a reply to: DanDanDat
I have a basement in which I store my food provisions. The first thing I would suggest is that you get sturdy shelving of some kind that will allow
you to easily access your stores and be able to rotate them. For me this is two very large, very old cabinets that came from an abandoned service
station. Make sure your shelves are strong enough to hold the stores. That means solid wood or good quality plywood, none of those pressed-wood
I wanted actual cabinets simply because I don't care to expose my prepping to any Tom, Dick or Harry that might have to be in my basement. (Also, we
have a woodworking shop in the basement that creates quite a bit of dust so the stores stay pretty much dust free in the cabinets.)
Secondly, store things which you normally use. Just buy double of things until you have the desired amount you wish to store. For instance, if you
normally use 2 pounds of coffee per month and you are planning to store six months worth of supplies, buy 4 pounds of coffee next month and for the
following months until you have six months worth sitting in your cabinets. You can take advantage of sales and bulk buying as well to bring your
supplies to the level you're wanting.
It takes some time and figuring but by keeping a record of what you buy each month, you can easily figure out how much you will need for a specific
period. Knowing how much of each item you use on a yearly basis will also help to determine if bulk buying is expedient. Example: We buy sugar in
bulk, 50 pounds at time. It lasts us about a year if I don't go crazy making a lot of jams and jellies. Same with flour and cornmeal. Buying in
bulk is much cheaper.
I store my dry goods in sealed plastic containers which I pick up at thrift stores or flea markets. I get gallon-sized plastic jars from my health
food grocery store for free.
It's important to make and keep up an inventory so you are sure to rotate your supplies, using them before the expiration date. That inventory can be
as detailed as you wish, listing individual items or general categories.
It's also worth your time to think carefully about what sort of disaster or emergency for which you're preparing. A storm that takes out your
electricity for a week or two---or an EMP that takes us back to the 19th century.
In addition to our supply of canned goods, we have two freezers in our basement, one for meat and one for fruits and veggies. Again, we buy in bulk.
Meat from local farmers. I supplement my garden's fruits and veggies with locally grown from the Farmers' Market. They give bulk discounts as well.
I just added three quarts of sliced peaches to my freezer. They'll taste good in a cobbler next winter.
Yet another consideration is how you will utilize your stored food in an emergency. Do you have means to cook if you lose power? We have a fully
functional fireplace equipped with a grate that includes a pot hook and a cooking ring. We have a full compliment of cast iron cooking vessels to use
as well. And a whole-house generator that runs on propane and kicks in automatically when we lose power for more than 2 minutes.
Our prepping has taken place long-term. We've learned from each stage. The generator was the biggest outlay but when an ice storm hit us just four
months after we'd had it installed, we were truly happy that we'd made the expenditure. Not only were we able to survive quite happily without power
for nearly two weeks, we were also able to help others who weren't as prepared.
Hope this helps. It may seem like a monumental task when first undertaken but it will at some point become second nature---especially after you have
to put your plans into service a time or two.