Every family should have a ready supply of food on hand in case of an emergency. Stocking enough food to feed each family member for at least a week can get the entire family safely through most emergency situations. Storing this much food requires a little forethought and regular maintenance. Follow these tips to ensure that your food storage is always fresh and ready to help you handle any emergency you encounter.
Choose Long Lasting Foods
Maximize the freshness of your stored food by choosing products that will last a long time. Longer lasting foods will have to be changed out far less frequently and will save on expenses. Look for canned goods packed in extra liquids. Dried cereals can also store for long periods of time. Foods high in fat and protein should be avoided for long-term storage.
Once you have your food storage it is essential to safely store them. When an emergency strikes you want your food to be in the same condition as the day it was stored. All food should be stored in a cool place with the temperature no higher than 50 degrees. Light accelerates spoilage and depletes nutritional content. Storing your food in a dark place can help keep it fresh longer. Avoid storing foods in high moisture areas.
It is important to keep track of all expiration dates, and change out spoiled or expired goods. Keep an inventory list of all supplies and their expiration dates with your stored food. Periodically check the list, and replace food as needed. Don’t forget to update the list with the new food and their expiration dates. Rotate the food so that the newer goods are in the back, and the older food is close to the front. Storing food in an organized, easy to reach location helps make the rotation process effortless.
Protect From Pests
Storing vast amounts of food in the same rarely touched location is a pleasant invitation to insects and rodents. Be sure that they do not have a chance to compromise your stored food. Metal cans are virtually impenetrable to pests. Store any nonmetal containers in an airtight bin. This reduces the odors that draw pests to the food. Elevate all food off the ground by using shelves. Regularly spray for bugs, and place mousetraps beneath the shelving to discourage rodents.