Saturday, September 17, 2011

Considering Food Storage at Home

The pictures above were included because they so well illustrate how families in normal homes have found ways to store food. These are not pictures of my own, and we graciously thank the homes who posted them, for showing us how they incorporated food storage into an operational and attractive home.
                                                     Yes, we "can" !

   On this next episode of "Rational Preparedness", we are going to begin talking about "Sheltering in Place", the alternative to Family Evacuation.   Fortunately, gathering supplies to "Shelter In Place" is natural to most of us, especially those of us with children as it probably reminds us of those days when we were compelled to nest.   Readying your home for periods of time in which you must remain there, can be fun and can be a teachable moment for you with children. Make sure that everyone in your family is included and has a role. This way the task moves faster, and your children will know something about "sheltering in place" when an emergency occurs and also in the long term, when it becomes time for them to raise their own families.   One aspect of "sheltering in place" is beginning to collect food, much as a squirrel anticipating winter does. Unlike the squirrel, we have the option of canned foods, dried foods, and a number of products which make the job a lot easier over time. The pictures above are three examples of how canned or  food in jars might be stored. If you can set aside a large area, like the first picture, and have a place to stock canned food you have acquired each week when there is a sale, then certainly do that. It makes gathering easier and something like this is certainly the ideal, especially if you have a large family or have elderly parents or relatives with you.. However, most people don't have that option, at least in the beginning of their families. They may have to resort to something more like the second picture. The set-up second picture would not be ideal in earthquakes for example, but it is better to ensure that you have food placed somewhere in your home, rather than nowhere at all. If earthquakes are a concern, then place only your lighter foods, such as dried noodles etc. on the higher shelves. The second picture certainly does do the job. It is a neat and accessible area in which you can stock food your family would need in an emergency. The third picture is a storage option for those who can their own foods.  Most people should probably keep several different areas in their home for different types of supplies.  I have a friend who stores toilet paper in a special fireproof area of her garage, her normal food in a kitchen pantry, and her emergency long term food in her own master bedroom closet.  This is not ideal, but this will provide them what they need until they can afford to move it all to a basement room where they plan to get metal shelving.  Do not allow the fact that others may have supplies in amounts ahead of you, intimidate you. You are competing with no one.  Compete only with yourself. Just strive to have a bit more put away next week than you do this one.  Then, rotate your stock by using the older items first. It would be best if you do not tell your friends and neighbors about all the supplies you have stocked. In an emergency, you would not want to turn people away, in fact, it could be dangerous.  It would be better to choose to provide something to them, than to have hungry people demanding food from you, that your family needs. Be creative. Even your dollar store has items which can be very useful in long term food storage. We will discuss the gathering of medical supplies at home another time.

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