A lot of people are now considering storing food for emergencies but feel they have obstacles that prevent them from doing so. Perhaps they feel they don’t have any free space, or someone told them there is no way they can store food under the conditions they have in their house. They then become fixated on the problem and get delayed in their efforts.
Living in a hot humid climate for at least 120 days out of the year, I am very familiar with storage issues.
Ideally, food should be stored at around 50-55 degrees, with no more that 15% humidity. Does that mean you cannot store food if you do not have these ideal conditions? Of course you can! The conditions described are “in a perfect world” type scenario, and we all know it’s not perfect, otherwise we would not need to store food!
Summer temperature in Texas reach over 100 degrees with 80% humidity. To save electricity, we keep the air conditioning at around 78-80 degrees. The A/C cuts down on humidity, but moisture still seeps in. This is something we cannot ignore. We just factor in that the food stored will not last as long as it would have at cooler, drier temperatures.
Here are some tips:
- Choose canned foods that have the longest expiration dates. Although some studies have shown they can last a few years past their expiration dates, I prefer not to risk it, especially after a friend’s unfortunate experience. Getting ill from eating spoiled food is not worth it.
- Rotate your food constantly. I mark the expiration date with a Sharpie marker on top of the canned food and on the sides to make sure I use them before those dates.
- If you are storing bulk foods in mylar bags, observe the proper technique by using oxygen absorbers and letting all the air out. Plan on using these stored foods within five years, instead of ten, if your storage conditions are not ideal.
- Clean the area surrounding your food storage thoroughly. Make sure the area is dry and pest free For additional protection from pests, keep stored foods in five gallon food grade buckets with tight lids.
- Label your buckets with the contents and the date the food was stored.
- If you are storing water for drinking, use and replace the water after a year. Make a label for each container on when it was stored. Water develops mold after it’s been sitting in a warm, humid area for a while. If you do use water that has been stored for a long while, have a backup water purification system by running it through a filter, boiling etc.
We all have obstacles to prepping, but don’t let them stop you. The key is to try to minimize mistakes, but continue preparing anyway.
Check out the Legacy Premium line of storage foods carried by one of our sponsors, PrepareWise.
Don’t let those expiration dates get past you. An inexpensive but helpful tool to keep track of supplies (Iphone or Ipad users):
For beginning preppers
Everyone needs to eat, so one of the first areas beginning preppers focus on is food storage. Making a long term food storage plan can quickly become confusing and potentially expensive if you jump in without doing some research. It is enough work planning a “normal” menu for a busy week ahead; planning a emergency storage pantry with all the large quantities can be overwhelming at first.
I read a review copy of The Prepper’s Pantry by Anne Lang and found a book with lots of helpful information especially if you are in the planning stages of your food storage. This book will help you plan how much to store, what equipment you need, where to find supplies and provide instructions for dehydrating, canning, as well as cooking without electricity. The book provides helpful tips on reputable brands and where to find reasonably priced items, and steps you can take on a regular basis to become accustomed to cooking from food storage ingredients. I liked the author’s system of packing all the ingredients needed for a loaf of bread in one mylar bag, with the accompanying recipe. You can’t beat the convenience of just pulling out a bag from storage and being able to have a fresh loaf for dinner. Lastly, the book includes plenty of main dish recipes that you can make out of stored food.
If you are just starting your food storage program, this book will save you time from having to research all the various choices and sources. Whether you are preparing for a job loss, economic collapse, hurricane or power outage, the ability to feed your family using a solid food storage program such as one you can learn from this book will give you the peace of mind.
I have added The Prepper’s Pantry to my Amazon Store or you can click on the link below.
Find deals on food storage ingredients at Emergency Essentials:
One of the challenges of preparedness is keeping track of your items and their expiration dates. Without an efficient tracking system, it is easy to forget how much of a certain item you have, when they expire, and what items need to be replaced.
That’s why I am excited to welcome Prep&Pantry.com as one of our sponsors! Doug, the creator of the app, a prepper himself, has found a way to keep track of food storage, first aid and preparedness supplies and their expiration dates. He created an app that works on the iPhone 4 or 3GS, an iPad 2 or the iPod Touch 4th generation.
I actually tried the app myself and it is very easy to use. By enabling online look-up, you can scan an item’s barcode and it will automatically fill in the item’s name. All you have to add is the item’s location, a tag (example: vegetables) and the expiration date. The location can be your storage pantry, bug out bag, car emergency kit, or anywhere you might keep storage items. You can view lists of your items alphabetically, by location or by expiration date. Priced very affordably, the app is efficient and user-friendly. They also have great customer service.
For more information about the app please visit Prep and Pantry by clicking on the link below (or the sidebar) for Prep&Pantry.com.