Food & Water : Food Storage – Part 2 of 3

Although food storage takes space, time and money, it is highly recommended. Disasters as described in the previous menu items are real and can happen to you just like that. 

For survival of the first 72 hours we recommend the BOB. Since in many situations it can take some time for new food to arrive in the supermarkets, it is useful to store a certain amount of food and water at home. Depending on the amount of time you want to bridge, there are different techniques and methods to use. In this article we will discuss the storage of food and drinks for a period of 3 months.

As soon as you start storing food, you must take the points below into account.

  1. Food storage
  2. Choice food
  3. Shelf life food
  4. Drink
  5. Cost

1- Food Storage

Pests, bacteria, fungi and other external factors can make stored food inedible. By using the following tips, you reduce the chance that you will end up with a room full of waste.

  1. Store the food in a dry, dark, high and cool place.
  2. Make sure the food is always covered.
  3. Make sure that the temperature remains constant in this room as much as possible.
  4. Keep food in containers and tins so that vermin cannot reach it.
  5. Keep the boxes and cans on shelves. Make sure they are not on the floor or in contact with the walls.
  6. Cover the edges of the cans with candle wax or in oxygen-free areas to prevent rusting.
  7. Avoid dents in your boxes and cans.
  8. Keep salt and vitamins in their original packaging.
  9. Stock up on enough salt to preserve the food if necessary.
  10. Regularly inspect all parts to make sure there are no torn boxes, dented cans, or contamination.
  11. If possible, prepare a separate food package for each day. This prevents open boxes and cans.
  12. Use a First in First out system ( “FIFO”)*. By also using this system during normal times, you prevent food from exceeding its expiration date. 

FIFO SYSTEM* : FIFO is “first in first out” and simply means you need to label your food with the dates you store them, and put the older foods in front or on top so that you use them first. This system allows you to find your food quicker and use them more efficiently. To ensure using food prior to expiration focus your choices on the FIFO principle by consuming the earliest purchased food items and whose shelf life is the shortest, first.

2- Choice of Food

As soon as the storage for the food has been arranged, the type of food to store can now be considered.

  1. When purchasing, make sure there is a balanced amount of food. Nothing is more annoying than eating rice with brown beans for 6 months.
  2. Provide food that has a long shelf life (in this case at least 3 months) without having to freeze it.
  3. Provide food that is quick and easy to prepare. Cooking costs energy and you may end up without electricity.
  4. Make sure you don’t buy food that triggers allergies.
  5. Provide food that is healthy.
  6. Choose foods that require as little water as possible to prepare them.
  7. Opt for food in glass as little as possible. Glass is heavy and breaks (too) easily.
  8. Choose bulk packaging to save space.
  9. Provide some extra vitamin pills to make up for any deficiency.
  10. Provide food that you like. At the end of the journey, survival is living.

Tip : When buying food, you can come across two expiration dates. A best before date and a use by date. Best Before (Best Before) is often used for products that have a long shelf life. After the date the product may deteriorate but this can take months. With Use By (Use By), it is often no longer safe to eat the product (without processing) after the date.

People live all over the world, and different foods are available according to region and climate. Consequently, storage conditions vary all over the world as you must tailor food storage to your unique, individual needs and to those of your family.

3- Survival foods that have the longest Shelf Life

SOFT GRAINS. Soft grains, such as barley, quinoa, rye and grits, can last up to 8 years if their package is sealed with oxygen absorbers.


4- Drinking

While you can die of thirst after 3 days, you can go without food for about 3 weeks. Stocking up on drinks is therefore very important. Now you can choose all kinds of soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. 

However, we recommend to stock mainly natural spring water or better still your tap water ! A few bottles of alcoholic drinks can also be of use. If you are unsure whether the water is still okay, you can always boil it beforehand. 

For more information & methods about storing your own emergency water, refer to our sub-sections on Water Purification and Water Storage.

5- Cost

Unfortunately, buying and storing food is not free. However, you can save quite a bit of money by purchasing wisely. 

  • You can buy in bulk from a wholesaler or
  • only buy food on offer. 
  • Would you like to buy in bulk but you don’t know anyone else who deals with prepping ? Then we recommend that you visit our forum look around. When purchasing food for three months, you can budget for about 500 to 600 euros expenditure. This price can be both higher and lower and depends on what you buy. 
  • Another idea that works very well and that you hardly feel in your wallet is to put it aside. By putting 1 product aside from the groceries every week, you automatically get a good stock. The disadvantage is that it takes a long time before you have enough stock.

What is the safest container to store food storage ?

What Plastic Numbers Are Safe for Food Storage? Safe plastic numbers include 2, 4, and 5. These containers can store food without any toxic chemicals infiltrating. These include the materials HDPE, LDPE, and PP.

