Living in a high risk area for debilitating weather (ice storms, tornadoes, flooding) it's been a proven fact that keeping a food storage in our home is a good idea. Sure we still eat fresh, visit the local markets, buy from local vendors, and grow our own... but there is still that need to have food on hand for when there isn't any, or it's too dangerous to go out. Click through the jump for suggestions on how to store food without needing an entire outbuilding to do so.Food storage is something that is typically only thought about in a time of need. You are then stuck in a panic at the grocery store with every other person in your town, grasping at straws for meal plans, while fighting off people to gather the ingredients you need to make it happen.
Having endured many a time without power, access to fresh food or grocery stores, our household always has enough food and water on hand for our family of two (plus 2 dogs) for 3 days. Typically, this will last us until power has been restored, a water boil ordinance has been lifted, or the roads are clear enough to drive on.
In addition to this, we also keep enough food for our family to live on for a longer period of time. This consists of bulk foods, freeze dried items, canned goods (items from our garden that have been canned) and snacks just in case the need arises. We're probably a little more boyscout-y (always prepared) than most, but it is something we believe strongly in.
Even if your food storage isn't taken to the same lengths, here's some of ideas for big and small spaces alike, to help keep things you have on hand for emergencies organized and under control.If you happen to have a closet to space, metal racking or shelving is a perfect and custom fit for most people. If you don't require an entire pantry full of food, this space can also double as dishware and small appliance storage. Even small apartments or studios would have the possibility of this storage method. Under furniture is an excellent spot assuming you have a graceful way to cover it. In this case, the homeowners bedspread would cover it nicely and no one would ever know. This plastic tub method would work out well to keep many items away from humidity and light. It would give a nice overall appearance in a garage, without the neighbors thinking you were preparing for World War 3 when you had your garage doors open. This DIY food storage system is a fantastic way to utilize a small space to hold as many items as possible. The slant of the shelving allows cans to roll out with ease for rotation or restocking. A more expensive alternative is to use an industrial racking that is made specifically for the dispensing of cans. They allow you to stock your product with ease and are able to be moved if needs be. (Say into the back of a truck if a hurricane is on it's way.) If you don't want the hassle of tracking down canned goods on sale at your local grocers, you can purchase your bulk canned items in all sorts (meats, grains, basics, veggies, fruits, exc) from online sources.
Do you have a home food storage? Have you ever had a time where one might come in handy? Did you wish you had something on hand that you didn't? Share your story to help others learn from your emergency.
Photos by Linda and Clark via Flickr.