By Emily Butz, USstoragesearch.com
The proverbial “doomsday” could arrive in any number of ways, whether it’s via the fan-favorite zombie apocalypse or a more realistic natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy or the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado.
While the idea of being a fanatical “doomsday prepper” was made popular by the National Geographic show of the same name, there is some worth in having a stash of supplies in storage in case of emergency.
When storing food in a storage unit for emergencies, it’s important to consider how much you’ll need, the types of food to store, and what features you need to protect it.
What to Store
Because you never know when disaster could strike, or how long it will take for your community to recover, hoarding foods with long shelf lives is key.
Anything canned will always make the list, especially canned meats, fruits, and veggies with shelf lives of two to five years in the right conditions. Dried beans, white rice, and pasta are easy to prepare and will last up to 10 years. An added bonus: when served together, these foods form a “complete protein” meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids your body needs, plus the slow-to-burn carbohydrates for added energy.
Flavorful “extras” like salt, honey, and hard alcohol (whiskey, vodka, etc.) can, in theory, last forever in storage. In addition to adding some taste to your bland canned foods, these ingredients are also good to have around for their medicinal potential. Honey has been used to treat burns since the age of the ancient Egyptians. Salt, when boiled in water, can alleviate the pain of a toothache or a sore throat. Aside from the obvious, comforting properties of hard liquor, the higher percentage of alcohol acts as a natural disinfectant, which is perfect for cleaning wounds or simply washing hands.
If you have some spare cash and don’t want to take the time to stockpile your emergency food yourself, there are several companies that sell canned meals and kits.
Mountain House sells freeze-dried meals in pouches and cans ranging from $8 to $35, depending on the number of servings. Wise Company offers complete “Doomsday Kits,” which include food, cooking supplies, first aid, and water filtration. These kits start at around $300 for a two-month food supply. Yes, it’s pricey, but you’ll find more than some bland beans and rice inside. Both of these companies offer Cheesy Lasagna, Chicken Alfredo, Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Stew, and more.
The CDC recommends keeping about two weeks’ worth of food for your family, while more intense preppers claim that you should store a year’s supply or more. We’d venture to guess that somewhere in the middle is best. Whatever quantity you decide to stockpile, keep in mind that each person in your family will need around 2,500 calories per day, depending on stress levels and any extra exertion. That’s just about 25 ounces of food per day, and if you’re going all-out and prepping for a year, that’s over 600 pounds of food! Which brings us to…
Where to Store It
Smaller amounts of food are easily stored in a closet in your home. When storing for the long haul, your food supply could fill a medium-sized storage unit.
Your storage space needs to be relatively cool and dry to discourage mold and other spoiling. That’s where a climate-controlled unit would be good for your storage prep needs. These units allow you to keep your storage unit at whatever temperature or humidity level you need so that your items are safe.
Convenience is also critical. In case of emergency, make sure you can access your supplies relatively quickly. This means finding a storage facility that’s close to home so you don’t have to go far to get your items. Also, make sure it’s somewhere that you can easily access by foot in case roads are blocked.
Don’t get caught unprepared when disaster strikes! Become a “doomsday prepper” now, and you’ll be survivin’ and thrivin’ long after the end of the world.