Thursday, March 13, 2008

Survival Food Storage - Why Do It

Survival Food Storage

The growing economic and social tensions that the world is currently experiencing have drawn more and more people into the survival lifestyle. This way of living conducts your resources towards directly protecting and providing for your family rather than relying on external paid surrogates to feed and secure those closest to you. The survivalist understands that in a disaster situation security and relief are best served by the survivalist, not some faceless bureaucracy whose agenda may be in conflict with your beliefs and freedoms.

The preparation for safeguarding and providing for your family in uncertain times may seem like a daunting task. There are many blogs out there that address survivalism issues but most focus on the sexier aspect of preparation which revolve around guns and ammunition. Admittedly guns are the fun part and deserves great consideration but as far as survival goes you must start with the most basic of items. If you prioritize the basics of life and move from there it helps clear the path.

The goal of the survivalist is to protect and provide for the family under all possible situations. The worst outcome for a survivalist is being forced into a refugee situation where you are no longer in control of your life. Freedom from the corporate/government machine is only realized with a sound survival plan that focuses on the basics.

To this end this series of articles will explore the most basic of survival necessities, food. More directly why, how and where to store survival food supplies. We will look into how much food is needed for various survival scenarios; where and how to store your supplies; the practical shelf life of stored items; how to prepare the survival stocks and most importantly what will it cost and how to quietly acquire them.

Let's look at three possible scenarios where adequate food storage is critical to your families existence and how having adequate food supplies keeps you out of the "evacuation" centers and free of direct state control.


A dry spring and sweltering summer have left the forests around your suburb a tinderbox ready to blaze with the smallest spark. Then one evening you smell smoke and get the call every home owner dreads. "This is the reverse 911 emergency operator. We are ordering a mandatory evacuation for your area due to wild fires. Please gather your family and immediately report to the Dick Cheney High School for processing. Disobeying this evacuation order is a criminal offense punishable with a one year prison sentence. Thank you for your cooperation"

Being confined to a high school gymnasium for two weeks doesn't exactly sit well so you pack the bug out bags and camping gear in the truck and head up state for a two week "vacation". You carry with you three weeks worth of energy dense foods that will allow a comfortable stay squatting at a friends farm or distant state park.

With a tank of gas and proper food stores your options are open and any option beats incarceration at the local evacuation center through the duration of the crisis. You maintain control of your life, you are not surrendering your families safety to the local authorities. When the danger passes you return home.

Flu Pandemic

The killer flu is finally here spreading from the population dense cities into the countryside at a lethal pace. Mortality rate is high and a mandatory 24/7 curfew is enacted till further notice to try and get in front of the death wave. No one except critical infrastructure workers outside, period. Bodies should be deposited on the roadside for collection and emergency rations will be distributed to your door as needed by trained contract personnel provided by Kellogg-Brown & Root. To request a food delivery call the local 211 operator. It will be necessary, to prevent hoarding, for you to answer some question regarding your family and household status, you will be billed accordingly.

When the "delivery boy" shows up the first thing they will do is confirm the given answers and confiscate all firearms, you will be assured return of your weapons upon restoration of normal activities. It's for public safety you are told.

To maintain autonomy from the system it would be really helpful to have at least a three month supply of rotated day to day food stocks. This is just a big stock of your everyday eating food. In this scenario the power stays on so however you prepare your foods today would not change. Your stored survival foods will keep you out of the system, armed and independent.

Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP)

With the collapse of the United States economy the rest of the world descends into chaos as countries fight for the dwindling resources. One conflict leads to another and it ends with China detonating one 20 megaton nuclear device at an altitude of 250 miles above Kansas. The resulting EMP covers continental North America and fries all integrated circuits within a 1400 mile radius. China's assumption is that the United States will be to busy trying to restore order to busy itself in the worlds affairs.

Unless they are properly shielded, after an EMP attack, the control mechanisms of corporate institutions and the state will be rendered ineffective which of course brings quick anarchy and loss of freedoms to the unprepared. All communications and commerce systems will be unusable; power is off, phone won't work, gas won't pump and credit/debit cards are worthless ice scrapers. All are rendered equal.

This is the worst possible scenario. Stores will be looted empty within hours and with no method of communicating with the people, panic will rule. You have the complete chaos of a global disaster without any population die-off to thin the starving heard. Wal-Mart will quickly be established as the distribution centers for a starving public where food will be handed out after registration of family and surrendering of weapons. All able bodied people will be conscripted into work units and transported to the great corporate farms to grow the necessary food for survival. Families will be broken up and the Constitution becomes a distant memory.

You hunker down in your dark, cold house with your guns and try to ride out the initial chaos. In this scenario having a multi year survival stock of food and seeds would be absolutely necessary. The only way to protect your arsenal is to stay out of the system and the only way to stay out of the system is to have an adequate food supply.

