6 Basic Food Storage Tips To Prepare and Protect Your Family

6 Basic Food Storage Tips To Prepare and Protect Your FamilyEverybody needs to eat. And although you may be able to head down to the Burger King on the corner and plunk down $3.99 for a Whopper right this very second, there’s no guarantee that that option is going to be available to you when disaster strikes.

So, you owe it to yourself and your family to invest in an emergency food storage. But while you may have a basic understanding of what kinds of things you want to include (food, water, first aid supplies), actually cobbling together a storage that will get you through the hard times is quite a bit more difficult than it looks; people have written entire books on the subject.

And although there isn’t enough room here to take you through a master’s course on the subject, a crash-course is definitely possible. So take a moment and brush up on a few basic food storage tips.

1. Some Food Storage Tips Can Make You Panic

One of the things that prevents so many people from getting into emergency food storage is the cost. And they’re right; it does cost quite a bit to purchase and store food and water to last you and your family for any length of time. It doesn’t help that many emergency foods are expensive in their own right. But take heart: chances are that you have some time to get everything ready before disaster strikes. Don’t procrastinate, but don’t panic either; just take things slowly and make your purchases when you can.

The easiest thing to do is to simply buy a bit more of what you normally get at the grocery store, and to pack the extra into storage (obviously, this doesn’t include items that need to be refrigerated). If you stock up your storage slowly, you won’t have such a terrifying bill to deal with all at once.

2. The right stuff

There’s no set checklist of what kinds of food you need to include in your storage. You’ll need water (obviously) and lots of it. But when it comes to the other things, the choice is basically yours. You might be tempted to rely heavily on foods such as wheat, beans, and things of that nature. However, don’t neglect familiar foods that you and your family love. These will help keep your spirits up. Your stored food should also be high in calories, but not overly sugary or fatty. If you can find food that fits this criteria that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or cooked, then you’ll be business.

3. Location, location, location

Once you’ve gotten everything you need, it’s time to find a place to keep it. Consider long and hard before you go setting up shop in the corner of your garage or in a storage shed. Food storage should be kept in a cool, dry place, and if your garage is anything like every other garage in the world, it turns into an oven come summer. Instead, if you can, find a spot in the basement or a crawlspace that seems dry and cool. Sunlight is also an enemy of food storage, and can cause spoilage, so keep it away from windows if possible.

4. The high life

Food stored on the floor is in danger from pest infestation and flooding. Get yourself some inexpensive shelving to get around this problem. Additionally, pests can be drawn to spills and stray crumbs, so getting everything off the ground has the added benefit of making clean-up much more simple. This is one of the food storage tips that could save you thousands of dollars in wasted food.

5. Sealed fate

Of course, just keeping everything up off the ground won’t in and of itself keep insects from invading your food. For that, you’ll need to invest in some hard plastic or metal containers with airtight lids. These will also increase the shelf life of your food, because oxygen has a way of speeding up the spoiling process too.

6. Round and round

Now that your storage is all set up, it’s time to use it. What, you thought that this was for emergencies? Well, you were right, but cracking open a box of food that you stored away a decade ago isn’t going to do your future self much good. Instead, regularly eat and replace your food storage items. This way, no matter when disaster hits, you’ll have fresh, tasty, and nutritious food to get you through it. Of all the food storage tips, this is the most rewarding because you essentially have an entire grocery store in your pantry.

Lee Flynn

Lee Flynn

Freelance writer who promotes home safety and preparedness through the proper use of food storage and emergency equipment. He is an expert on protection preparedness.
Lee Flynn

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