Your emergency survival plan will likely include an area where you will store food, water and other basic supplies. This area deserves some special attention, I call it the emergency food supply isle. After all, it is the place that holds the key to you survival. Don’t make the mistake of storing your food in an area that promotes the spoilage of the food you have worked hard to collect. The following tips will help you create the best food storage area you can in your home.
1 – Enough space is important. Too often, people try and shove a year’s worth of food into a pantry. This makes for chaos. You won’t be able to see what is on the shelves and it will be impossible to track your inventory. You want to choose a place like a spare room, basement emergency food or a root cellar that allows you to walk in and really get a good look at all that you have. The space should have enough room for you to stay organized and easily see all that you have. The space should have adequate room for shelves that will allow you to take advantage of all of the space in the area, from floor to ceiling.
2 – The space will need to be somewhat temperature controlled. It doesn’t need its own cooling or heating system, unless you live in an area where extreme temperatures are an issue. Room temperature is perfect and by that, anything between 50 to 80 degrees works. Anything colder and you risk your food freezing and ultimately thawing. Freezing and thawing destroys most foods. Heat is another problem and can promote bacteria growth.
3 – A dry and ventilated space will also keep your food in tip-top condition. You don’t want it to be damp. Dampness ruins things like flour, pasta and any other dried food products. It promotes mold and bacteria growth, while making a nice environment for pests. If you are using a basement, it is extremely important you keep the place dry. Use fans or install an adequate ventilation system to ensure moisture isn’t hanging in the air and threatening your food storage. All food should be stored at least 6 inches off the ground, just in case there is a minor flood.
4 – Pests are a real issue and need to be closely monitored. It isn’t hard to see when a mouse or rat has been around. They leave droppings everywhere and will leave paper or cardboard shreds if they have managed to get into your food supply. If you notice mouse droppings or see telltale signs of rodents, you need to take immediate action. Set traps, use poisonous bait if your household is safe to do so and seal up any cracks or holes that may be serving as an invitation for the rodents to invade. You will also need to watch for signs of ants or roaches. Keep the area clean and do not leave any food out that will attract bugs and other pests. Pests are a leading cause of food storage destruction.
5 – You want to keep your food storage a secret for the most part. This means you don’t want it completely obvious to any old Joe who rings the doorbell or stops by for a beer or whatever. Your survival supplies and what you have stashed away for an emergency is your business. You don’t want to advertise what you have. Anybody who knows you have a big stash is going to come to your house first when things get crazy. Your supply of food, water and supplies should be kept to yourselves and your immediate family members. If you are keeping it in a spare room, keep the door closed when guests are over. Cover any windows to the room with heavy curtains. This actually serves two purposes; it keeps people from peering in and it blocks the sunlight that will cause your food to break down.