Note the importance of maintaining a proper survival food stock in each of the above disaster scenarios. Now think about how a small emergency situation...something as small as extended unemployment...would affect your family and how long term food storage would be beneficial.

Next we will look at the three type of food storage plans.


judyofthewoods said...

In the last scenario, wouldn't an EMP make vehicles redundant, except a few old ones which don't have electronic systems? How would government bodies be able to co-ordinate anything without being able to communicate or move around either? I would think that scenario would just throw us back to the dark ages, and we would be faced with new feudalism, the people who make themselves the local barons through being ruthless, and having amassed resources beforehand, in order to buy allegiance (i.e. thugs). They may be some of the same people that are in power locally now, but without the central guidance and support. I think this kind of scenario would cause a massive die-off too, due to lack of a food distribution network and greatly hampered production, as well as disease through unsanitary conditions. Even if there is still plenty of oil, it won't be flowing without technology (nor irrigation, water supply to cities, sewage removal etc. etc.), and since our numbers rely on oil and a techno-dependent infrastructure, we're in deep doo-da, but for an individual who is prepared and self reliant, there is a fighting chance, perhaps more so than under martial law, where the full weight of the government can be brought against individuals, even if it is to make an example.

johnzilla said...

I really enjoy reading this blog. I'm still trying to figure out, though, how one person can store food and manage it without spoilage. For me, cost is not an issue...I can buy the food I need for a year or two and I already keep a decent garden every summer.

My confusion is how to deal with a big load of wheat or beans or rice and keep it from getting spoiled. How do you put up a pail of beans or rice and use it daily without the unused portion going bad before you can get to it?

I would love to see a post explaining a little more how a single person can store food and live off what they store. Thanks for a great blog, and I hope you keep up the posts!

BigBear said...

Thanks Johnzilla,

It's not hard and I will get to that in the next few day. OK

Barry said...

I have read a number of articles relating to food shortages and most of them talk about buying supplies in from outside sources. A number of other sites talk of 'Bugging Out' if the going gets too tough.
Our lifestyle and situation allows us to have a feeling of security as well as the ability to lead healthy and productive lives without the worry of many of the situations in the world that cause problems for so many others.
We have live on a rural block and grow a variety of vegetables and fruit organically. A small hydroponic system is also used over the hotter drier months to grow tomatoes, capsicums and cucumbers. This year we are going to trial Wicking Beds as another means of saving water. We freeze a lot of vegetables from the spring planting and over the summer and winter months we grow seasonal vegetables. We preserve some of the fruit and make others into jams and juices. Our hens, ducks and geese provide us with eggs and meat.
Local farmers are able to supply us with organically grown wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats that we grind into flour.
We have solar power and hot water and a wood burning stove that in the winter heats the water as well as part of the house and is used for cooking. A gas stove is used for cooking in the summer.
We also have about 95000 litres of rainwater storage as well as dams that collect groundwater runoff for use on the gardens and orchard.
For us it is an inexpensive way to live without being costly to setup and the lifestyle is such that we are not overly worried about world financial situations, shortages at the supermarket or other events that appear to have so many other people worried.
In the long term though the way we manage our lives is going to have to change as petroleum shortages become a reality as we still use petrol and diesel to pump water, run the generators, cut wood and run a motor vehicle.
The lack of electricity, and it will happen more and more as petroleum resources are depleted, will cause disruptions across all sections of the worlds population. Without refrigeration our main food storage methods will fail and we will have to adapt to growing more seasonal crops or forming communities whereby perishable items can be used within specified times. Without petroleum or electricity pumping of water will have to be done by manual labour and this in itself will determine the way buildings in the future and water catchments will be designed.
The storage of food becomes a major problem if you are not able to grow any of your own and for those of us that do grow a good portion of what we need we still have to source grains, sugar, salt as well as a number of other items necessary for good nutrition and variety.

Anonymous said...

To johnzilla...

While the white plastic bucket seems to be a popular method for storing beans, rice, etc, I am using a different type container - a "Corny Keg". These are 5 gallon, SS kegs that are typically used for soda. They have a 4" removable - reseal able tops and are meant to be pressurized with CO2. They are easy to purge since the dip tube goes all the way to the bottom of the keg. I just bought another 15 for $10 each off of Craig’s list. I keep all my beans, rice, wheat, potato flakes, dried peas, sugar, etc in these. I also home can different types of meat using pint jars and keep those in a 5 gallon plastic bucket - you can get 14 pints per bucket with 2 pounds of pasta and some gravy mix. I think the key to LONG term storage is keeping the stuff at the lowest temperature - not freezing - that you can. I started my storage in 2008 and probably won't start using/replacing the meats for another 3 or 4 years – I have Tuna that I canned that is still good after 6 years – keep it dry and cool. I doubt I will ever rotate the beans/rice/wheat. I also buy every used 100 pound propane bottle I can find and fill..propane will last virtually forever without treating it...still need to get a propane generator for my well pump...good luck..

