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The recent shortages of food and other basic needs that we have seen in our local stores has highlighted the value of storing some of the day to day items that we need. Having enough food to last for a week or a few months provides you with just a little bit of security in a very unsecure world. Food storage could be used during an unexpected period of time where you have been laid off of work, a natural disaster, or a any other event that might prevent you from having normal easy access to food.

There are three items that should be stored for emergence use.

1. Food.

a. Storing food that you use on a day to day basis, and that you can continually rotate through is best. This way you will always have fresh food that has not been stored for a long period of time.

b. Another benefit when possible is being able to purchase things in larger quantities. This can result in bulk discounts that will save you money. It also can help you think of the times of year when items are in season, or in excess, and at the lowest price. Please remember that it is not responsible to purchase in bulk during an emergency when things are in short supply.

2. Water  

a. This could be the most import thing to have in an emergency and is often forgotten when preparing for an emergency event. In many cases water supplies such as wells require electricity to be available. If the electricity was out due to a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or some other disaster knowing how you can access clean water will quickly become a necessity.

b. If surface water is available in your area having a filtration system that is commonly used for long multi day backpacking trips is a great way to access clean water. A backup generator and storing some bottled water would also be helpful in an emergency.

3. Some cash money

a. There are many events in our history that highlight the importance of having a little cash money on hand. One simple one that I experienced was when the electricity was out for an extended period of time and no one could access the money they had in the banks or ATM’s.

b. Another more common situation might be an unexpected time of unemployment or simply having an unexpected expense that you need to pay for right away.  

How much food do I need?

To figure out how much food you need to store, just think of how much food you or you and your family needs for a day and then multiply that by seven days. Starting small and working your way up to one month, two months, and eventually three months is a great way to see where you might need to make changes in what you purchase and how you store it.

How should I store the food?

Packaging is very important when you are storing food, you will want a place that is cool and dry, and packaging that will keep your food from spoiling and keep it from being eaten by mice or other animals. Gallon size cans, 5-gallon buckets, and glass mason jars are all great ways to package your food that will keep it from spoiling and safe from animals.

Your local extension office has lots of great information on canning, gardening, and food preservation. If you have any questions, please gives us a call, or stop in the office.

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