Food storage is an essential practice for so many survivalists and preppers, but why is it so important to keep extra food around the house?
In recent years, there has been a surge in everyday citizens practicing food storage - and for good reason. However, it is important to understand that there are multiple different benefits to having a food storage system - with surviving an emergency only being part of the equation.
You should prepare for food storage to be ready for natural disasters, the next global pandemic, increased food prices, and future recessions. In addition, food storage is the best way to be self-sufficient for any emergency that results in food shortages and economic instability.
When it comes to food storage, virtually everyone can benefit from having a little extra food around the house. However, how much or how little you end up storing is really up to you, as there are so many different ways to approach your stockpile. More and more people around the country are hopping on the food storage trend and with the direction that the world has been going in recent years, there has never been a better time to adopt this potentially life-saving practice into your life. With that being said, before you begin making a food storage system, you first need to consider all of the reasons why doing so is beneficial. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at 5 reasons to consider preparing for food storage.
After extensively researching food storage, I have been able to gather enough information to determine the benefits of this survival practice. My research has indicated that there are multiple different factors to consider when preparing for food storage and you should consider each one before you start planning your stockpile.
What is Food Storage?
Food storage is the practice of preserving and storing food for long-term use. The main focus of this practice involves storing raw materials and cooked foods in case of emergencies.
One principle of food storage is to encourage preparedness for unforeseen circumstances so that people can be self-sufficient to protect themselves and their families. This is a domestic skill that has been utilized by humans for thousands of years and it continues to be a fundamental practice to this day.
Each person adopts food storage in their own way and systems can be kept quite minimal or expansive. With that being said, it is important to understand that there are multiple different classifications for food storage. Generally speaking, systems are designed for short-term food storage, long-term food storage, and water storage. Let’s break down each one in more detail.
Short-Term Food Storage
Just about everyone who prepares for food storage starts with a short-term system. Short-term food storage stockpiles are usually designed to support a household for about 1 to 3 months.
These are not overly expansive stockpiles and are intended to provide you with everything that you need for a short-term emergency. Each short-term food storage system should be designed to support each member of your house for a designated period, which you should decide on before you start preparing the stockpile.
Once the system is created, you can rotate goods within the stockpile with the food that you eat in your day-to-day. This way the food that you have stored is always fresh and reliable for when you need it most.
Long-term Food Storage
Most long-term food storage should have around 1 year's worth of food. This kind of system requires considerably more work and preparation - with careful planning being essential. With a one-year’s supply of food at home, you can rest assured that you are ready for just about anything, but you do need to manage the preservation of a much larger quantity of goods.
A long-term food storage system should be implemented on top of a short-term stockpile. There should be a bigger focus on food items that are going to last for 20 to 30 years (or even more) in this kind of system. More space will be required for storage, as well as greater attention to detail to secure your goods for the long haul. This implies that must check the condition of your items routinely and keep up with all expiration dates so that you can rotate food when necessary.
Water is arguably even more important than food in a food storage system. This is the most essential component of your survival in an emergency and you want to make sure that you have an abundant supply at home.
You can go for days or even weeks without food but water is much more crucial to have handy. There should be an adequate supply of bottled water and filtered water that you have at home to take care of basic drinking needs
However, it would also be wise to keep a water tank on your property in case of serious emergencies where you are cut off from tap water. You should plan for 1 gallon of water per person per day when creating a food storage system.
5 Reasons to Prepare for Food Storage
If you are on the fence about starting a food storage system at home, you will find that the pros greatly out weight the cons. Sure, preparing for food storage requires a bit of work and upkeep but what you gain from doing so can ultimately save your life, or at the very least, save you the hassle of seeking out goods when an emergency occurs.
A lot of survivalists go above and beyond when creating a food storage stockpile - with years of food on their property for an apocalyptic scenario. Although anything is possible, taking food storage to this extent is not a necessity and you can benefit from creating a system that can last as little as 1 to 3 months. Let’s break down the 5 reasons to prepare for food storage.
1. Natural Disasters
First and foremost, food storage is there for you when disaster strikes. In recent decades, we have seen a huge surge in natural disasters occuring around the globe - many of them on our own soil.
When these devastating natural events happen, their impact can be catastrophic. The last position that you want to find yourself in this situation is being stranded at home with no way to ensure the survival of you or your family.
Even a basic food storage system can make all the difference in how safe and comfortable you are at home during a natural disaster. You should expect your access to food and water to be limited or non-existent during this kind of event, which is why being prepared with all of the essentials at home is the ultimate way to secure your safety and survival.
2. Global Pandemic
In 2020 we learned the hard way what the repercussions of a global pandemic truly are. Each person and household suffered through this global event in their own way, but a pain that was shared across the board was a lack of access to food and essential household items.
When the pandemic was officially announced, it created a nationwide panic that resulted in millions of people rushing out to grocery stores to buy up everything and anything that they could get their hands on.
This caused shelves to be emptied and an inadequate supply of food and essential items to be available to the public at large. The government was not prepared for this worldwide event and neither was your local grocery store.
Although we all dread the idea of another global pandemic taking place, the truth is that it is not a question of if but a question of when. History has taught us that pandemics are not a new concept and that history is bound to repeat itself sooner or later. We cannot predict when the next pandemic will be, but we can certainly be ready for it when it does by having a proper food storage system ready.
3. Increased Food Prices
Inflation is running rampant around the United States and the rest of the world. There are a lot of reasons behind this but, ultimately, what we know for sure is that price of food is skyrocketing.
A certain level of inflation is natural and sustainable when calculated over decades. However, at the rate that food prices are rising now, one of the best ways to cope with this massive cost increase is to create a food storage system.
Food storage enables you to buy food and have it ready at home before prices shoot up. Sometimes food costs increase temporarily due to natural disasters, pandemics, or most recently - the war in Ukraine. If that is the case, you could potentially mitigate just about all of your financial hardships by being prepared ahead of time.
That said, even long-term inflation can be easier to cope with when you have a long-term food storage system, as you are always one step ahead of the cost increase with a one-year supply of food at home.
4. Economic Recession
Economic recessions are recurring events in our society. Whether the market crashes due to political disagreements, rising unemployment, bankruptcies, foreclosures, or a dip in consumer spending - economists will tell you that there is a multitude of reasons behind recessions.
When an economic recession does occur, you can expect instability in not only the cost of living and the price of food but also the state of your personal finances. These scenarios can be unpredictable. You could be laid off from work, your investments could take a turn in the wrong direction, and you could easily find yourself in a difficult financial position where money is extremely tight.
Being prepared with food storage offers a sense of security that one of your basic needs is taken care of. Putting food on the table is a necessity for everyone and with a food storage system at home, you will simply have one less thing to worry about during a recession.
The one thing that food storage guarantees, no matter what global event or natural disaster is taking place, is self-sufficiency. When an emergency takes place, that last position you want to find yourself in is feeling helpless and insecure about the survival of you and your family.
Self-sufficiency is enough reason to create a food storage system as it enables you to take of yourself when no one else can or will. What we have learned the hard way is that when disaster does strike, we are often left to figure things out for ourselves.
Although that may be a harsh reality to face, you can take comfort in knowing that you are ready for anything by having everything that you need right at home. A food storage system is more than just a survival measure, it is a sense of self-sufficiency that you can take comfort in - even when disasters and emergencies are not prevalent.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker