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Thread: Disaster food storage plan

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default Disaster food storage plan

    Hi, I've started my just-in-case food storage plan and I wanted to bounce it off somebody to see what you think.

    I'm no survivalist by any means but after the latest Redoubt episode it got me thinking, the premise is massive earthquake and/or volcanoes shutting everything (infrastructure, food delivery to AK) down in Anchorage for 3+ months. Its just the wife and I.

    So, after the usual food in the pantry is gone:

    0 to +2 weeks: Case of military MREs from the commisary (I actually kinda like them) 5 to 10 years shelf life if kept below 60 degrees.
    In place already.

    +2 weeks to +4 weeks: Pouches of Mountain House freeze-dried (FD) food (scored on ebay) expensive but dang tasty and lots of variety, 7 year shelf life, rotate/refill as they get eaten on hunting/fishing/camping trips.
    Open one gallon plastic pail of Sailor Boy pilot bread (we like it), has 50 slices per pail. From Costco. Packed bread myself in Mylar bags inside pails.
    In place.

    +4 weeks to +4 months: Finally time to break out the bulk food since it looks like the emergency is going to continue for a while.
    #10 cans of FD entrees, veggies and breakfasts. 3 meals a day. 30+ year shelf life. Most from Sportsmans warehouse, FD veggies and fruit/berries coming from beprepared.com. FD in this amount was godawful expensive.
    Two 1 gallon pails of powdered orange drink. One 1 gallon pail of powdered milk. Costgo. cheap.
    Three more 1 gallons pails of Sailor Boy bread. Costgo. cheap
    Decent variety.
    In place.

    +4 months and on. Civilization is evidently screwed
    1 six gallon bucket of each; dried pinto beans, lima beans, rice, split peas, pasta, powdered eggs, 15 year shelf life, Costgo/Sams, cheap
    2 gallon pail of salt, 2 gallon pail of sugar, 2 gal honey. Indef life. Costgo/Sams, cheap
    Two #10 cans of potato flakes, 10 year life, Costgo, cheap
    Honking big bottle of good multivitamins
    1 case of 180 FD pork chops in #10 cans, ebay, 20 year life, have. expensive
    12 each (24 total) tins of Red Feather canned butter and cheese, MREdepot.com, 20+ year shelf life (can claims indef), expensive. Might get more cheese since body needs some concentrated fats and oils.
    5 more gallon pails of Sailor Boy bread in progress. Might do more.
    One #10 can of shortening, 5 year life
    Not much variety Meals are basically "endless kettle of stew" with sailor boy bread.
    In progress, barely started.

    Water: one 500 gal collapsable rain barrel, 40 gals of 2 gal costgo water. Good Katydyn water filter and spare cartridges.

    Power/lights: Generator (already had), 200 gals of gasoline (160 gals in cabin cruiser boat, 40 in suburban, kept full of stabilized gas at all times)
    45 watt solar cells (have), inverter (from boat), two 200 amp-hour deep cycle forklift batteries (will use as huge "house bank" for boat) and one 110 AH marine deep cycle for jon boat elec trolling motor

    Heat: wood stove in house, vented gasoline heater for boat (if I can find one)

    Misc: hand crank flashlights and hand crank hf/vhf/uhf AM/FM radio, medical kit, usual safety equip, my guns/ammo, 12v water pump.

    Plan is for in-place at home, if things get crazy will load everything up on the boat and scoot away on kicker then anchor boat and listen to radio.

    All pails are packed in heat sealed mylar bags that are purged with dry ice and then dessicants and oxy absorbers tossed in before final heat seal. All the MREs and freeze-dried is stored in shed in back yard, dehydrated/dried is in heated garage because it shouldnt be allowed freeze/thaw cycles.

    So, anything that I've missed? Am I totally over doing it?

    Whatcha think.

  2. #2
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Forgot to add in power/lights: Picked up from costco 6 LED lights that screw into standard lamps sockets. They only use 1.5 watts and are supposed to be the equivalent of a 50 watt bulb and last just about forever.

    In heat: thinking of getting a mini cabin type 2 burner wood stove in case we have to relocate to boat if house is destroyed. Boat will be a lot more comfortable than a tent, even if it is on the trailer.

    I'm don't have a better place to store the dehydrated and dried food than the garage, so if a massive earthquake destroys the house or it catches on fire I'm boogered.

