Prepping: Getting Started-Storage Solutions

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    Prepping: Getting Started-Storage Solutions
    Photo by Tim Patterson;

    If You are reading this, you are probably considering on preparing your home for more than next’s week’s dinner. Most likely you are going to start with two-weeks of EXTRA food in your pantry (that means IN ADDITION to what you usually have on hand for your family!) Once you begin to store MORE than two weeks, you are going to start to need more space than your usual kitchen cabinets and pantry.

    Some people have set aside a spare room to use as a large emergency pantry such as this:


    Others are using spare closets, space under their beds. :caution: Warning: A little ‘Spring Cleaning’ may be needed to prepare your storage space! Clearing out and Cleaning up will offer space that is currently filled with things you rarely, if ever use. Donate those items to charity or hold a yard sale and use the new cash for food or storage or other ‘prepping’ supplies.

    Living in a small space such as an apartment or mobile home will offer its own challenges. Getting creative is going to be a pass-time in home emergency storage! Three simple ideas include:

      • Use the back of bookshelves after you pull the books forward.
      • Under beds
      • Filled Rubbermaid Totes that are stacked and covered to make tables.

    A lot more ideas and information on storage in small spaces can be found at Apartments & Other Small Living Areas. Storage Suggestions(

    There are yet other folks who are prepping on a larger scale. These people are prepping for many months to a year or more. Then there are those who are preparing a second ‘bug-out-location’ (a second place where they will flee, to live during a serious, extended emergency/disaster). These folks may be storing some basic supply items at their primary residence and additional items at that secondary residence.

    No amount of preparations is the ‘right’ way or the ‘wrong’ way. You prepare to the extent that it fits for your family, your beliefs, your expectations of anticipated needs and your own financial ability. The important thing is that you do put preparations in place and are aware that those preparations will include additional emergency supplies that most likely will require the need for adjusted or additional storage solutions in your everyday household storage.

    Again, not wanting to ‘reinvent the wheel’, here are some guidelines From Food: Getting Started ( site:

    Guidelines when storing food products will help you avoid many potential problems.

      • Do not put exposed food on shelves. Place it in containers with tight fitting lids (plastic bags are not adequate).

      • Regularly clean shelves, bins and all other locations where there is any possibility of flour or other food particles accumulating. Certain pests need only small amounts of food to live and breed. Soap and water is great for cleaning flat areas, and vacuuming with a crevice attachment will help clean cracks, edges, and corners.

      • Do not mix old and new lots of foodstuffs. If the old material is infested, the pest will quickly invade the new.

      • Clean old containers before filling them with fresh food. They may be contaminated and cause a new infestation.

      • Do not purchase broken or damaged packages of food materials. They are more likely to become infested.

      • Construct storage units so that they are tight and can be cleaned easily.

      • Store bulk materials, such as pet foods, in containers with tight fitting lids.

      • Keep storage unites dry. This is important because moisture favors the development of pantry pests; dryness discourages them.

      • Some pantry insects breed in the nests of rodents and insects and may migrate from these (nests) into homes. Eliminate any nests found in or near the home.

      • Pantry pests can also breed in rodent baits. Be sure to frequently check and discard infested baits.

    Some further suggestions from Live Ready; , ReadyMoms Alliance include:

    • Food packaged for storage lasts longest in a dark, cool, dry place with good air circulation. Avoid storage areas that experience wide temperature swings or dampness.

    • Store shelf-stable food for the long term in food grade buckets and mylar bags, using oxygen absorbers.

    • Store items that aren’t temperature sensitive, such as paper products and trash bags, in closed bins in the garage

    Remember, the key to good food storage is Container, Storage Location, Temperature, and Dryness. (Don’t forget creativity! 😉

    edited for content 07.21.10


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