Some things come along unexpectedly in life. Things that just happen, out of the blue. We can’t simply try to forget the problem and hope that takes care of it. We can all come up with excuses as to why we can’t store food.  Some honestly just want to do things their own way and not follow the advice of anyone who actually has knowledge and experience. 

I was a senior in high school during all the Y2K hoopla. Up until that point in my life I had not heard a lot concerning preparedness for disaster or economic collapse. I’m thankful nothing came of Y2K but it gave a glimpse of all the ignorance and outright deceit when it comes to matters concerning interpretation of world events, economic reality, disaster preparedness. Because of this, we’ve come up with 3 “Do Not’s” for Food Storage Preparation. These are the top 3 things you don’t want to do when getting ready for the unknown.

Being Unprepared

Honestly, I think the worst mistake people make is not being prepared.  I’m not telling you how long or what all you should have. But making some sort of plan, no matter how simple it may seem, is better than nothing at all. Be realistic about what your family needs. Having at least a 3-day preparedness kit, also known as a 72-Hour Kit, per person is a good starting place. Some people have food storage that will last their family for a year or more. I know some are deterred because they don’t think they have enough storage space. Just start with a simple item, then build from there. You’ll find there is always a little space in the back of your pantry, under the bed, or behind the clothes in your closet to fit a few essential items. Trust me, you’ll be happy that you did.   

Storing in All The Wrong Places

Something to think about  – You can have all the food in the world stored up, but if you do not have it stored properly, then it may not do you any good.  It is important to store canned goods away from moisture and temperature extremes as it is for bulk storage foods.  Temperature extremes, like what is regularly found in vehicles, garages, and attics can destroy 95% of the nutritional value of food within 5 years, making it possible to starve to death with a full stomach after eating improperly stored food.

You should never store food in your Attic or other places that may get warm in the Summer months.

There are also quite a few places that should never be used to store food.  Remember, I said NEVER. One of those places is in the attic.  The summer heat in the attic will likely cause any stored food to go bad. Depending on your location the attic may not even be a safe place in the winter.  Next, do not bury food in the ground.   The moisture will eventually compromise the container.  Rodents or pets may dig them up and eat them before you can. Or worse you will lose track of the location. Crawl spaces often get way too hot in the summer and susceptible to rodents. For the garage, follow the same rule as the attic and crawl space. To get the longest life out of your food stores they need to be kept at the lowest possible controlled temperature.  Sheds and barns get too hot in the summer and are not secure against rodents and other pests.  Also,  you may not want to keep your food storage in a place that is an obvious for others to look and pilfer through.  It may be a prime target for people that are hungrier than you after a disaster. 
Never fail to have food storage before a disaster strikes. Relying on the grocery store to supply you is just not going to work. Any time a large storm approaches or anything else happens that scares people you know what happens.  The shelves are stripped bare within hours and it could be days or weeks before they able to stock up again in an emergency or disaster situation. 

Buying and Forgettting

 Look for ways to use it in your Food Storage in your everyday cooking.

It is okay to purchase what you need to get you through a few days, one month or even a one year emergency. But you need to use your food.  Cook with it. Eat it.  Learn to cook your food outdoors, perhaps in a fire pit or on a sun oven.  Try eating it cold.  Learn what you like and what you will take a pass on the next time around.  But most of all, don’t think that you have to hoard your food. Proper Food Storage Rotation is just as important as Food Storage itself! Eat it, enjoy it, and replace it.

What are some “Do Not’s” you can think of for Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness?