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In this section I will cover storing your food as many of us in the UK don't have the luxury of large country houses.
STORING YOUR FOODWhen storing your food particularly if its not in the kitchen cupboard but in various containers/ buckets etc around the home every container that you have your items stored in should have a list placed in it. You need to keep 2 master lists of every container of emergency food you have stored. - 1 list will go in the respective container and the other list you keep. Your lists should clearly state the number of the container and what is in it, the packed date, the expiry date of items and the rotation date. The same goes for all dry and dehydrated foods stored in mylar bags that are placed in containers.
That way for you to quickly review what emergency food you have stored and to keep on eye on when you need to start rotating your tins etc without having to check every single container all over your home!. Naturally when storing tins, try to store all tins what have the similar expiry dates i.e dont store tins togther in a container with some expirying 2014 and some expirying 2012 if you can help it.
As advised in part 1 - Category 1 - Tinned Foods are the cheapest to buy first and the easiest to store. It is best when creating an Emergency Food Storage stash that it is not stored among your everyday food.
Several suggested methods of storing your tinned foods and other emergency foods are as follows:
If your kitchen is small and you don't have much cupboard space you can buy a tall half size extra deep bookshelf - this is compact but very spacious and sturdy without being intrusive in a bedroom or living room. because the shelves are adjustable you can stack 50 - 100 tins of foods in one of these bookshelves. For privacy and if don't necessarily want anyone to know what is stored on the bookshelf - turn the bookshelf towards the wall so the back of the bookshelf is showing which is covered - you can easily decorate with a strip of wall paper and no one will know what you have stored there.
Many clothes cupboards are not utilised at the bottom and this is an ideal place to store your tins - either stack directly or again for more privacy particularly if some family members don't believe in emergency food storage buy a 60 plastic container (the clear ones) simply line the outside with some brown paper and stack your tins. If you can get your hands on industrial plastic storage containers with lids - this is even better as these are extremely strong and will not break when moving the entire contents and can be used over and over for years- the clear storage containers are not heavy duty and not designed for heavy weight bearing items like tins - though they are ideal for storing dry and dehydrated foods in mylar bags
There are many garden plastic storage boxes that have lids and that are lockable - you can actually use this container in the home if you don't have a garden and stack your emergency food in these containers and cover with a table cloth and use as a centre table, a seat in your bedroom or on your balcony anf rest some pots etc on it.
The same thing goes for under your bed - if you have room under your bed again buy some the clear 60L - 80L containers with lids and stack your food and pkace under the bed.
In short every home, every flat has potential storage space - long term food storage particularly tinned foods and dried/dehydrated/ freeze dried foods need not be stored in a kitchen cupboard. but with the use of mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for your dried/dehydrated & freeze dried foods can be stored in various discrete places around the home.
Please note it is not wise to store food in your loft particularly when the weather is warm as the heat will shorten the length of time your long term food storage will last - this also goes for tinned foods - the heat can cause your food within the tins to spoil.
CATEGORY 2 FOODS - STORAGE
These are your dried foods - like your beans, pulses, cereals, flour, sugar etc. As advised in Part 1 by this stage you would have purchased your mylar bags because though beans can keep for a relatively long time without a mylar bags, plastic is absorbative - meaning that plastic absorbes smells, which in turn your stored food begins to smell - hence the foil bags, not only provide light protection, odour protection is also key for long term food storage.
All my customers receive detailed info on how long dried foods can be stored in mylar bags - and again when storing your dried emergency food try to store with similar rotation dates.
So - pasta, rice, beans - can all be stored for 8-10 years in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers - so if you are storing the 8 x8 bags,3.5 x 4, 5 x 7.5, 8 x 12 or 10 x 16 bags in a bucket/storage container, try to keep all dried foods with similar rotation dates together - that way you can rotate all at the same time.
However flour, dehydrated fruits etc, have an average storage/rotation date in mylar bag with oxygen absorber of 5 years, so bag up these items and store together so they can be rotated at the same.
KEEP ABREAST OF NEWS RELATED TO FOOD, FUEL SHORTAGES, DISRUPTIVE WEATHER & WARS
All these afffect food and therefore its important to check on the internet and to a lesser extent mainstream media (as many REAL issues are not shown on mainstream media) what is going on in the world with regard to things that affect food/ delivery of food. Mainstream news usually do not show detailed information on food shortages etc until it is practically happening, by then its usually too late because the price has already been increased in the supermarkets etc.
In 2008 the shortage in rice and wheat were not openingly promoted on mainstream UK news, so many found themselves suddenly being faced with huge increases in rice and wheat related products almost overnight -this is the same all over the world, which resulted in riots in many countries because people suddenly being unable to afford rice - which is a food staple.
In 2012, the UN, The World Food Programme and many other food agencies have issued statements that there is a shortage of corn, wheat and soya bean due to extreme drought in US and Russia. All of which are part of our everyday food and which will have an increasing detrimental effect on food prices in 2013 and the price of meat. They also lament that governments are not doing enough to bring awareness to the population about potential food shortages and food scarecity.
Many governments are now monitoring the situation and though currently have advised they will not limit their exports of corn and wheat - if a shortage begins to affect their country exports will be limited, which will affect us in the UK.
Please do your own research on the internet and make and informed decision.
DO NOT BE CAUGHT OUT IN 2013!!!!
I urge you to seriously consider buying flour in bulk, oil in bulk, cereal in bulk, meat in bulk and freeze as soon as possible.
Please do not get caught up in the commercialisim of Christmas, Easter, Halloween etc, which encourages you to spend money mindlessly on items that have no real consequence on your life for 1 day and many times put you in expense and debt, that haunt you for the rest of the year. Enjoy these celebrations in moderation as the reason of most of these holidays is a celebration of faith and family first and foremost - not how much money you spend! -so set a very strict budget and stick to it and use the majority of your money to get out of debt, keep on top of your bills and stock up on food, these are the things that affect you daily and has a negative pyscohological effect on you if you have problems paying your bills or you cannot afford food.
So please do think about what you and your household eat the most - If you eat alot of meat - then stock up - The UN, The World Food Programme have already advised due to the drought in the US and Russia in 2012 by mid 2013 there will be sharp increase in meat particularly pork due to the high increase in corn, which is used as feed for pork & chickens.
If you use alot of oil - stock up - soyabean is regularly used in vegetable oil
If you eat alot of bread - knowing how to make bread by hand is key - and stock flour/ hard wheat - this should be a staple in your emergency food storage - oats is also a staple so stock these items
If you have children - keep a stock of cereal - cornflakes, rice crispies can be stored for years with oxygen absorbers and they have very low oil content -as these items get more expensive it can cause difficulties in the home if you have children.
In short - stock what you and your family eat everyday - this the key to emergency food storage - because it is what you and your family that will be eating if a crisis/emergency takes place that affects your income or supply of food in a country.
I HOPE THIS GUIDE HAS BEEN USEFUL TO YOU.