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    This list looks better then most peoples list's do. My wife and I are working on our "preps" right now too, but we are not quite as far along as you are. A couple questions I had while reading your post were:

    Heat the boat with fuel? This seems like it would not last that long. Maybe you'd be also using a tent on shore with a wood source of heat as well, or maybe they make a greatly efficient stove for boats. (I'm not a boat guy)

    I also had the question of storage in the garage, and what happens if the garage is destroyed. You addressed that at the end though. One suggestion would be to store some food elsewhere.

    Do you have a link to the 500 gallon collapsible water storage? I'd like to look into something like that.

    What would you recommend someone purchase FIRST if they didn't have any disaster preparedness items at all?

    Great post


    Jeremiah

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    cool - good for you!

    I just haven't had the spare money to start much of anything, but it's an intruiging subject and I think it would be kind of fun too.

    The biggest problem I think I'll have if/when I get to building a disaster kit is buying a bunch of bulk food all sealed up and then at the end of it's life throwing it out (donating it to a soup kitchen probably) and buying more. I'd much rather have a way to stockpile real food that will get continually used and replaced...but I guess the only way to do that really is to start eating the survival food and I'm not sure I'm willing to do that - beyond MREs and mountain house as you mentioned.

    My uninformed opinion is that the odds for a relatively brief emergency (couple days to a week) are higher than a multi-month civilazation ending event. I would imagine a good plan for up to 2-3 weeks is probably sufficient time, even in a major disaster, for at least red cross type emergency 'life support' to reach our cities. I just think it is likely that some form of industrialized transportation is going to survive whatever natural calamity or be able to be repaired to at least emergency operation. But I just can't picture too many disaster type scenarios where lots of alaskans would die from lack of food or water. Not that having 2-3 weeks of food/water is a bad idea, that way you don't have to rely on those relief efforts to take care of you and yours.

    The biggest thing I worry about up here is the cold winters, we are much much more likely to loose electricity and heat than to not have any kind of emergency access to bring in supplies. If you plan to heat with a wood stove make sure you of course have enough wood but also that the stove is in good order and sufficient. Seems like every year people die in the states in power outages from using propane heaters, coleman stoves and lanterns etc. Having good useable means to heat, light, and cook in winter months seem vitally important to me.

    Jeremiah - If I was planning to get through something as short as a couple days to as long as 2-3 weeks I would probably have an incremental approach. What I mean is that since a 2-3 day emergency is probably much more likely than a 2-3 week emergency I would probably have quite a bit more in the 2-3 day plan than if something stretched to 2-3 weeks. Plus a 2-3 day arrangement can likely even go in a bug-out-bat and go with you on car trips etc. or - as the name implies - be used to get out of dodge in a hurry if need be. With a solid 2-3 day kit you can then just build in some bulk food, more batteries, water etc to extend it - sure it will become spartan very quick and you're comfort level will go down if you get far into your long term gear (your menu selection becomes one choice, rationing becomes more intense (fuel, water, batteries, etc) and things like clean clothes and other niceties vanish)...but you'll be surviving - probably the name of the game at that point instead of riding out the disaster while waiting for normal to be restored.

    Not intended to offend or start religous discussion, but quite a while ago I was doing some research and found some guidance online from the morman church. I thought it was interesting reading even if I don't remember any of the details now.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    well if it gets that bad... the herd of cows on CHSR will be missing and moose will become endangered....

    people will pet their dogs and rub their bellys at the same time.... and i am pretty sure the soviets will be air dropping pretty toys with rip cords hanging out of them...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    I've been looking at two collapsible tanks, a 600 gallon onion tank thats probably horribly expensive:
    http://www.interstateproducts.com/po...ion_tank_sizes

    And a 156 gal tank thats $99
    http://www.amazon.com/Rain-Barrel-Co.../dp/B001GMQ1CW

    I'll almost certianly go with the 156 gallon barrel, and even thats probably overkill - water (in one form or another) isnt really a problem up here. Just have a good filter.

    As far as purchasing first, if your budget allows it I'd recommend the freeze-dried number 10 cans, they last forever and are pretty tasty, durable and easy to do.
    I only got the pouches because I got a heck of a deal on them and I use them a lot when I go hunting/fishing.
    The average entree #10 can runs about 30-34 bucks and will have about 12 servings in it.

