Water is likely going to be your biggest challenge when it comes to creating a healthy emergency survival supply kit. Water is big and bulky and is just kind of obnoxious to store. But, it is absolutely crucial to your survival. You need to store at least 1 gallon of water for each member of the family per day. If you are building up a 30-day supply, things can get out of hand pretty quick. There are a few options that we will discuss here.
These are huge space savers! You can store a little or a lot with these individual containers that are constructed to stack together neatly. Each container holds just over 3 gallons of water. There are several different options to use when it comes to building up your supply. Start out with a few containers and buy a few each month to create a wall of water or spring for the large waterbrick container kit that holds 112 gallons of water. The best part about these containers is they have handles. Once a container is empty, you can carry it to a lake, river, stream or wherever to fill it up again. Carrying 3 gallons of water is manageable so you won’t have any trouble getting the water back to your retreat.
These look a lot like gas cans, but they are foodsafe, meaning you can carry water in them. Sometimes it simply isn’t feasible for you to store a month’s worth of water in your home. If you live near water, you can use it to supply your family with their necessary water. However, carrying it home can be a huge problem. Using pots or empty water bottles is inefficient. The jerry cans are perfect and since they have lids, you won’t have to worry about the water splashing out.
All water you collect or manage to draw from your tap after a disaster of any kind is considered dangerous. ALL water. You must filter and/or purify it before drinking. Deadly bacteria and viruses are hiding in most water sources. If you have collected water, you need to purify it by boiling it or using a chemical treatment (water purification tablets) or run it through a filter. Don’t risk your life by drinking tainted water.
Water is tough to store in the house, but using the proper containers can make it easy and keep you from having to walk miles to the nearest water source on a regular basis. Investing in water containers is one you won’t regret.
If you are preparing for some disaster that will leave you forced to rely on yourself and what you have stored away, you are ahead of the game. Storing food and water is important for survival, but there are other things people tend to overlook when building up an emergency supply of food and water. It isn’t all about the food! There are some other items that are going to fly off store shelves within hours and days of a major disaster. You are probably going to be surprised to see the top 10 things that are going to be in high demand.
Check out this list and consider adding these items to your emergency preps.
• Generators. We love our electricity! Electricity is one of the things that makes us feel normal and somewhat safe and secure.
• Water purifying methods are going to go next. Water is crucial to survival and people will be scrambling to get their hands on tablets, filters and purifiers.
• Toilets—those little portable toilets available in the camp section of stores will be in high demand. People have to use the bathroom and when the sewer system is out, they have to go somewhere.
• Dry wood for burning is going to be at a premium. You can’t just run out and chop down a tree and expect it to burn. Wood needs to be dried for at least 6 months or up to a year to make it suitable for wood heat.
• Oil for lanterns and lamps goes next. People need light and when the generators are gone, it is going to be all about lanterns. Stock up on oil for your lights.
• Fuel for your campstove is fairly inexpensive today. Those little propane tanks will be invaluable when there is no electricity. Buy them now before they are gone.
• Guns and ammunition are the seventh item to disappear. People are not immediately going to start raiding the stores for guns, but they will eventually. If you need a gun, it is something you will want to purchase before a disaster.
• Little kitchen tools like manual can-openers and manual beaters are going to be pretty important. Canned food will be in great supply, but if people can’t open it, it doesn’t do any good.
• Sugar! Anything sweet will soon be gone. We all have a sweet tooth and when things are rough, cravings for sugar will be in full swing. Sweets give us comfort and when things are haywire, that is going to be important.
• Dried foods finally make an appearance. Wheat, rice and beans are all going to become very valuable.
Now that you know the top 10 things that are going to disappear first, it is time to take a look at your food storage and adjust accordingly.
In the survival world, you will hear a lot about people storing seeds in their long term emergency storage. It isn’t just seeds they are storing. No, people are storing what are known as heirloom seeds. If you have ever gone to the store to buy these seeds because it seems like the thing to do, you have probably noticed they cost twice to three times as much as the cheap seed packets that are sold for about a dollar. You may think it seems silly to spend that much money on seeds when they basically all produce the same veggies. They don’t!
Heirloom seeds are more expensive because you will have a steady, renewable food source with those particular seeds. Unlike the more common and less expensive seeds on the market, heirlooms seeds produce vegetables with seeds that can be replanted. You may not have realized this, but the common seeds produce veggies with seeds that are not suitable for replanting. The seeds will either not sprout or will produce plants that don’t produce actual vegetables.
Heirloom seeds are typically defined as those that were used before World War II or basically, before scientists got their hands on the seeds and created various hybrids that were easier to grow by the average gardener and produced a lot more. While this is a win-win for most, the hybrids may be plentiful, but they are not quite as delicious as their heirloom counterparts. Taste was not a big factor when those hybrid seeds were being created. Sure, a homegrown tomato from a typical seed is probably still better tasting than one you would find in the grocery store, but a homegrown tomato from an heirloom seed is absolutely fantastic.
The bottom line is this—in order to grow a garden that will produce year after year, you need heirloom seeds. After things have gone sideways, you won’t be able to run to the garden store to buy new seeds for the new growing season. You need to have a way to keep your family fed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Heirloom seeds truly do matter. Don’t settle for anything less.
Making your food storage area safe and steady in case of a bomb blast, earthquake or even high winds should be a priority. It would be devastating to have bags of food split open when it was tossed from the shelves. Canned foods could become dented and possibly allow botulism to form if they fell off an emergency food storage shelf. You are storing your lifeline on those shelves so it just makes sense you would want to secure the food to ensure it is still there when you need it.
Securing the Shelves
You don’t want your shelves falling forward and becoming a major safety hazard. If you are walking by or are taking refuge in the area the shelves are, like the basement, a shelf that tips over can trap you or even fall on you. Drill a long screw, about 3 inches, into the back of the shelf and into a beam in the wall. Use a wall anchor to make the holding more secure. If you are dealing with cement walls, there are anchor screws designed to go through the cement. You can add a little more security by putting shims at the bottom of the shelves to slightly push the shelf against the wall. These wouldn’t do much in an earthquake, but would hold the shelf up in the event of some minor vibrations or wind.
Securing the Cans and Jars
You don’t want glass jars from home canned goods all over the place. You need to create blocks that will hold the cans and jars in place on the shelves. You can use a piece of 1×1 wood nailed across the front of the shelves or use metal strips. It is important to place the strips about halfway up the tallest can or jar to keep the items from tipping right over the top of your locking mechanism.
If you are storing food in 5-gallon buckets, be careful not to stack the buckets too high without securing them. These can be tipped over fairly easy. It could be something as slight as somebody running by and brushing along the bucket, knocking it over and your food spills out everywhere. Tie a sturdy rope, like the stuff used for clotheslines around the rim of the bucket. Tie the ends of the rope around hooks mounted to the wall. If you are stacking several buckets on top of each other, you may want to tie a rope around the top and bottom of the buckets.
These are quick fixes you could do as a weekend project. Securing your food stores is an important step in creating a food storage that will keep your family alive in the event of an emergency.