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13 Do’s And Don’ts Of Food Storage
In most of my writing to you, I have been pretty adamant about the need for proper food and water storage but after looking through past articles I feel I have been pretty lax on just exactly how and where you need to store these items.
Unless you live in a 6000 square foot house with your own personal bunker, you probably don’t want to have sacks of grain or hundreds of cans of food lying out in the open.
The trouble is, in order to have enough food and water to withstand a prolonged disaster you need a ton of space and the ability to organize that space to still be completely functional.
Your average pantry will only hold so much in it and still be considered functional. Because of this, you may need to get a bit creative when it comes to food storage.
Check out some of the suggestions below:
Take a quick walk through of your home and make note of any dead space. Dead space is any area of your home which has no functional use. Some of the more common dead spaces include:
- In your food pantry – Sounds pretty simple right? Unfortunately most pantries are no longer just for food storage. Many people have taken to storing nonfood items in them such as unused pots and pans, large kitchen gadgets, crock pots, paper supplies and more. These items can always be stored somewhere else that food shouldn’t be stored (like in a garage or shed). Clear out everything except food from your kitchen pantry.Your first goal of a food storage program is to fill up your everyday kitchen pantry and make sure that you rotate out any old food before you dig in to the newly bought canned goods.Make it weekly task to go through the kitchen pantry to insure that anything nearing expiration is in the front of your pantry. Whatever is nearing expiration should be included in your dinner tonight.
- Under beds – this is a nice dark and cool space. Under beds are perfect for #10 cans. Buy a bed frame which can be elevated just a bit to accommodate boxes containing #10 cans. Depending on your particular bed, you can purchase a set of bed risers that for less than $10.00 will give you an additional 6 inches or more of vertical space under your bed.
- Speaking of beds, if you have a large headboard you can pull out your bed from the wall just far enough to store a few 5 gallon buckets of food or stack up some more #10 cans if you are short on space. Stack food up to the height of the headboard, then cover it with some extra pillows or blankets to hide the food and make the space more presentable.
- Closets floor space – the space on the floor under need the coats and linens. There is often a few feet of vertical space above a closet shelf. You can stack boxes fairly high above the shelf or even install a secondary shelf to hold more. Before you put anything up for storage, be sure that you test the shelf to make sure it can support what you plan on placing on it.
- Under bathroom sinks – often the space is unused or cluttered with items that would be better suited elsewhere. Make sure any food stored under a sink is in water proof containers, just in case you spring a leak.
- Behind your couch – most couches tend to have a slight incline in their backs to help make them more comfortable to sit on. This results in several inches of dead space at the bottom of the couch that can readily be used if your couch sits against a wall.If your couch is in the middle of a room, you can store bags of rice, sugar or anything flat can be stored in under bed storage containers that will slide right under your couch.
There are an amazing amount of places that can be re-purposed to store your food and gear neatly and efficiently out of the way, without sacrificing your ability to get to them when you need them.
There are also quite a few places that should NEVER be used to store food like:
- The attic. The summer heat in the attic will likely cause any stored food to go bad. Depending on your location the attic may not even be a safe place in the winter.
- Crawl space. Crawl spaces often get way too hot in the summer and susceptible to rodents.
- Garage- Follows the same rule as the attic and crawl space. To get the longest life out of your food stores they need to be kept at the lowest possible controlled temperature.
- Do not bury food. The moisture will eventually compromise the container. Rodents or pets may dig them up and eat them before you can. Or worse you will lose track of the location. How many squirrels do you think remember where they bury all of their acorns?
- Sheds and barns – Gets too hot in the summer not secure against rodents and other pests. Also may be a prime target for people that are hungrier than you after a disaster.
- Near fuels and other chemicals. This can be dangerous as the fuel can ignite and burn your food supply. Also many foods will pick up the smell and taste of the chemicals they are stored near; this is not pleasant or safe.
- At the Grocery store – Never fail to have food storage before a disaster strikes. Relying on the grocery store to supply you is just plain stupid. Any time a a large storm approaches or anything else happens that scares people you can expect that grocery stores will be stripped bare within hours and it could be days or weeks before they are restocked.
When it comes to storing your food, don’t take chances. You can live for quite a while without food but you will be a whole lot more comfortable if you aren’t forced to miss a meal because you didn’t store it correctly.