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The Best Emergency Food Storage Supplies

Updated on May 29, 2015
PatriciaJoy profile image

PatriciaJoy has been interested in prepping and frugality for years. She's continued to learn and evolve her prepping style as needed.

Cans of soup aren't the only options for food storage.
Cans of soup aren't the only options for food storage. | Source

Why Long-Term Food Storage?

Long-term food storage has had a bad rep as something only survivalists holed up in shacks do. But that reputation is changing as people realize that having food stored for emergencies is just good common sense.

It doesn't have to be a disaster, though a storm that will keep you from getting to the grocery store is definitely a good reason to stock up. However, economic distress is also a concern of preppers and survivalists. A job loss or being underemployed is stressful enough without not being able to put food on the table. Having back-up food storage can help make a tough time easier.

There are canned foods that will last from a few months to a couple of years or more. But along with a good canned food supply, there are other items you can start storing that will last from 5 to 30 years. Along with the food, there are supplies that will help the food keep as long as possible which are detailed below.

Food-Safe Buckets and Lids

Food-safe buckets are a great way to protect food storage from water, insects and mice. That's not nice to think about, but a lot of people keep their food in basements or other underground rooms. You can purchase them in many sizes but 5 and 6-gallon buckets are common.

Depending on the supplier, you may have to purchase lids separately. Many lids can't be used twice but are good to use for things you know you're going to store for several years. Gamma lids can be reused and are easier to open. They're good to use once you've taken off the other lids or to use with food you're using now such as rice or wheat.

Oxygen Absorbers and Mylar Bags

Mylar bags can be used as an extra layer of protection in the storage buckets or as separate storage. They require heat to seal which is explained in the videos below. If you're using the hot iron method, then you'll want to be sure to include oxygen absorbers as oxygen is one of the things that will add to the deterioration of your food storage. You can also use oxygen absorbers in glass canning jars when storing food such as dry beans.

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through home production and storage, but others as well" ~ Ezra Taft Benson, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Ready-Made Food Storage Kits

If you want a head start on food storage, you might consider a ready-made food storage kit or a meal kit. Below is a set with buckets, mylar bags, oxygen absorbers and a hand sealer as well as 2 kits with meals ready to go otherwise known as MRE (Meals Ready to Eat).

Food Storage Accessories

There are some extras that make food storage easier. A rubber mallet helps seal the lids to the buckets. A bung wrench will help take off the sealed lids, and the Food Saver system or something similar is one way of sealing mylar bags. Canning jars are excellent to have on hand to store smaller supplies of food.

Mylar Bag Sealing Tutorial

Are you considering becoming more prepared for emergencies?

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    • profile image

      Tarra99 5 years ago

      Like many here...I'm workin on it ;o)

    • profile image

      EmergencyPrepar 5 years ago

      Always working on it. :)

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I'm working on it! Nice lens! =)

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      I used to keep more emergency food on hand. Now that I live in the UK, we can't keep much due to lack of storage space. But we had enough so that when the 2007 floods disrupted food supplies for a couple of weeks, it was no problem for us. Emergency supplies are well worth having.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 6 years ago

      A much more balanced description of food storage than some of the survivalist-paranoid descriptions I've seen.

    • Prepperdad LM profile image

      Prepperdad LM 6 years ago

      Nice lens. I like the discussion of food storage.

    • profile image

      FoodCrisis 6 years ago

      I think it is wonderful the way people are learning how to prepare for future emergencies, and your page certainly explains food storage quite well! I look forward to visiting often to catch your updates.

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 6 years ago

      Yes, I am! Great information you have here!

    • PatriciaJoy profile image

      PatriciaJoy 6 years ago from Michigan

      @anonymous: Hi Diane,

      Thanks for stopping by. The techniques mentioned in this article are the best way to store food. It really depends on your storage conditions when it comes to how long food will stay edible. According to most sources I've read, beans can last upwards of 15 years up to 30, flour over 5 and salt indefinitely if you're storing items in a cool, dry environment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I want to know exactly how long food will last and will this work with beans, flour and salt?

    • PatriciaJoy profile image

      PatriciaJoy 7 years ago from Michigan

      @WorldVisionary: Your welcome and thank you so much for the blessing. Happy prepping!

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 7 years ago

      I've always thought about being more prepared but haven't done the research to find out what I would need. Thanks for putting this lens together. It's been blessed by a Squid Angel!