    The best bang for your buck is dried beans etc packed in mylar inside plastic buckets. You can put 40 pounds of beans in a 6 gallon bucket and that'll provide meals for months.

    60 days is almost certainly enough, the only reason I'm continuing with the extended plan is because its cheap, easy, and kinda fun.... and I figure its better to have and not need, than need and not have. I once took a tour of the port of Anchorage and it struck me how fragile it was, I also remember reading somewhere that Anchorage only has 7 days of food in the various warehouses.

    I'll probably never have to tap into any of it for an emergency, but probably still leaves a possibility that I will. I hope that made any sense. I'll admit I feel vaguely silly doing all this, its just that I've got this feeling I can't shake that I'll need it, and within a few years at that.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting calculator from the LDS: http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Here's an interesting calculator from the LDS: http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm
    after years of compund living they should KNOW ......

    i need 824 lb of wheat...


    strange that HOPS was not on their list...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I was going to add that the list does not mention caffeine or alcohol.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Way to go Maast, now we all now where to go when we run out of food.

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    I will be stocking up on Whiskey as well, but I think that might be a different thread.

    I think more people should be prepared for a disaster. If we had a supply chain break down the store shelves would be empty in a matter of days. That is not very comforting. If you don't believe me do a little research. I know that the Fairbanks area has been studied, and the stores just wouldn't last very long. Water is easy to get a hold of if you filter, or cook it, but people assume they'll be able to use the tap at there house. That isn't a good plan.

    I don't care what your opinions are about religion, politics, economics, etc. The bottom line is that it is possible that we'll see a serious disaster of some sort or another in our lifetime. I'm not willing to risk my family's lives by rolling the dice and not investing a few hundred bucks in some preps.

    I have tons of self defense equipment (I'm a big gun geek), I have some basic gear like camp stove, a little extra fuel, water filter, wall tent, etc. My next purchases will take place very soon, and will consist of freeze dried foods, canned goods, beans in buckets, and water containers. After that I'll upgrade my first aid, lights, generators, etc.

    I don't know what type of emergency we'll face, but I don't want to wait to get prepared. Even if your emergency is a lost job for a few months you would be able to benefit from a basic supply of goods.


    Jeremiah

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    I'm keeping a list of mormans in the area.

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    Good post and list. Being prepared with supplies is always good, even better if you can prepare for a long time without the modern basics of society.

    While you remain fairly anonymous on this forum, I would refrain from talking to acquaintances about your large stash. When it comes down to feeding their family after a month of near starving, you know where they're coming. Charity to your neighbor and helping them out is always a good thing, but in desperate times, there are many that would use force to take what you have.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    spices, sugar and TP.

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    Default Stock rotation

    Quote Originally Posted by akjw7 View Post
    The biggest problem I think I'll have if/when I get to building a disaster kit is buying a bunch of bulk food all sealed up and then at the end of it's life throwing it out (donating it to a soup kitchen probably) and buying more.
    Stock rotation fixes this. Date everything and keep a running inventory. As stuff nears expiration dates, rotate it from the survival stash into your operating pantry and use it. Obviously, as you move a case of canned goods out of the stash and into the kitchen, you need to stop at the warehouse store and buy a replacement case. Stagger the initial purchases so that you don't have a ton of stuff expiring at the same time. Easier to build up a stockpile by picking up an extra case or two of canned goods each payday to put away.

    As for the MRE's and freeze dried stuff, rotate those items out to camping or hunting trips. Also consider using these items in the kitchen as components in larger recipes. You can actually come up with some very cool meals based on these items. And that's also good experience to have in place before a disaster has you living off the stuff for a lengthy period of time.

    No survival food stash is a buy it and forget it prospect. It must be an ongoing operation to be successful.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstumpe View Post
    I'm keeping a list of mormans in the area.
    Only problem is they already know where you live and you've been on their list a long time..

  17. #17

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    ok here the thing that gets the most up here now ..that most people really do not keep a min 30 day supply on hand just in case..they barge items can not get in or the stores are running low on items ..or something has gone wrong and there going to be a while before supplies get into the area..

    the people have gotten used to going to the store and haveing something there..i learned that not the case a few times when bad weather hit the area and learned to keep a min 30 day supply of the basic food items on hand in a rubbermaid stowage tub .then cover with a piece of plywood then a sheet to act as a coffee table

    plus some others long term supplies that i have in stowage for right now ..

