Food preservation in emergency situations

In Hurricane Looting - How to Protect Your House? @Gary_H_aka_Gary12 wondered:

How do you preserve food or stockpile food for an emergency situation such as a hurricane?

We store canned goods and dry goods. our approach is … buy something extra every time we shop. Need one? Buy two. Only stuff we actually use.

We put up produce (canning, drying, pickling). We use a better consumer-grade vacuum packer and top-quality consumer-grade dehydrators.

We have big freezers with lamb and beef, and a generator and a 300 gal farm gas tank to run them.

Next up, a commercial grade freezedryer from these folks: https://harvestright.com/ once that’s in place, we’ll get a commercial grade vacuum packer and mylar bag sealer.

Since I’ve got food allergies, there are pretty much NO commercial food storage products that work for me, so we’re doing it ourselves.

@Gary_H_aka_Gary12 there are other tactics for storing and preserving food as well… pretty much the only things we haven’t done is salting and smoking for long term meat storage. If there’s something in particular you’re interested in, I’ve probably done it and I’m happy to point you in the direction of resources, books, or assist with strategies.

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If something ever happens, I’m walking to your place, @Zee!

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Grew up on a farm, I know how to can. I can seal the jars without using a pressure cooker. You buy some lard cans put jars in cans, fill with water and start a fire. If you listen you can hear jars seal.

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I’ll be heading to @Zee’s place when apocalypse begins.

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@Zee As much as I would like to say I would come too, I think Zee is going to have her hands full with the people she already plans on hosting. If I go through that area and we by chance cross paths I could imagine a trade negotiation, but I would not try to impose on what surely seems a full house already.

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We’ll all be working the farm together. :slight_smile:

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@Dawn @MikeBKY @DBrogue … apocalypse party at my place! :partying_face:
dress like this:
:man_farmer::woman_farmer:
:smiley:
Bring beer.

oh, and reloading supplies.

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:rofl: @Zee sounds like a plan! I always bring beer!

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I got about a months worth of non perishable store bought food in my cabinet. Dry goods and canned stuff. Mostly stuff that doesn’t require heating up or water.

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I’m kinda like @Zee when I get the chance to go shopping with the wife, “Is that a good price?” “Good we need a few of those.” :innocent: I watch the big box stores and grocery store specials and about three times a year canned goods go on sale for stupid cheap. Having spent 4 years in Hawaii we like SPAM, so we have lots of that in many different flavors as well as canned chicken and tuna. Given our little island exposure to the south pacific culture we also have rice, lot’s of rice, all kinds of rice and lots of dried tasty bits with funny writing on them. Dried oriental noodles in a hundred flavors as well as regular old noodles and dried pasta. I figure for the first 10 days with no hope in sight we would be eating like King’s going through the contents of the freezers, fridges and pantries getting rid of stuff too bulky to transport and jerkying meat, then we would get serious about food until it was time to go.

I gave up on “canning” food as the effort was not worth the product and oversize/fragile storage unless I’m doing some spicy beans or tomatoes or something that is more of a comfort food snack. I have 2 buckets of dehydrated food as a last resort but haven’t gone down the road of dehy everything.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Knowing how to can is a great first step, there’s also salting and smoking. Which is why my bug out plans involve heading to a coast, also knowing how to desalinate water (as a by product you get sea salt) helps.

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Yes to everything above,something to consider if you are in a Dorian type situation, depending on your choices you can keep food from spoiling if sealed in a water tight container and sunk to a depth in the water or ocean,of course you would consider,where to do this, a well vs an open area with effluent. A submerged 100 foot smoke stack or chimney vs a two foot hole in what’s left of a backyard. Obviously this is monitored as water recedes.(might need rope) Canning,salting,yes but also evaporative cooling. Then obviously if prepared with a portable solar unit you have options,as well as a generator,also you can make a very simple hydropower based electrical generator that would work well(however in that case u need earth magnets and copper on hand ( obviously you have lots of water.
Sand Pots get mixed reviews depending on what your keeping cold and it’s density, fish,bacon and chicken are easier than a leg of lamb. In the case of fruits ,milk separated into pint and quart quantities as opposed to gallons etc. Sand pots use wet sand between two pots(other types of containers work also) contents go in to the smaller inner pot ,cover with a wet towel pushed into the sand that is between the two pots. Keep sand moist(a modified evaporator cooler) in water situations on average a ten foot drop of one cup of water produced 1 kilowatt of electric(remember the old 60watt bulb,well it’s a lot more than that) so even if you are harnessing water running from the roof to the garage through a tube,your making power,it is simple for emergency situations. However outside of making your own power,root cellars,canning,evaporative coolers ( more emergency food preservation) water/air tight sinkable containers(Wells,floods etc,think swimming when you were younger it was always cooler at the bottom of the lake). Converting crawl spaces to cooling tunnels,or using water movement(like running water from your faucet (as long as the food is protected(sealed) and the flow is constant will keep most food edible( not necessarily frozen,unless water is cold or at a nice depth) obviously we are ignoring mre’s which are great in the immediate situation because everyone gets a hot meal as long as you have 8 ozof liquid to make the heaters work. But more importantly MRE’s are constructed to have a much higher nutrient load,since originally for soldiers,the creation was with their life demands in mind.This is a great help within the first few days,while everyone is trying to get it back together. Plus it’s a full meal with dessert and snack,and usually a little candy too. Keep in mind MRE’s are sealed.
Just a thought or two,thinking about Dorian

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@Spence, coasts are where the highest concentration of people are… if we get a situation so dire you need to extract your own salt, you are not going to want to be where people are concentrated.

@Dr_Richard sand pots work well in low humidity areas… not so much in the midwest. In dryer climes the evaporation works well but they have to be maintained wet, and the places they work best (deserts) may have a water supply problem.

Water storage can work, but “down a well” … not so much. There are very few wells of the “bucket on a rope” variety… most are a 6" or so hole and the water is 30 to hundreds of feet deep. With a well pump in them. Besides, if you lost a bag of food down one, now that rotting food will contaminate your water supply. Plus if that’s your water supply, and you were prudent enough to plan for a suitable well-bucket and mechanical winch, that space is going to be busy.

If you have access to deep water or snowmelt or groundwater where it surfaces, maybe you can use that, but you now have to deal with scavengers.

@Zee

I’m talking long term. By the time this becomes necessary there will be very little of that population left. Honestly most people will be further away from the coast by then, very few of them would have the knowledge to desalinate water to drink, requiring that they start traveling back and forth between ocean and lakes for food and water.

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