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Stack of blueberry muffins

A food storage system is vital for any person or any family. It will provide insurance for any unseen event or crisis that restricts your access to food and water. Putting together an emergency food storage system takes some thought, planning, decisions and resources. This article is a good place to start.

How Much Food Should I Store?

The US Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone has, readily available, at least three days worth of food and three gallons of drinking water per person. You can start with this as a minimum, but most disaster experts will advise you to increase that amount to a minimum of three months worth of food.

Good food safety practices, rotating your food, and investing in food with a long shelf life will ensure that you are well supplied at all times, and no stored food goes to waste.

What Type of Food Should I Store for an Emergency?

Your food storage should contain a variety of items. The goal is to have a complete supply that will nourish and fuel your body under almost any circumstance. Here is a quick guideline to what to stockpile:

The easiest meals to store are canned, dried, freeze dried and otherwise shelf stable. Include plenty of grains, rice and beans, although these items will need to be stored well and checked periodically for insect infestation.

There are a number of ready-made food storage kits available, which solves the decision making process. You can choose your supplies by the amount of months you need, and you will receive a variety of balanced meals, snacks and drinks packaged in convenient storage bins.

Choose at least one or two family favorites that are easy to prepare. For example, my family adores muffins and pancakes, so I keep some already prepared ones frozen, and I keep plenty of pancake mix and muffin mix stocked in my pantry. Never use mixes past their expiration date as some may develop hidden mold or toxic compounds. Choose long shelf-life versions.

Include some high-energy, high-satisfactory items such as protein bars, energy bars, trail mix, dry cereal and candy. Additional benefits of these choices include the fact that they are easily portable and do not require any meal preparation.

How Can I Organize My Storage Space

If you are just getting started with food storage, I recommend that you begin by storing some items in your pantry, some items on shelves in a convenient place, and some food  that is ready to go in what is called a bug-out bag. This is a backpack or duffle bag loaded with at least three-days worth of food. It should be stored near your front or back door and taken with you in the event of an evacuation.

Pantry items should be foodstuff that requires frequent rotation, such as peanut butter (an excellent source of protein, by the way) or crackers.

When you are ready to be fully prepared for serious disasters, you may need to get creative. This is another reason why I like the ready-made food storage kits. They come in sturdy plastic bins that can be stacked or securely shove under the bed for easy storage.

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