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    Default your post is only missing one thing

    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    So, anything that I've missed?
    Your street address.
    Eschew Obfuscation

  19. #19
    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    It is nice to hear others are thinking about being prepared and not expecting someone to take care of them. I think that anyone living in Alaska should have a minimum 30 day supply of food on hand. The key in my mind is to have a 3 - 7 day supply that is easily prepared. This is where the MH freeze dried or MRE's can come in handy. In the early stages of a disaster you don't have a lot of time for cooking so quick and easy fit my bill.

    I would also try and keep a 90 day supply of food. In my mind you should store the food you normally eat. Your food storage is your normal supply. An easy way to start is always buy twice as much non perishables as you need and store half in a separate pantry. If you do this for a month you now have a 30 day supply of non perishables. Now as you buy twice what you need instead of putting half in the extra pantry put it all in the extra pantry and pull the food from there. As you do this you find what it is you need to store. Now you can save money because you can make your purchases when things are on sell and not because you need some tonight. Buy doing this for 6 months you easily have an extra 90 days supply of your typical food and you don't have to worry about it going bad because it is what you eat.

    Now you start looking at the perishables. Is there a shelf stable alternative. This is where you can keep some canned butter or powdered milk on hand. The key is to also cook with it so you know what you like and what you don't. The key is to live in the event of a disaster and not just survive.

    The disaster may not be a wide spread one. If you get laid off or are unable to work for 3 months, having the food stores will make life much better. Not having to worry about your next meal is a nice thing.

    If you hunt or fish now is the time to start to practice canning fish or meat. This gives some options if the freezer goes out. If you know how to can meat or stews, if the freezer does go out you can save your food supply if you start canning or drying in a hurry.

    This topic is bigger than this reply can handle. The most important thing is to start planning. Eat what you store so you know what to do. Have alternate ways of preparing a meal. Test your options. Take a week and eat only what you have stored. No trips to the store. What is missing?

    Good topic.

  20. #20

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    you would think that more alaskans would have a basic plan for long term food supplies ...for the thing that hit the most up there was the fact everything comes into the state by air or barge ..so supplies are limted at times even in the best of times or they can be rationed out as need ...



    basic list of supplies tha i store at the cabin for some form of bad times ,,

    -x-potatoes -x-diff typles.
    -x-hashbrown
    -x-flakes
    -x-diced
    -x-sliced
    -x-butter bits typle flakes
    -x-rice
    -x-flour
    -x-corn
    -x-wheat
    -x-diff typles of beans
    -x-red chili bean
    -x-black chili bean
    -x-great northern white beans
    -x-carrots
    -x-green beans
    -x-mac and chesse
    -x-pasta spaghetti enriched
    -x-apple sauce
    -x-diff typles of fuits -apples-pear-peachs-banana-fuit cocktail.- raisins -strawberry-pineapple
    -x-diff canned meats from diff companys ..beef -spam-chicken -pork-etc-
    -x-diff spices for cooking ..
    -x-sugar
    -x-powder milk in diff flavors
    -x-tea-x-hot and cold typle tea bags
    -x-honey
    -x-hot choc drink mix powders-x-diff flavors
    -x-pancake and biscuts mix
    -x-oatmeal
    -x-diff soup base items for soup units
    -x-ganola-x- diff flavors
    -x-drink mixs powders-x- diff flavors -x-apple-peach raspberry-apple cider-fuit punch..
    -x-tamato ketchup powder for the makeing of home made ketchup
    -x-pudding and dessert typle mixs for brownies and cakes and diff typles of jello..along with frosting mixs
    -x-store bought items cans of campbells soups and other stews and chilis along with a diff items-x-that i can make up for a super quick meal as need ..

    most of the items are in 6.gallon super pails and n10 sized cans set up ..along with the diff store bought items to add to the list

    with everything up there i can make up a complete meals for me everyday for at least two years before i need to start to think about get resupply with the basic for the pantry ..

    here my way of thinking on this subect ..

    ok here goes ..if something happens in the lower 48 ..what happens to our supply line to alaska is cut off . now what ..how are you going to feed your family with the basic supplies are gone or for the remain amount of the supplies will be such a high price..

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