The Essential ShortTerm Food Storage Checklist Are You Prepared for Anything
It is important to be ready for any type of emergency. To do this, it is important to have a short-term food storage plan. This will give you access to all the nutrition and energy that you need in uncertain times.
No matter what happens, having a food storage plan will mean you are able to provide food for yourself and your family. This will keep everyone safe and healthy until the danger passes.
This guide has all the items you need for a successful short-term food storage plan. Each item is broken down into its own section, so you can find the best products for your needs. With this guide, you can learn how to store food the right way. This maximizes the freshness and nutrition of the food, while giving you long-lasting energy during an emergency. Get started with your food storage plan today!
What to Store
Storing food for an emergency is key. Not all edibles keep forever; some need chilled temperatures to stay yummy and safe. What should you include in your emergency food storage list? Here's what you should know.
Ensure you have:
- Short-term food with a long shelf-life.
- Food that needs cooling.
- Know how to store it.
That's the essential checklist!
When stocking up for a short-term emergency, focus on non-perishable items. These should last up to two years when stored and rotated properly. Having a variety of items is key for different scenarios. Here are some of the best non-perishables:
- Grains: Rice, pastas, oatmeal, cereals, quinoa, popcorn
- Proteins: Canned fish/meat, nut butters, protein powder, canned beans, boxed tofu/tempeh
- Baking Goods: Flour, sugar, baking powder/soda/yeast
- Canned Goods: Veggies/fruits, soups, stews
- Snacks: Dried fruit, nuts/seeds, health bars
- Drinks: Water, teas, coffee
Canned goods are a must-have for preppers! They are non-perishable, affordable, and provide necessary vitamins and minerals. Get cans with long expiration dates.
- Mac & cheese
- Ready-to-serve meals
are all great options. Look for items without salt or MSG. Also, beware of spoilage from bacterial growth. Check for bulging lids or damage before purchasing. Rotate your canned goods every 6 months to ensure freshness. Enjoy!
Non-perishables and staples like rice, pasta, oats, flour, sugar, and grains should be in your short-term food storage plan. Also stock up on instant mashed potatoes, cereal, baking mixes, spices, vinegars, and soy sauce. There are many shelf-stable items that don't need to be frozen or refrigerated.
Nuts are a great source of energy and last up to a year when stored correctly. Canned proteins, beans, soup mixes, and sauces with airtight packaging can prevent spoilage. Raw honey has an indefinite shelf life if stored correctly. Keep coffee and tea around for added energy!
Other Non-Perishable Items
Be prepared! Non-perishable foods and beverages are not the only things to store in your short-term food storage. Other items include:
- Bleach: Purifying water.
- Solar lamps and battery-powered radios: For light and news.
- Manual can openers: Opening cans and containers/packages.
- Batteries: Flashlights, radios, other electronic devices.
- Matches, lighters, candles: Cooking or heat sources.
- Personal hygiene products like toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and soap.
- First aid kits with gauze pads, alcohol, cotton swabs etc.
- Pet food.
- Food for special diet restrictions (if noted).
Store these items in a cool, dark place. Check expiration dates before storing them. Stay prepared!
How to Store
Storing food? It's essential for emergency prep! Learning the proper way to store food can make sure your family has access to healthy meals in case of a disaster. Here's a checklist to help you store food for short-term needs. Plus, guidance on maintaining it.
Temperature and Humidity
Storing food correctly is important. Temperature and humidity matter. Ideal temperatures are between 50-70°F (10-21°C). High humidity can reduce shelf-life and cause mold or oxidation. Humidity should be kept at 40-50%.
Cleaning equipment with hot, soapy water and vinegar will help prevent spoilage and keep unwanted germs away.
Packing and Labeling
Food storing is key for long-term sustainability.
Choose airtight containers that are made of glass, plastic or metal. Avoid BPA and phthalate materials. Vacuum-sealing is a great way to keep food fresh. Use clean containers that have lids or wrappings for extra protection.
