[8/26/17] Are you thinking about starting a food storage stockpile but you aren’t sure where to start? Do you want to stop stocking up on supplies – hurriedly — in advance of severe storms? Are you just beginning to store extra food, but you aren’t sure if you’re doing it right?
If so, then read on. We’ll tell you what to buy, how to get good deals, and ways to store extra food so you are prepared to shelter in place with plenty of supplies on hand.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
How to best stockpile? Slowly and steadily is the best way to build a food supply. You don’t want the large expense and rush of trying to get everything at once. In addition, building a food supply gradually gives you the advantage of personalizing your plan, and adjusting for things you may have missed when you initially began.
How should you start the stockpile process? First, think about the meals you consistently prepare week in and week out. These meals and dishes are your mainstays, or simply the foods you and your family are accustomed to eating and that you know and like. When you are first beginning to stockpile, you should first stock up on these familiar ingredients to prepare your mainstay dishes. With a supply of these foods always on hand, you will be well-prepared in the event of a storm without having to make a rushed and crowded grocery run.
We’ll go into more detail about what exactly to buy below, but you should start by picking up a few items each week with your regular grocery runs. Initially, these extra items will be foods you already eat and like and use to prepare the mainstay dishes we talked about above. With a few items each week, you will build a supply of food that will last a week, and from there you can carefully and gradually double that to a two-week supply. Once you have a two-week supply of food, you will repeat the process until you again double and have enough of a supply to last a month, then two or three months. Step by step, week by week, you will gradually accumulate a stockpile to tide you through potential shortages.
Don’t Put all Your Eggs in one Basket (Diversify)
You might see suggestions to stock up on one item at a time; for example, to start with water and to stockpile only water until you have your supply of water all stored. This sounds efficient and well-planned, but it is not ideal at all. What if a situation occurs before your stockpile is finished? You might have plenty of water or flour, but not much else. It is better to buy a few different items at one time. Do not stockpile “one item at a time.” Instead, buy several different things: a jug or two of water, a jar of peanut butter, and then a mainstay dish ingredient or two.
Water can be tricky to store. Evaluate whether you have a dependable source of water, and if you don’t, you will have to stockpile water in containers, and/or water filtration or treatments to make water from natural sources drinkable or potable (drinking untreated water from a river or a stream can make you seriously ill).