Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I store the food? It is best to store in a cool, dry place. Preferably between 40 - 65 degrees F.
Where do I begin?
To start off make a list of the meals you regularly eat. Break down that list into the ingredients that make up those foods. From there figure out a two-week menu plan. Now you have your shopping list. You should have at least enough food, water and sanitation supplies for a minimum of two-weeks.
How long is the shelf life?
Shelf life is dependent upon the product and how it is stored. A few things, such as grain and honey will last indefinitely if stored correctly. Butter and eggs, however have a much shorter shelf life. All freeze-dried products have a 20-25 year shelf life, which includes both cheeses and meats. To view a list of foods and their average shelf life click on this link.
What should I store?
Everything you need to survive for a predetermined length of time, which includes but is not limited to, food, water, sanitation supplies (toilet paper, garbage bags, feminine hygiene products etc), medical supplies, current medication, alternative power source, cooking supplies, extra clothing or cloth, cleaning materials, soap, shampoo and so forth.
Where should I store my food?
Food storage should never be exposed to temperatures greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower than 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a constant temperature is also vital in achieving optimum shelf life. The ideal storage place should be cool and dark. Some storage place ideas include, under beds or stairs, back of closets, in the basement, or in the crawl space. Food should never be left in the attic, garage or car.
What kind of containers can I store my food in?
There are a variety of containers that can store food, the most popular being buckets, cans and jars. The most important thing about selecting a container is to make sure that it is food safe. For plastic containers, contact the manufacturer to make sure it is food-quality plastic. If it is not, over time the plastic will break down and leach dangerous gases in the food. Be aware that all plastics ‘breathe’ and there will be some oxygen flow. Also, be sure that the container is sealable to keep out insects and animals. Jars are excellent for wet, packed items. However, they are made of glass and, in a natural disaster, (such as a major earthquake), they are easily broken and glass shards can contaminate the food. Cans are an excellent alternative, as they are tighter sealed and will not shatter if dropped.
Does the food taste good?
Despite popular belief, food storage can and does taste good. With the increase in technology we now have access to new food processing techniques that allows us to enjoy food with longer shelf life. As proof, we include samples of food storage foods at our workshops. Stop in and try it. You will see for yourself that it is not only easy to use, but delicious as well.
How do I cook with my food storage?
There are a variety of products from just add water meals to baking from scratch. Most items can easily be incorporated into your regular recipes. Feel free to stop by one of our workshop to learn more, and receive free information and recipes.
How long does my water storage last?
Again water storage depends on where and how you store it. For optimum taste and quality water should be rotated every 6 months, however there are methods that allow water to be stored up to 5 years.
Do I need to treat water to store it?
No, most city water is treated and will easily store up to a year if kept in a cool dark place. Well and spring water do need to be treated for storage and can be done with a few drops of bleach. (Make sure that the bleach does not contain any other cleaning chemicals) For clean water place 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water or ½ a teaspoon for 5 gallons.
What other things should I do to prepare for emergences?
Have a disaster response plan and 72 hours kits that include emergency survival items. Plan for all members of your household and pets.
Some further preparedness tips can be found at :
FEMA www.fema.gov The Red Cross www.redcross.org
Ada County Emergency Management www.accem.org
Home Land Security www.ready.gov
What is the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
Dehydration is a process that includes heating the food and using a fan to maintain airflow to remove the moisture from the food. On the other hand, the Freeze-drying process places frozen foods in a vacuum chamber, and uses low atmospheric pressure to remove the moisture from the food in a vapor state. Because the freeze-drying process does not require hot temperatures, the nutrient level and flavor are of higher qualities than dehydrated products. Freeze-dried foods maintain their structure and texture. The removal of moisture gives it a longer shelf life.