Storing Your Survival Supplies
Storing Your Water Supply: Although many people may take water and its storage for granted, your water supply will last longer if it has been properly stored. This is especially true for water that you bottle up yourself from your tap water. While bottled water from the store will generally have a shelf life of a year or more, water that you bottle yourself will only last about six months before it has to be replaced. Assuming that you have taken all the necessary precautions for cleaning the bottles in which you will be storing the water, it should be placed in a cool spot away from light, especially sunlight. As this water is not absolutely sterile, algae can begin to grow in the bottle if light is available. Water from your tap will begin to taste stale if kept in higher temperatures, also.
Safe Storage For Your Emergency Food
It is just as important to keep your emergency food supply stored properly as it is for your water. Regardless of whether you buy emergency food kits, or collect or produce your own emergency food, it will have to be stored carefully to prevent deterioration. Most emergency food kits have a very long shelf life, up to 25 years. However, this is dependent on them being kept in a controlled condition of about 55 degrees F. Once the temperature rises, the shelf life shrinks. Even the best foods stored at 80 F will only last five years, and if the temperature goes up to 100 degrees F, food that would ordinarily last 25 years will only be good for a year and three months.
Moisture can also affect the quality of your stored food, so keep your supply away from outside cellar walls where the fluctuating temperatures can cause condensation, even inside a sealed package. Keeping the container holding the food off the basement floor is also a good idea, and blocks of wood or bricks can be used for this.
And, do not forget that there are other creatures that would like to enjoy your emergency food, too. Rats and mice are extremely destructive if they get into a food supply, spoiling what they do not eat with their waste products. To guarantee security of your emergency food, keep it in clean, galvanized garbage cans, with the lid on at all times.
Storing Of Incidentals
Into this category, I place all the other things that will make life easier during an emergency. Flashlights and batteries should be checked regularly to make sure that they are still usable. If you have kerosene lamps for emergency lighting, the kerosene should be stored in an outbuilding. The door to the shed containing kerosene or gasoline should be kept locked, to prevent children from getting inside.
Emergency blankets, sleeping bags, and warm clothing should all be kept safe from any possibility of becoming wet. Flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other disasters can all cause water to become a problem. If these items are kept in plastic bags, safely sealed, they will be more likely to provide you with the warmth you need; wet bedding and clothing will actually contribute to hypothermia.
Whatever you can store, make sure to properly prepare it. Knowing how to make a cardboard box oven and solar cooking options are great tools to know in case of an emergency.