food storage

Twice a year I take time to do an inventory on how my food storage and emergency preparations are going. Six months ago I put together 72 hour kits and go bags for all of my family members. I also received a food storage shelf for my birthday that my husband has built and installed in our garage. I’m currently working on filling that with foods my family eats regularly. I would like to get a deep freezer this year too.

The next step in my food storage adventure is creating a three month supply of foods to be stored in-house. That will require me to clean and organize all of my kitchen cupboards. I’m really going to have to get geared up to make the next step as the thought of taking everything out of my cupboards with four kids around “helping” makes me weak in the knees. I find that smaller projects are easier for me to get the motivation to do.

Here is my To Do list for the next two weekends:

  • Check all of the 72 hour kits for expiring foods. See if the clothes will still fit the kids. Update as needed.
  • Make an inventory of all food on hand in kitchen and garage
  • Refill the water tanks with fresh water
  • Check the emergency car kits and make sure all of my husband’s work trucks have emergency supplies/food/water

I bet I can get that done in two weeks. Setting manageable goals for myself makes food storage and emergency prep more accessible. I found some great videos on youtube that I found motivating for me to make some progress in my long term food and water storage though.

In this video, a mormon woman shows us her long term storage room.

In this video another woman shares tips on how to start a three month supply.

And finally here is a tour of one woman’s year supply of food in her basement.

Watching these videos you may wonder, “Why do Mormons store food?” I love the answer Melanee gave here at over a year ago. The following is an excerpt from that article.

Church leaders have always counseled members to become self-sufficient—to be prepared to meet the challenges of life. We’ve been counseled to get out of debt and live within our means, to prepare families and neighborhoods for natural disasters (which really do occur frequently all over the world) and yes, to build a long-term supply of food storage.

Even if you’re not a Mormon, having a long-term supply of food you can eat is a good idea. Though most people haven’t experienced a natural disaster big enough for the movies, there are plenty of situations that occur every day in which food storage would be a huge asset, such as unemployment, injury, or illness. Surely no one needs to be reminded of the thousands of people today who are losing their jobs and their homes in a tumultuous economy. Families facing tough times can have an extra sense of stability and confidence if they are able to keep food on the table without appealing to others for help. President Thomas S. Monson said, “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their… supply of food… and were debt free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.” (“That Noble Gift — Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7, quoted in “Family Home Storage: A New Message,” Ensign, Mar 2009, 56–60.)

Though this is not a primary motivation for most people to store food, my husband and I like to look at our food storage as something of a financial investment. When food prices are rising rapidly (as they have in recent years) the money we’ve used to buy food storage seems to generate higher returns than money we have in a high-interest savings account.

Perhaps the most important reason for storing food is that doing so will bring a sense of peace to us and our families. Members of the Church can take comfort in the fact that they have followed the counsel of those whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators and that their best efforts will be magnified in times of crisis. And anyone—Mormon or not—can take comfort in knowing that no matter what challenges they face in life, they’ll never have to send their children to bed with empty stomachs.

I think the major motivator for me in creating a supply of food and water for my family at home is the peace and comfort that I have done what I could to prepare my family for harder times. Even if I don’t experience a major disaster in my lifetime, I hope I am teaching my children valuable tools of self reliance that can be passed down for generations to prepare them for the inevitable ups and downs of life.