Water is an Essential Part of Your Preparedness Plan

Faucet filling a glass of water

Water is a required element of your family preparedness plan. There is a lot of information on the net about water filtration, so I won’t repeat all of it here. However, I will touch on some highlights.

Most people agree that you should plan to have one gallon of water per person per day in an emergency situation. Remember, unless your food storage consists solely of store-bought canned goods and home-canned goods, you will need water to prepare your meals. If you have freeze dried food storage, water is the only thing you will need, and you have to have it.

Even if you have your own water well, you should be filtering your water. Municipal water supplies have lots of chemicals in them. Some studies have shown that there are as many as 200 chemicals in municipal water supplies. Fluoride will be found in city water throughout the U.S. You should know that fluoride is horrible for you. Yes, I know that the dentist says it’s great for your teeth, but do some reading and you will find that it is bad for your brain. There have been a lot of studies done on the detrimental effects of fluoride on the human body. There are also books written on the subject. Some manufacturers are even putting fluoride in infant formulas. This is crazy. Filter your water and stop taking this into your body.

Another reason to filter your water is that there are many prescription drugs found in municipal water supplies. You may be on prescription drugs now, so why would you want to also take what everyone else is taking? Drinking prescription-drug-laced municipal water may even be altering the effectiveness of the prescription drugs you are taking. You may be having side effects as a result of this. Now, this is my opinion, and to me, this only makes sense. However, I am not a physician, so my opinion may not be worth much to you. I can simply say that I always drink filtered water.

In addition to fluoride and prescription drugs, there are also pollutants in municipal water. You don’t need to be taking these in either.

If you are looking for portable water filters, the Katadyn Water Filters are excellent. They have a silver-impregnated ceramic filter that kills all living organisms. Great to have in your 72-hour kits or Go packs. I have used these filters and can recommend them.

I’ve been told that Berkey Water Filters are also excellent, but I have never used them. They must be good because so many people recommend them.

The bottom line is that you should store water along with your food. In addition, make sure you have some kind of water filtration. If you do this, you should be fine.

Reports are the Swine Flu will be back this Fall and Winter

U.S. map shows 5000 Swine Flu cases

Janet Napolitano, the Head of the Department of Homeland Security, has said that the H1N1 flu could die down soon and return again much stronger in the fall when the flu season gets back in full swing. This is always a concern with a new strain of a flu virus.”

I have read many reports on the Swine Flu and there are a lot of differing opinions. We will have to wait and see. Although, sometimes I think they’ve blown this thing way out of proportion.

Fifteen Year Old Food Storage Found to be Great

I was going through some of my food storage recently and pulled out some of the oldest to use.  I am replacing this older food with new supplies.

The oldest I currently have is 15 years old.  It is a small food unit composed of bulk items, freeze dried food, and dehydrated food.  The food was packed in nitrogen in #10 cans.  I took very good care of this food and was pleasantly surprised.  Well, not really surprised.  I’ve been working in long term food storage for nearly 20 years, so I knew it should be okay.  Still, it was nice to have confirmation.

I sampled the powdered milk, whole wheat, beans, cheese powder, dehydrated vegetables, and freeze dried meals.  Everything tasted great.  The freeze dried meals were Mountain House and they tasted great.  I am saving some of the Mountain House to put back in storage to keep it for another 10 years.  It will then be 25 years old, so I will experience first hand if Mountain House stores for 25 years.  I’m not really worried, it’s just fun to see for yourself.

All of the bulk items kept well too.  I had several cans of different types of beans.  Pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans.  All fine.  The powdered milk was fine.  The cheese powder was excellent.  I was not a fan of the tomato powder when just mixed with water.  However, when it was added as an ingredient to other food, it was fine.

The dehydrated peaches were fine when reconstituted.  They tasted like canned peaches.  The banana chips were fine, so were the raisins.  I don’t remember if the raisins were dehydrated or freeze dried, but were found to be good in homemade bread and on breakfast cereal.

The one thing we didn’t like was the dehydrated cabbage.  We tried lots of ways to fix it up, but it didn’t cut the mustard.  I should be clear, I don’t think the cabbage suffered from being stored.  I think it was more that it was dehydrated, and after reconstituting, it just couldn’t come back to life enough for us.

All in all, a good test of 15 year old food, and a  reaffirmation that you can eat well and actually enjoy your food storage.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Sales Rise with Threat of Flu Pandemic

Airline passengers concerned over the Swine Flu.

Sales of Mountain House Freeze Dried Food have risen sharply with the recent swine flu pandemic.  We won’t know for a while if this flu will fizzle out or get worse.  Time will tell.

Regardless of what happens, the fact remains that if you are considering having a food storage program to protect your family in any type of emergency, you need to get started today.  If this situation worsens, quarantines may go into effect and you would have no access to the grocery store.

