Be Prepared for a Man-Made or Natural Emergency

SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS

FOOD STORAGE

HOW TO PROPERLY STORE FOODS IN YOUR EMERGENCY SHELTER (by Jenna Smith, jennaleesmith1@gmail.com)

Having a good food supply in your emergency shelter is incredibly important to your survival should you have to stay in there for a prolonged period of time. However, improper storage can lead to spoilage or food-borne illness such as botulism. To ensure that your goods are kept safely in your emergency shelter, make sure you store them using the guidelines below.

Date and Label Everything

To keep yourself from either opening something you don't want and to keep foods from being kept past their prime, be sure to label everything that you place in your shelter. Not only will this make consumption easier and safer, but it will make organizing your shelter much easier.

FIFO

First in, first out is a great rule to remember when you are beginning your shelving process. Never put your newest items on the front of your shelves. Always be sure to put them behind your older items so that nothing risks spoiling.

Insert Silica Packets into Dry Goods

In order to keep your dry goods, such as rice and beans, moisture free make sure to place silica packets into all sealed goods. Many emergency shelters are underground and therefore prone to moisture. By keeping your dried goods sealed with silica packets, you will be able to avoid mildew or mold forming on them.

Watch How You Can or Jar

anning and jarring is a great way to keep produce over the long haul; however, if not done properly, it will quickly lead to food spoilage or illness. If you are going to can or jar your own food, be sure to do so using the correct method. Jars need to be properly sanitized ,and you need to make sure that you are using adequate heat to seal your jars.

Keep Food in 5-Gallon Containers

Most emergency food supply companieswill sell you supplies already in 5- or 6-gallon plastic buckets. While most products are individually contained in air-tight packages, having your items in these lined plastic containers will help keep them free of other dangerous toxins.

Be Sure to Include Oxygen Absorbers

To help further prevent spoilage, keep bugs out, and keep food fresh, be sure to add oxygen absorbers to all food items you package. Including oxygen absorbers will make your packages seal more tightly, as well, which will help against leakage and water getting in to them.

Monitoring

Should any of your stored food at any time have a swelled up lid, rust on the inside or outside of the can, a milky residue in liquids, or an off smell of any kind, it should not be consumed. These foods have most likely spoiled and can make you terribly ill.

To make sure that your food is able to maintain its integrity over the life of its storage, be sure to adequately store and monitor it. Proper storage could be the difference between life and death, and there is no reason to take your chances with such a life-supporting necessity.

NEXT: Survival Essentials - Food Preparation, Refrigeration
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