Emergency Food Storage

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When disaster strikes, where will you go for refuge? Your basement? An underground bunker? Both good options, but there is one place that most people have not thought of: a self-storage unit.

Storage units are safe, well-built structures that provide the perfect safe house from any sort of devastating circumstance, whether it is any sort of natural disaster or simply a public “scare”. Most storage facilities are built with a strong, tough exterior and a flood resistant exterior, thereby allowing you to wait out most situations for as long as they persist.

Depending on size, most storage units can hold a couple individuals comfortably, maybe even a small family. The larger units, like the 10x20s, can also be stocked with various supplies including water, weapons and emergency food storage. However, be sure you check the facilities policy on storing guns before you decide to do so. Some places do not allow these types of items to be placed in the units. However, worst case scenario, if you need protection from, let’s say a zombie apocalypse, I don’t think the facility owner will be against extra protection.

When you are gathering supplies for your storage unit, remember that food and water are vital. Without those basics, your stay in that unit will not be an enjoyable one. If you plan accordingly, you can have a pretty sweet set up in there. Below are some tips on what to stock up on, and how to keep it fresh.

The most important thing you will want to have is water. Humans can’t go long without water, maybe a couple days, so make sure you have plenty of that. The gallon containers should be fine for your unit, and water doesn’t go bad, so no worries there.
Obviously you are going to want food as well, but what types of food? Does it matter? Indeed it does, and here are a few things to keep in mind.

• You want to have food that can be eaten raw and/or requires very little water. No need wasting something as precious as water on food that you could have done without.
• Get food that you like, and a lot of it. Who knows how long you are going to be stuck eating it, so you might as well make it tolerable (although worse comes to worse, you will eat whatever)
• Store food that does not require a fridge or freezer (like you didn’t already know that)
• Finally, rotation is key. Some companies will have you think that the best idea is to buy dehydrated food that lasts up to 25 years, but instead, with proper rotation of your food, you can eat like a normal human being instead of an astronaut for around the same cost.

To avoid the fate of eating astronaut food, simply keep track of the food you have stored and replace it before it goes bad. For example, let’s say you like trail mix (who doesn’t). It is a good dry food to keep in storage, but it will eventually go bad, probably after 6 months to a year. So approximately every 10 months, or just before the bag goes bad, retrieve your packages of mix you have stored and replace them with fresh packages. Not too difficult is it?
If you have the option, you definitely want to choose a climate controlled unit. This will allow you to keep whatever food items you have at the appropriate temperature until they are needed. In the worst situations, the power to the facility will more than likely be knocked out so it won’t matter, but before it comes to that it is always better to plan accordingly.

In the event of a disaster, always throw away food that has an unusual texture, smell or color. If any flooding or fires occur, throw out all damaged food. Take these suggestions seriously, so if the worst does happen, you will be ready.

This article was written by Matt Schexnayder. Matt is on the SpareFoot marketing team and writes for the SpareFoot blog. SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage with more than 5,000 self-storage facilities listed nationwide. SpareFoot offers consumers the most complete comparison shopping experience in the storage industry and has been a big part of the national moving and storage industry for over 3 years.

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4 Responses to Emergency Food Storage

  1. Hey, Matt, there are a few things you did not consider:

    1) If you eat or drink, eventually you’re going to have to deal with what comes out the other end. A porta-potty is probably a really good idea.

    2) You probably want to make sure that you have whatever tools you need to open cans, prepare, and eat that food. That means at least a can opener, a pot, a good knife, a spoon, and a portable stove of some sort. Preferably using a solid or gel fuel; easier to handle than liquid. Or maybe the solar oven that Georgene wrote about a few months back.

    3) If normal utilities are out, you also will need a light source. At least one of those wind-up flashlights. In winter, it might be nice to have an oil lamp, since it also gives off heat. You probably *don’t* want anything that uses gasoline in an enclosed space.

    4) While you are at it, you might want to store a wind-up radio, too. After all, you need to know when the Zombie Apocalypse is over…

    5) A pet peeve of my own — unless you have some firearms training, the guns and ammo are worse than useless. A gun is not something you can use effectively without practice.

    6) There are a few things that you can’t readily keep in long-term storage, but should have in your bug-out bag, such as a supply of prescription meds and some vitamins.

  2. Hillery says:

    I agree with your ideas, especially the one on rotating food so you will not end up eating astronaut chow. However, it pays to have those food items in case of extreme emergency.

    On another note, Tx CHL Instructor’s ideas are equally good. In the case of the firearms, try to use a shotgun. Only a fool can’t hit with that weapon.

  3. king neece says:

    Our University of Alabama patented personal solar desalination product (U.S. Made) uses no electricity, can be taken anywhere and extracts pure water from any contaminated water source. It removes radiation, fluoride, salt, pesticides, bacteria, dirt and other contaminants from any water source.

    http://freshwater.ecogreenenergies.com

  4. “Emergency Food Storage – DFW Preppers and Survivors” was a
    great blog. In case it had much more pictures this should be possibly even more beneficial.
    Thank u -Veronica

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