Labels are important too. Label the type, expiry date and amount of food inside each container. Use colored dots as a system to indicate priority food types. Red could be proteins, orange vegetables/fruits and blue grains/pastas/cereal. This way you can quickly identify what needs attention most urgently in emergency situations or before an expiration date is reached.
Containers and Storage Locations
When it comes to short-term food storage, container type and size are essential. Go for BPA-free and nonporous materials such as thick plastic and glass. Multiple sizes are ideal so you can fit food into smaller spaces. Choose a cool, dark area like a basement or garage. Or, use a pantry with shelving or a closet corner. All are perfect for storing canned goods, grains, and nonperishables.
Reusing glass jars is eco-friendly for bulk items like oats and flour.
- Make sure storage locations are sealed tight to keep out pests.
- Check for cracks or crevices in your home before stocking groceries.
- Keep food labels visible to avoid forgotten bits and provide dietary info if packaging is no longer readable.
Long-Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage is key! Stocking up is a great way to make sure you can get through any tough times. Here's a checklist to help with your long-term food storage set-up. Consider these points:
- Store food in a cool, dry place.
- Rotate your food regularly.
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Keep a variety of foods on hand.
- Buy food in bulk.
- Label food with expiration dates.
- Keep a list of what you have in storage.
Freeze-drying is a great way to store food for the long haul. It works by freezing the food, then slowly drawing off the moisture in a vacuum chamber. The end result? A lightweight, shelf-stable product – easy to keep and transport.
Unlike dehydrated foods, freeze-drying preserves nearly all of its nutrition and rehydrates with water quickly and easily. These items last longer too, as long as they stay airtight.
Common freeze-dried foods include: fruit, vegetables, beef jerky, dairy, eggs, grains, nuts, and seeds. Freeze-dried meals can be made ahead for convenience at home or on the go.
But wait – there's more! Freeze-drying also retains flavor and nutrients. Unlike other storage methods, it won't need repacking before eating – making it a hit with campers and preppers.
Vacuum sealing food is awesome! It keeps out bacteria and other bad stuff, plus it compresses the food so it takes up less space. But use the right kind of bag – not all plastic bags are suitable. Don't vacuum seal dairy products, onions, cucumbers, mushrooms, lemon juice or sauces – they can turn yucky. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the best bags to use when storing food long-term.
Canning is a great way to preserve food for long-term storage. It involves heating food in airtight jars, then creating a vacuum seal. To do this correctly, you'll need canning equipment.
You'll need jars with lids and rings, plus a large pot to process your cans in. Plus, containers for boiling water or pressure to maintain the necessary temperatures and pressures. Temperature control is important – microbial growth will occur if temperatures aren't kept constant.
Canning can be done in two ways: Water bath and Pressure canning. Water bath requires temperatures between 212F / 100C and 225F / 107C, while pressure canned goods must go above 240F / 116C.
Stock up on the following items:
- A Canner
- Jars and Lids/Rings
- A Funnel
- Jar lifter/Lid wand
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- A Timer/Thermometer
- pH Strips
- Salt & Sugar (as needed)
Make sure all tools and surfaces are properly sterilized before use!
Creating a plan for short-term food storage is key for being prepared. It ensures you have the supplies to sustain your family in case of an emergency. Depending on your situation, you may need to customize the food you store. This list can act as a great guide.
Remember to often rotate the items in your food storage! Shelf life can vary widely, so check dates regularly. And make sure to replace items when necessary. Keeping your food storage up-to-date and organized will ensure you are always ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I store in my short-term food storage?
A: It is important to have a variety of food in your short-term food storage. This includes non-perishable items such as canned foods, grains, dried beans, and nuts. You should also include a few essential items such as salt, sugar, cooking oil, and spices.
Q: How long should I store food in my short-term food storage?
A: It is recommended to store food in your short-term food storage for up to three months. This will ensure that you have enough food to get you through any unexpected situations.
Q: What other items should I consider for my short-term food storage?
A: You should also include items such as a manual can opener, water storage containers, and a camp stove for cooking. Additionally, you should include any items that you may need to survive such as a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a whistle.