Building up a food storage supply can feel like a daunting task. What do you store? How much of it? How the heck do you use wheat? Where do you buy these items? And how do you store it all? All of these questions come to mind when you try to get started. We felt very overwhelmed when we first started too. So we split the process up into ten simple baby steps which will hopefully make the task feel less overwhelming.
Put together Disaster Kits (including 72 hour kit food kits) for your whole family, have an emergency plan in place, make sure your computer is backed up, and organize your space to ensure you have a large, clean storage area.
Determine which type of shelf system you want to use and purchase one shelf to get started. You can do anything from building your own wooden shelves, buying inexpensive plastic or metal shelves from Wal-Mart, or splurge and buy a fancy can rotation system.
Store a 2 week’s supply of water (1 gallon per person per day). You can buy 55 gallon barrels, get several 5-6 gallon jugs, or fill up empty soda/juice bottles. Just make sure it is food grade
plastic, and milk jugs don’t count!
Purchase a three month supply of foods you normally eat. You can come up with meal plans for the whole 90 days, or simply buy extras of the things you use a lot. If you plan to use these foods a lot, buy MORE than 90 days worth so you can use some but still have your three month supply on hand.
Educate yourself on long term food storage and determine the types of foods, recipes, etc. your family will want to eat. Use an online tool or spreadsheet to figure out the actual amounts of each
food you are planning to store for a year supply of food. (You can start with 3 months and move up to 1 year eventually).
Purchase your grains and learn how to use them: wheat, corn, barley, rice, pasta, etc.
Purchase your legumes and learn how to use them: dried beans, bean soup mixes, lentils, soy beans, etc.
Purchase items necessary for baking such as oil, sugar, powdered milk, salt, etc.
Purchase or preserve fruits and vegetables to supplement your core foods.
Purchase any comfort foods that would be pleasant to have should you be forced to live off your food storage for a long time. This could be things such as hot chocolate, pickles, jell-o, salsa, spices, etc.
Purchase non-food item necessities such as toothpaste, deodorant, female products, diapers, etc. Also, paper products such as paper plates, plastic utensils, etc. are helpful to avoid wasting precious water by washing dishes in an emergency situation.
Beyond the BabySteps:
Once you have finished these steps you can move on to more complex survival issues such as heat/cooking sources, long term water solutions, growing and canning your own foods, etc.
To learn more about the babysteps of food storage and to see the progress we are making, visit Jodi and Julie at Food Storage Made Easy