Anonymous said...

My husband and I also need food in smaller pks. so what I have done is I bought a vacuum sealer and put my rice and beans and lentils etc. in sizes that suit us and then seal them in vacuum bags and put them in pails that we bought at Home Depot. When repackaging rice and dried things that have sharp points and edges, I put them in a small plastic freezer bag first but do not seal it, then I put that bag inside a vacuum seal bag with the open side down then I vacuum seal the whole thing. Before I seal or pack anything , I freeze it first for about a week to kill any unseen bugs etc. This fumigates the food , then I proceed with the packaging. I also home can fruits, vegies, meat and jellies in jars the size appropriate for us. I also do some things in what is called 1/2 pint size jars so I can help feed an elderly friend. I make most anything I can buy in a store. My husband can's and so does my son and his son. They do a lot of canning of wild game. With five sons and they are all hunters they do a lot of canning and freezing and dehydrating ! A dehydrator , pressure canner and a vacuum sealer are your best friends. For canning with the hot water bath method all you need is a giant stock pot with a lid and use some canning lids tied together for a bottom plate to keep the jars off the bottom. Be sure to use rings that are smaller than the bottom of your jar ! I buy a lot of my dried foods at dollar stores such as dollar tree however I did find a farm store about 50 miles from me that has some pretty good prices on bulk grains so I purchased several 50 lb. bags from them. Those I did in big pails lined with mylar bags. I put a large oxygen absorber in the bottom , one in the middle and one in the top, then I vacuum sealed the mylar bag using my iron and a plastic tubing on the sealer. I heat sealed the most of the bag up to the hose and then turned on the sealer till it was vacuumed to my satisfaction and then quickly pulled out the hose and my husband quickly slipped the iron over the opening and it was done. I put the lid on the bucket and put them away. Now when I open them I will then do up the bulk grains in sizes to suit my use and vacuum seal them and put them back in the bucket. This bucket will be used first before going to another bucket, so the others that are packed for long storage will remain so packed ! Does this make sense ? I have even bought large sized cans of canned goods that I got at a really good price and brought them home and recanned them into smaller sizes for our needs. There is a lot you can do as long as you do not restrick yourself and always stick to the safety rules. Never change the safety rules, ever ! When planning your food storage, keep in mind how much of things you use in a week or a month and then consider the amount needed for a year. If you use green beans twice a week then figure 2 times 52 weeks in a year. Use this principal for all your food that you use for meals. Then figure things like powdered milk and oil and sugar etc. Keep in mind that there is more to your storage than just food. Personal grooming and hygene along with dishwashing and laundry etc. Hope this helps, Happy storing !

Anonymous said...

An EMP device is very local. Een the most powerful EMP device wouldn't disable a car 25 miles away. It would take thousands of EMP bombs to disable 100% of the cars in the U.S. Even one EMP bomb is an attack and would begin WW III so the least of your problems is your car. There would be no useful purpose for any country to attack us with EMP bombs unless they intended to destroy us totally because we would obviously retalliate in a massive way. EMP's should be way down on your list of things to worry about.

Bill Quick said...


I'm not trying to start a fight, but please: It's obvious you don't know much about nuclear HEMP.

Please do some basic research before posting misinformation.


Matthew said...

@ Anonymous,

You are correct about Non-Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse devices, however totally off topic because we are talking about High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse originating from a Nuclear explosion so high in the atmosphere the blast isn't the thing to be afraid of, but how the gamma radiation interacts with the Atmosphere. The correct sized device at the correct altitude can indeed cover the US with EMP.

With 97% of all money found solely in electronic databases the very bases of civil interaction and exchange of resources would disappear in a large scale EMP event. Food and the things that help you survive will be the only things of value. Unfortunately most military Vehicles will be unaffected by EMP.

Anonymous said...

EMP's are overrated. In your example it is very likely that the EMP blast won't even be effective over all of Kansas. It may spill over into surrounding states but the effect will be even less. It would take about 20-30 of these blasts in a grid pattern over the US to effectively disable 90% or so of the electronic equipment. But more to the point if China or Russia were to set off a Nuke in the US the response would be about 300 nukes over their country followed within the week with another hundred or so as targets are identified. Probably over the next 2-6 months another 100 or so more nukes until the offending country is truely unable to respond. Sadly in any nuclear exchange with Russia or China they would also send 300-1200 nukes to us and their nukes would be targeted at population centers. Good luck.