The Survival Guide To Long Term Food Storage: Part 4
People who live in a small house or an apartment can have trouble finding places to put their food storage so their place doesn't look like an overstocked food bank warehouse all the time. The last thing someone wants to see is a stack of five or six gallon buckets behind the living room door! That might lead your guests to asking some rather sensitive questions. There are various ways of getting around this:
1. Get rid of the bed box springs. Put down one layer of buckets or two layers of boxes and lay a 1/2 inch piece of plywood (or pieces if you have a larger bed) and throw your mattress on top of this. The lady of the house (or the man if he's handy with needle and thread) can sew a dust ruffle and hang it around the plywood so no one would ever notice it was there. You can do this in just about every bedroom in the house and cover a multitude of sins... and supplies.
2. Make a false wall in your living room by hanging a ceiling to floor curtain that runs wall to wall about two feet or so out from one wall. You can stack more buckets, bags and cases of food behind this than you will need room for. If you do this in a room that is already on the cramped side, you'll have to become accustomed to the smaller space.
3. Have one of the kids sacrifice their closet for the cause and let them double up their clothes with a sibling in another closet.
4. Do you have a dry crawl space? Throw it in there. Don't store any food in the attic as it's way too hot in the summer time.
5. Be as creative as you can. Look around your house to find places to hide it or build around it.
If you live in a climate where it's almost always humid and hot, like south Florida, you might want to try superpails buried in the ground. These are six gallon buckets that have an additional Mylar bag outside for extra protection. These buckets haven't been government approved for storing in the ground and there isn't any data to support this idea either positively or negatively. If you are going to put them in the ground, please do it at your own risk.
The Mylar bags will have to be sealed and the easiest way to ensure an airtight permanent seal is by using a hot iron. It is a very good idea to experiment first by slicing a few strips off a Mylar bag first and testing your iron to make sure it's at the correct temperature. This technique works just as well if you're using smaller bags to just store food in directly, and not using the Mylar bags to add an additional level of seal protection to a big six gallon pail.
Generally you can use the iron setting on Polyester / Wool / Cotton. All irons should have this setting, as it is extremely common. Let the iron get good and hot. Use a piece of material similar to flannel: an old pillowcase would be perfect. Fold over the end of the Mylar bag. Place the cloth over the top of the Mylar and hold the iron on the material for about twenty seconds. Then you can move to next section of Mylar and hold the iron on the material for another twenty seconds. Continue this process all along the length of bag until you're finished. The Mylar will be extremely hot so make sure that you do not touch it at this time. If you don't wait for the Mylar to cool, you will be able to open the edges. Once it cools it should be well sealed.