The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends avoiding plastic containers with codes 3, 6 and 7. Plastic number 3 contains vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) ; #6 has polystyrene and #7 can contain various plastics, such a Bisphenol A (BPA).


Food storage is essential for preparing for almost any disaster or crisis situation. What you store your food in can make a big difference in its shelf life and longevity. There is not just one best container for storing foods, many different types are better for different uses.

Whether you need something portable, economical, or all-inclusive there will always be a specific storage container that can fit your need.

Irrespective of your prepper experience -you are a seasoned prepper or a total beginner – investing in good food storage containers is not something you will come to regret.

Having the right storage basically pays for itself with food longevity. As an added bonus, you don’t have to deal with the fallout when you find out a rodent pest has gotten into your containers, be they sacks, boxes and / or bags.

Problems Facing Long-Term Food Storage Plans

No food storage container will completely protect against heat, but the best options will protect against the remaining 4 other considerations which are namely,

  • humidity
  • oxygen
  • light
  • pests & insects

Options Available To Combat These Problems & Recommendations :

For foods like crackers and boxed dinners, storing them in their original packaging is the easiest option. As long as you are aware of the expiration dates and rotate them, then they shouldn’t be a problem. However, these packages are not intended to survive disasters like floods and earthquakes.

Consider, for example, what would happen if a tornado destroyed your home. Your shelves would fall and crash into your food. Your crackers, cookies, etc. would be crushed and exposed to rain.

Another problem with plastic packaging is that it can easily be eaten away by rodents. No matter how clean you think your home is, it is still susceptible to rodents! Keep in mind that disasters like earthquakes usually lead to hygiene disasters, and rodent infestations usually occur in the aftermath.

Do you really want to worry about how to fend off your emergency food from critter after a disaster? If so, consider the following options :

Name of Product Recommended ComSaf Airtight Glass Canister Set of 3. Airtight Food Storage Containers - MCIRCO 7 Pieces, BPA-Free Plastic Containers. Living Whole Foods 5 Gallon White Bucket & Lid - Set of 3. 50-2 Gallon ShieldPro Mylar Bags (10" x 14") & 60-400cc Oxygen Absorbers (in Packs of 20) for Dried Dehydrated and Long Term Food Storage / Food Survival ; 【 Sticker Labels 】 60pcs, waterproof and oil-Proof, colorful, make it easier to sort and sign.
Advantages - Cheap and easy - Rodent proof - Can see content inside for easy rotation. - Excellent sealing properties. - Cheap and easy - Do not break - Can view content for easy rotation - Decent protection against insects and rodents - Includes labels, marker & measuring tools. - 5 Gallon size buckets - Good protection against light, humidity and air - Contains a lot of food - Protects against insects and rodents - Not likely to break in a disaster. - Can last 3-5 years - Airtight seal - Good for storing smaller amounts of food - Can rotate it easily.
Against - Glass can easily break ; - Difficult to get an airtight seal. - Quality yes but not to that of Mason glassware. - Does not fully protect against moisture and oxygen ; Plastic can eventually deteriorate in food. - Can be expensive - It can be difficult to rotate the food - Lids can easily break if you open / close them frequently. - Can be easily damaged - Does not protect against rodents or large animals e.g stray dogs - Need to buy the pouches and sealing equipment separately.
Value for Money
Conclusion An acceptable solution for people not living in earthquake-prone areas and / or where shelves are reinforced. For longer term storage you will need to add oxygen absorbents to the jars before closing them. Good for your 30 day supply of emergency food as long as you do your rotations every 6 months or so. Not acceptable for long term survival food storage. Decent option for semi-long term food storage with a rotation every a year or two. Good for long term food storage, but must keep pouches in a safe place.
Overall Rating web page link - CLICK on image.

Protection against insects

A common preppers make especially newbies is to forget to take precautions against bugs whilst setting up their food storage plans. Bug infestation is a real problem when you have to take into consideration their droppings as well ! Even if you store your emergency foods in airtight containers, they can still be contaminated with insects. This is because the insect eggs are already there when you buy the food!

It is completely normal and safe for some insect eggs to be loose in your food. Usually, eggs do not have time to hatch before eating the food. However, when you store your food for a long time, those few insect eggs can turn into an infestation.


Bulking your food in the freezer for 4 days will kill all the eggs. You can also microwave them for 5 minutes to kill the eggs. Make sure to take this step so you don’t end up eating insect larvae during an emergency.


food storage enemies infographic

In the final Part 3 of this Food Storage sub-section we will discuss the interesting option of Emergency Food Kits to help you and your family cope with unexpected crises and disasters whose effects could last longer than expected.

Access this important content for PART 3 by clicking the link HERE.




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