Now, you know why you should have food storage and you know what to store. So, let’s talk about where to put all this stuff once you get it. Store the food in a cool, dry place. This one you have heard over and over, but it is the rule of thumb for storing your food. Two things cause your food to loss nutritional value and spoil: oxygen and moisture. Hence the dry place. Keeping your food storage cool slows down spoilage dramatically. The cooler, the better. Make sure you have your food stored in such a way that it has little or no contact with air.
Basements are perfect for food storage because they maintain a steady cool temperature year round. But many people across the country don’t have basements, so storing your food at room temperature (typically 75 degrees year round) will be just fine. I know a lot of people that store their food in cases under their beds or in closets. Just make sure you can get to it when you need it and it won’t get damaged.
I recommend keeping your food off the ground and in the original packaging as much as possible. By keeping the food off the ground on shelves or stacked, you will prevent the food from being damaged by somebody stepping on it, dropping it or kicking it. You also want to keep your food in a place where you can get to it, but that isn’t in the way. If you dent a #10 can it may affect the seam of the can and thereby affect the shelf life.
Also, by maintaining as much of the original packaging as possible, you will prolong the shelf life. So, if you buy a bunch food of in #10 cans, keep the food in the #10 cans. You may even want to keep them in the cases that they were shipped to you in. You can repackage your food in zip lock or even vacuum sealed bags, but it will reduce the shelf life.
Let’s talk about how much food you should store and how to get started. Basically, you want to have at least a 3 month supply of long term food storage. Meaning that is food that will store for at least 10 years. You have that much food for each person in your family. After you reach that point keep adding to your storage until you feel comfortable. To get started, just do what you can. Work within your budget and buy the food you need. The most important part about getting started is to get started today!
Who should you have food storage for? Of course yourself, but also everyone in your family. Make sure you take into consideration children and special diets as you store your food. You should also consider your neighbors and others in the community that might be in need of your help. Just make sure you have enough food to take care of your family and neighbors if possible. It is always better to have more food than you would need, just in case.