Types of Food Storage
An Emergency Preparedness Plan should address the issue on food storage. This should include both short term food storage and long term food storage. This section deals with some items referencing food storage and your Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Food storage needs can be classified in five categories:
- immediate consumption
- short term storage
- level 1 long term storage
- level 2 long term storage
- Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
Immediate Consumption Items
The immediate consumption storage is what most people do today. This is were you have perishable items such as fresh dairy, meats, fruits and vegetables that you store on the counter or in the refrigerator. Most of these will be consumed within a few days except for some processed or canned items that have been opened and refrigerated that will last longer provided that they maintained cooled.
In the event of an emergency where power will be off for an extended time you will want to consume these items before they spoil.
Short Term Consumption Items
This consists of items that may be in your freezer or packaged items in the pantry. If the power is to be off for an extended period of time you will want to plan to consume the frozen items before depleting your canned goods.
Keep the freezer closed as much as possible. Know where the items are so that you can extract them as quickly as possible. The items will begin to thaw but may remain good for several days.
Pantry items that are canned (cans or unopened jars) can usually keep for up to two years. Boxed items, especially cereals, grains and flour will not keep that long. The problem with these items is that after a few months ( if warm) you will begin to notice webs, worms or bugs in them.
It won’t do any good to put them in a container with a lid because the eggs are already in the product and hatch after a period of time. If you weren’t already aware of this it may seem gross but that’s just a fact.
Level 1 Long Term Food Storage
Unless you have begun a food storage program you probably don’t have any items classified as Level 1 Long Term Food Storage. These products consists of the dehydrated and freeze dried products that have been canned and sealed.
There is a large selection of these products consisting of dehydrated meats, dairy products, desserts, fruits, and the list goes on. For cost effectiveness you usually buy these products for long term storage in the larger cans. These are #10 cans like you see used by restaurants and other institutional uses.
Depending on the item, they can usually be store between 8 and 15 years provided that they are kept in a dry place below 80 degrees.
You will need water to hydrate these products before using.
A good source to purchase these products is from an online emergency preparedness supplier such as Urban-Survival.us.
Level 2 Long Term Food Storage
Grains and other dehydrated products can be stored for long term storage for up to 30 years if properly stored. There are two basic methods for doing this. Both methods involve sealing the product in an airtight bag and eliminating the oxygen from the bag to preserve the freshness and prevent any of the eggs from hatching.
One of the methods is to inject nitrogen into the container and push the oxygen out. The other is to add oxygen absorbers to the container just before sealing.
Both methods have proven to be successful. A good source to purchase these products is from an online emergency preparedness supplier such as Urban-Survival.us.
Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
You may have bought some of these before if you are a camper. These are freeze dried products that come in individual envelopes and all you need to do is add water and heat if desired.
They have a storage/shelf life of up to 7 years usually.
The advantage of these is that they can be used in two main instances. One is when you need a quick meal and you haven’t gotten you emergency plan completely operational and can’t cook the long or short term storage items.
The other instance is when you make a decision that you are going to have to evacuate your current position and need to carry some light weight food with you to eat along the way. Remember, if things are so bad that you have to become a refugee then there won’t be any restaurant or McDonalds along the way.
Urban-Survival.us now has the Mountain House Products in both the individual pouches and in the larger cans that you can use at home. You can click on this link for Meals Ready to Eat to link to the webstore for Urban-Survival.us