Prep for When Crisis Strikes: Long-Term Food Storage Techniques

survival food stored in a cellar as a long-term food storage technique

You never know when an emergency will happen. It could be a record-breaking hurricane this summer or a financial crisis in the next decade! No one can know for sure when it will happen, but one thing is certain — you and your family want to be prepared! Be prepared by stocking up on emergency food and ensuring it stays fresh with these long-term food storage techniques. 

How to Store Food for Long-Term Storage

Long-term food preservation is important if you want your food available and safe to eat no matter when a crisis happens. But how should you store food if you might not need it for years from now?

1. Find a Dark and Cool Place in Your Home. 

In the 18th century, people used underground root cellars to keep their food cool and fresh year-round (despite not having electricity). Though root cellars are no longer in use, the idea behind them still applies. Keep your food safe by storing it in a dark and cool space like a basement, closet, or under the stairs.

Put thought into which foods you place in this space. For example, you may keep canned foods in a pantry since they’re more resistant to heat and light. On the other hand, jerky and other foods containing animal products that require more refrigeration should go in your modern root cellar. 

2. Follow Best Food Organization Practices. 

Emergency food is made to last, but certain things can compromise its quality — mice, dust, and moisture are just a few. However, you can minimize the risk of these things affecting your long-term foods by organizing everything correctly within space. 

Start by ensuring all foods are at least 6 inches off the floor. This helps keep your food dust-free and away from critters. Many of our customers use wooden pallets for this purpose. Add heavy-duty shelving to maximize space. Stack the heaviest or largest items at the bottom of your shelves and work your way up to the lightest and smallest containers. Help prevent airborne mold and moisture from building up inside your space by leaving 2-3 inches of clearance between the walls and the shelves. If moisture build-up continues, use oxygen absorbers or silica gel packets to soak it up before it ruins your food!

Wondering how to prepare food for long-term storage? Take food safety one step further by using airtight and watertight storage methods such as canning, jarring, or vacuum sealing. 

3. Keep Good Records. 

Stocking an emergency-proof pantry gets expensive when you don’t keep good records of what you do and don’t have. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a crisis with a pantry full of dry goods but no bottled water!

Prevent wastefulness and unnecessary spending by keeping a spreadsheet or notebook with records of what you have in storage. Add dates, brands, and locations within your space to help you know what order to eat food in. When you need to turn to your pantry, use the FIFO (first-in, first-out rule) to ensure you’re using the items closest to expiring before your fresher goods! 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure! 

Whether an emergency happens next week or 25 years from now, you want to be prepared. Using these best practices for long-term food storage is an excellent way to get started. Another technique? Opting for high-quality survival food that’s designed to feed you and your loved ones come what may! 

Check out our Long-Term Survival Food kits for the variety, nutrition, and flavor you want when you need it most. Grab your kits today, and don’t forget to add a few extra storage totes to keep your food and supplies safe for years to come.