Thursday, December 13, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
Editor's Note: Many thanks to Lee Flynn for this guest post. Kindly check out his links after the article.
Planning for a disaster scenario in which you are left without power or water for a few days in not too difficult to do. Most of the food from your pantry and extra water will get you though most emergencies. But what if you were left without power and water for, let’s say, a month… or longer? How can you store the food you need to survive and also keep it secret from bands of pillaging people who didn’t prep for disaster like you did? You can store the food you need in a small space and we are going to examine how.
Have you ever seen how much food it actually takes to sustain one person for one year? The amount is tremendous and adding the size of your family can leave you with a legitimate storage space issue. You will roughly need 80 sq/ft of storage space to sustain a family of three.
Rather than trying to convince your family that the 50 buckets of emergency food will make a great TV stand or bookshelf look for creative ways to keep that amount of food hidden in plain sight. That’s right you can have a home with limited space and still have a large supply of backup food and supplies.
Food Storage Safety
First let’s address one of the big concerns with food storage - safety. Making sure the food you are keeping in case of an emergency is free from contamination is a big deal. If your food is full of bacteria, mold, fungus, insects, or other pests not only will the food be inedible but if ingested could be a serious health risk. Botulism can be fatal people, be careful!
Food and water must be safely prepared and packaged for storage to avoid getting sick or losing the food due to spoilage. Water needs to be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Check your water every six months to make sure nothing has contaminated it making it undrinkable. Green or blue containers work best for water. Don’t reuse water containers that had other liquid in them. Chances are you won’t be able to completely clean them making the water undrinkable quickly.
Avoid storing food in places that change temperature, like the garage or a shed, for long term because it can get very hot in the summer months destroying food quality. If you vacuum seal food use an oxygen absorbers in each container. Keep a journal of the shelf life in your food storage and rotate out items which may be expiring soon. This isn’t a big concern with prepackaged food storage due to the fact that they last for 25 years on average.
Hiding Your Food in Plain Sight
Take a look at the type of containers each type of food comes in to decide where to hide it. The standard food storage container is a 5 or 6 gallon bucket filled with Mylar bags full of food. These hefty buckets can make great replacements for box springs or a bed frame. Simply place your buckets under the bed evenly cover it with a piece of plywood and place the matters on top. Under a full size bed you can store 15 – 20 buckets of food! Converting each family member’s bed like this will provide lots of extra room. Don’t forget the bed skirt to hide it from view.
Another way to hide food in the open is turning household items into dual purpose pieces of furniture. Some of the easiest conversions are changing nightstands and end tables into food storage containers. The inside is full of food and you can still rest your drink on the top.
Tall furniture that is be close to the ceiling like a bookshelf can also hide food but be careful. Placing food on the top of bookshelves will keep it above eye level if positioned correctly. Remember a thief may peer through the window. A well placed bookshelf near a window can completely hide the top.
Do you have a kitchen island? The island can be converted into a can rack or shelved storage container. Can racks can literally hold hundred of cans of food in a small space freeing up cupboard space. Unfortunately if you suffer a home invasion during the dystopian nightmare the kitchen is the first place they go for food. Lock the island to deter theft and put it on wheels to keep it mobile.
Do you have room for another dresser or just extra space for one? A hollowed out dresser filled with food hold lots of food and may not be the first place an intruder would look. If you don’t want a new dresser for food just convert some of the drawers to food storage, easy.
The closet is another small space food storage option. Many closets have lots of wasted space if they don’t have shelves. The bar for clothes and one shelf above that isn’t good enough to be useful. Take the measurements of the closet and find some heavy duty racks that will fit inside. Then use the racks to store food.
The utility room where the washer dryer live is like the closet because you can have significant wasted space. Build or buy shelves or even install a can rack that can fit over the washer/dryer. It will fill up the space nicely.
Do you have books on bookshelves? There are probably a few extra inches of space that canned goods could fit nicely behind the books and stay concealed.
Organizing food into a small space can be easy. It will require some creativity and may require some sacrifice. If you have to get rid of some unused clothes or junk to make more room for food, do it! Best of all the organization and storage of your food can be done economically. You don’t need to buy expensive items to hide cans behind books or under the bed. Don’t let uncertainties about actually fitting food storage in a small space stop you. Build it up slowly and steadily.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food storage.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Learning how to store food for an apocalyptic or other emergency situation can mean the difference in whether or not you and your family are able to survive. Many respected experts recommend that you have at least a three-day supply of food and water on hand in order to help you survive the first few days of an emergency; however, with the threat of terrorism, economic problems around the world and even natural disasters that have shown it can take weeks to restore power and provide necessary provisions, taking measures to prepare for a disaster of longer duration is certainly important.
The first step in starting your own food storage program is to determine exactly what situations you want to be prepared to survive. If a natural disaster, such as a hurricane is your biggest concern, a week or two worth of food might be adequate; however, if you are preparing for an apocalyptic event such as a total collapse of society as we know it, you should be thinking about your long-term food storage options.
In order to implement long term food storage ideas, it is important to consider where you will keep your supplies. Most experts recommend dividing your food storage supplies into two or more locations to help increase your chances of being able to access your food when you need it. Additionally, protecting your food from insects, moisture and other elements that could render it useless is extremely important.
You can purchase air-tight food-grade containers that are perfect for storing grains, cereals and other food products that need protection. However, many canned goods and jarred foods can be stored in their original containers. Additionally, if you have access to a garden or you live near a "you-pick" farm, you might want to consider learning how to can some of your own produce. This can certainly help reduce the costs of acquiring an adequate long-term supply of food for your family.
Another easy way to start accumulating a supply of food is to simply pick up a few extra things every time you go to the grocery store. If you see pasta sauce or canned vegetables on sale, purchase a few extra cans and add them to your food storage supply. Most canned goods will last for many years; however, in order to keep your food not only as fresh as possible, but something your family will actually enjoy, it is important to also use it.
On a regular basis, use items from your food storage pantry. This will ensure that you keep your stock rotated. It will also help you stay familiar with the foods you have on hand and will give you an opportunity to experiment and develop tasty recipes your family will enjoy. After all, surviving an apocalyptic event by having enough food is certainly important; however, it would be nice if the food you have is also something your family will enjoy eating.
About the Guest Author
Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and supports those ones that offer alternative lifestyles to consumers. As a frugal living and self-sufficiency advocate, she recommends FoodInsurance.com for those budget conscious individuals who want to get big savings in shopping for freeze-dried foods and food storage. You may connect with Food Insurance in Facebook.