Motivation: Popular phrasing is SHTF Prep. (S&*! Hits the Fan) Between social stress/unrest in our country, the pandemic, the potential for a major earthquake in my part of the country and the fact that I just read a book set in World War II France with food rations and starvation… well, I feel motivated to save some food the same way I try to save money in case of emergency.
The Long-term Goal: Save 1 year’s worth of food, which does not have to be rotated or replaced for many years, to feed each member of our family 1,500 calories a day or more. Include water-purification supplies and a few non food essentials.
Short-term Goal: Save 1 month’s worth of food and a little bit of water.
Plan/Process: Save a little at a time, as I am able, focusing on staples that will last a very long time. I will NOT be rotating through this food and using it regularly. Instead, I will label the foods with the expiration date and donating or using it a year before expiration.
Supplies and storage area: An unused basement, an unused shelf, 5-gallon buckets, 5-gallon-sized Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. May also purchase some pre-packaged #10 cans. More shelves will follow… I hope.
You can view the live document where I am collecting my research about what to store and what I’m storing.
DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH… I’m doing most of my research (reflected in this blog and on my living document) by googling and searching a variety of prepper web pages. A great, long-standing resource is the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS).
My process, in pictures, for long-term food storage (my first time!):
Recommended amounts of oxygen absorbing packets for 5-gallon bags according to USA Emergency Supplies, a commercial company (not government) is 2,000-4,000cc oxygen absorbers. The Winco package had instructions for 1500cc per 5-gallon bucket.
All shelf life expectations below assume best case scenario storage: No oxygen, no light, cool temperatures.
Staples with a 25+ year shelf life:
Dehydrated Apple Slices
Popcorn (to pop or grind)
Spaghetti (or other pasta)
Other Essentials – life span not researched by me yet
Cream of Tartar (for making baking powder)
Other “good ideas” in my opinion – life span varied, but most 15-30 years
Dried Peanut Butter
Dry Milk (nonfat)
Meat (freeze dried beef)
Meat (freeze dried chicken)
Powdered Fruit Drink
Non-food items I’m considering:
Cat and dog food
First aid kid
Grain mill, manual
Iodine,Calcium Hypochlorite (pool shock), or some other chemical water purification method
Kleenex or cloth tissues
Menstrual pads (fabric?)
Thieves or other cleaner
Tube feeding backup
Water purification filter system
- Volume reducing: If I’m successful in a year’s worth of food, that’s 7 people x 1500+ calories/day x 365 days = 3,832,500 calories. That much would take an enormous amount of space. I am interested in researching to learn which long-term-stable foods are more compact.
- Fats/Oils: Finding any oils that store long term
- How to know if something is rancid
- How to use Pool Shock for water purification
- What cleaning agents will last a long time? (Bleach lasts less than a year!)