Food Storage Container Types – Mountain House Freeze Dried Food

There are many types of food storage containers.  In this article, we will examine each type and explain the pros and cons of each.

You must use food grade containers for storing food.  The reason is that you don’t want chemicals in the food reacting with the material that the storage container is made out of.  Common food storage containers are five gallon buckets, metal cans, and glass jars.

Ropak 5 Gallon Food Grade Bucket

Five gallon buckets that are made of food grade plastic work very well for storing food.  Remember you must have buckets that are made from food grade plastic.  If other types of buckets are used, they may impart an off taste to the food being stored.  This is not very appealing and I don’t recommend it.  Plus, the chemicals in the food may react with the sides of the container and impart more than an off taste to the food.

Food grade buckets can be purchased from a supply house.  I have used the Ropak brand for years, and they work very well.  However, Ropak is a manufacturer, and to buy directly from them, you will have to buy a palette worth of buckets.  So, you may want to do this with a few friends so you can split the cost.

What’s nice about these buckets is that they have a gasket in the lid that keeps it sealed while in storage.  So, if you use nitrogen to pack the food in the buckets, it will stay in the bucket for years, or as long as the gasket is good.  I have buckets that have been store for fifteen years and have never had a problem with them.

There is one important thing you must remember with these buckets.  You don’t want to stack many of them on top of each other.  In other words, when you stack two buckets, the well in lid of the bucket on the floor is the same size as the bottom of the bucket on top, so there will be no slippage of the top bucket off of the bottom one.  The problem is that over time, the weight of the top bucket can break the lid of the bottom bucket, causing all sorts of problems such as loss of atmosphere, contamination, insect infestation, and other undesirable things.

Personally, I learned about the problems with stacking buckets in the beginning of my food storage career, so I have never had the problem.  As a result, I can not tell you how many buckets you can stack on each other without breaking any of the lids.  I built shelves where the space between the shelves is just big enough for one bucket.  That way, I have never had any problems.  But these shelves are very substantial and were built specifically for this purpose.

Ball Home-Canned Carrots Jar

Glass jars are a very popular method of storing food.  Most grocery stores sell canning jars, so they are not hard to come by.  You may consider the cost of home canning equipment to be initially expensive, but the advantage is that the jars can be used over and over, as long as the mouth is still in good shape (no chips or cracks).  However, the lids cannot be used over.  Some people may say that you can use them over, but don’t believe them.  Trying to use lids over will just cause you a lot of wasted time and headaches.  Yes, in the beginning I tried it, but it just caused me a lot of grief.

Canning lids are actually comprised of two parts, a ring and a lid.  The ring holds the lid down on the jar.  I think it is a good idea to store some canning rings and lids in addition to your food, so you will always have a supply on hand.  You will also need a pressure cooker to seal the jars.  There are various types available along with lots of information on learning how to do home canning.

Store-bought canned beans

Metal cans are another very popular method of food storage.  The metal cans used in the canning industry for wet-pack canning are designed to last only for a few years.  So, canned goods must be rotated frequently to keep the stock healthy.

If you decide to buy empty metal cans and a can sealer, and do the canning yourself, you will find that they are not as easy to come by, and are somewhat expensive.  Members of the Mormon Church have been storing food in cans for years and are very experienced at it.  Their canning facilities have all the necessary equipment to do this.  However, if you don’t have access to one of these facilities, you will have to acquire the equipment yourself.  This can be costly, and you will have to determine if the cost is worth it to you or not.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food No. 10 Can

No. 10 metal cans are popular in the long term food storage industry, probably because they are a good size for food storage. One benefit of these cans is that they are lined with a special liner that does not react with the food. Mountain House foods packs their freeze dried food in No. 10 cans that have enamel on the inside and outside of the can AND lid.

No. 10 cans packaged by the manufacturer will also have the correct type of inert atmosphere that doesn’t react with the food, and will be sealed properly.  Once these cans have been opened, they can not be resealed. In the case of Mountain House food, a plastic lid is supplied to reseal after use. The manufacturer recommends that the contents of the can be used with two to three weeks after opening. Also, you should treat any leftover prepared food as you would treat fresh food

I believe that diversification is good when you are putting together a food storage program for your family.  I think it is good to have food storage comprised of No. 10 cans, 5 gallon buckets, home-canned jars, and store-bought canned goods.  I personally have all four types, and like the versatility of having all of them.

If I was just starting to create a food storage program for my family, I would start with a commercially-packaged food unit comprised of No. 10 cans.  Yes, you will have to pay some money, but it is the quickest way to start a food storage program for your family. Some manufacturers like Mountain House, offer food that has a 25 year plus shelf life! Since Mountain House has been around for over forty years, they can actually state that their food has been shown to last more than 30 years. They know because they’ve stored food that long and tested it.

After you get a food unit comprised of No. 10 cans and have some store-bought canned goods, you can expand your food storage to include 5 gallon buckets, and home-canned jars.