash course Definitely maybe. So take a moment and learn some basic food storage tips.
1. Some Food Storage Tips Can Make You Panic
One of the things that keeps so many people from getting into the emergency food pantry is the cost. And they are right; it is quite expensive to buy and store food and water to keep you and your family going for a long time. It doesn’t help that many emergency foods are expensive by themselves. But be careful: chances are you’ll have time to get everything ready before disaster strikes. Don’t procrastinate, but don’t panic either; just take it easy and make purchases when you can.
The easiest thing to do is to buy a little more than what you’d normally get at the grocery store, and pack the excess into storage (obviously, this doesn’t include items that need refrigeration). If you build up storage slowly, you won’t have horrible bills to deal with all at once.
2. Right stuff
There is no checklist of what types of food you need to put in your storage. You will need water (obviously) and lots of it. But when it comes to other things, the choice is basically yours. You may be tempted to rely heavily on foods like oats, nuts, and that sort of thing. However, don’t neglect familiar foods that you and your family love. This will help keep your spirits up. Stored food should also be high in calories, but not too sweet or fatty. If you can find foods that fit these criteria that don’t require refrigeration or cooking, then you’ll be in business.
3. Location, location, location
Once you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to find a place to store it. Consider long and hard before you head out to set up shop in the corner of your garage or in the storage shed. Food storage should be stored in a cool, dry place, and if your garage is like any other in the world, it will turn into an oven in the summer. Instead, if you can, find a place in the basement or crawl space that seems dry and cool. Sunlight is also an enemy food storageand can cause decay, so keep it away from windows if possible.
4. High life
Food stored on the floor is threatened by pests and flooding. Get yourself some cheap shelving to solve this problem. Plus, pests can be attracted to spills and stray crumbs, so removing everything from the ground has the added benefit of making cleanup a lot simpler. This is one food storage tip that can save you thousands of dollars in wasted food.
5. Sealed fate
Of course, keeping things up high won’t in and of itself prevent insects from attacking your food. For that, you need to invest in some hard plastic or metal containers with airtight lids. It will also increase the shelf life of your food, as oxygen also has a way of speeding up the spoilage process.
Now that your storage is ready, it’s time to use it. What, you think this is for an emergency? Yes, you’re right, but opening a box of food you saved a decade ago is not going to do much for your future. Instead, eat regularly and replace your food storage items. This way, whenever disaster strikes, you’ll have fresh, tasty, and nutritious food to help you through it. Of all the food storage tips, this is the most useful because you basically have your entire grocery store in your pantry.