LONG TERM STORAGE
For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans. These items store for around 30 years when stored correctly.
WHAT to store:
The following suggested amounts are for an adult.
for One Month
Wheat, white rice, corn, and other grains
You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil. To meet nutritional needs, also store foods containing Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
*For a more complete list of what to store and the quantity, use the food storage calculator at http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm
HOW to store:
Recommended containers for longer-term storage include the following:
Recommended containers for longer-term storage include the following:
- #10 cans (available at Church home storage centers)
- Foil pouches (available through Church distribution services and online)
- PETE bottles (for dry products such as wheat, corn, and beans)
Under certain conditions, you can also use plastic buckets for longer-term storage of wheat, dry beans, and other dry products.
WHERE to purchase food:
Please refer to the price comparison chart for some ideas of where to purchase food.
LDS Dry pack cannery
10420 SE 82nd Ave
New “Life Sustaining” Shelf-Life Estimates (in years)
Non-fat powdered milk
#10 Cans for Long-Term Storage
#10 cans and oxygen absorbers are for sale to Church members at home storage centers. Canning sealers are available for use in the centers. Portable canning sealers may be borrowed by those wishing to do canning elsewhere.
What types of food can be packaged in the cans?
#10 cans may be used to store foods that are dry (about 10% moisture or less), shelf-stable, and low in oil content. Visit the Family Home Storage section of ProvidentLiving.org for product and storage recommendations. Many items can be stored for 20 to 30+ years. Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in sealed, unprocessed cans.
How much will each can hold?
Fill volume of a #10 can is approximately .82 gallon. The weight varies by product. For example, a #10 can holds 5.8 pounds (2.6 kg) of wheat, 5.7 pounds (2.6 kg) of white rice, or 4.1 pounds (2.3 kg) of nonfat, instant dry milk.
What is the best way to seal the cans?
Home storage centers have can sealers for members to use for packaging products that are available at the centers. Additionally, they have portable sealers that can be checked out by members for home or local use. Some stakes, wards, and families own portable can sealers.
Where can I find a can sealer to purchase?
Sources of #10 can sealers may be found online. Some can sealers, particularly those that do not have a motor-powered chuck, are designed for laboratory use and are not durable enough for more than incidental use. The source used by Welfare Services for a durable, portable sealer is Gering and Son in
. The Gering sealers and replacement parts are available for purchase at www.geringandson.com. Nampa, Idaho
Is it necessary to use oxygen absorbers when packaging into #10 cans?
Yes, in all products except sugar. Visit providentliving.org for more information on The absorbers, along with a good seal, prevent insect infestation and help preserve product quality. Oxygen absorbers are available to members at home storage centers or may be ordered from ldscatalog.com and other online suppliers. oxygen absorber packets.
How should cans of food be stored?
The cans should be protected from moisture to prevent rust. They store best in a cool (75°F/ 24°C or lower), dry area where they are not in direct contact with floors or walls. The cans are very durable. Cases of cans may be stacked or placed under beds or in closets.
Are #10 cans a packaging option for emergency kits?
No. Many emergency kit items are not suitable for packaging in cans. First aid items and food rations, such as granola bars, are best stored in containers with removable lids to allow for frequent rotation.
Where can I find #10 cans?
Cans are available for members to purchase at home storage centers. Refer to Home Storage Centers on ProvidentLiving.org for a list of locations. Other supply options include online resources, local commercial canneries, or container suppliers (check the yellow pages under headings such as "cans," "containers," or similar listings).
Foil Pouches for Long-Term Storage
What type of pouch is available at home storage centers, at Distribution Services, and online at
The pouches are made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The material is 7 mils thick (178 microns) and protects food against moisture and insects.
What types of foods can be packaged in pouches?
The pouches can be used to store foods that are dry (about 10% moisture or less), shelf-stable, and low in oil
content. Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in oxygen reduced packaging. Visit
providentliving.org for specific product recommendations.
How much food does each pouch hold?
Each pouch holds 1 gallon (4 liters) of product. The weight varies by product. A pouch holds 7 pounds (3.2 kg) of
wheat, 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg) of white rice, or 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of dry milk.
Do foods react with the aluminum in the pouch?
No. Foods do not come in contact with the aluminum because they are separated from it by a layer of food-grade
plastic. The metal barrier is important in protecting the food from moisture and oxygen.
What is the best way to seal pouches?
Pouches should be sealed using an impulse sealer (see related instructions). Do not use an iron or another household heating device because it will not provide an adequate seal, especially for powdered products such as flour or dry milk. The impulse sealers used by Welfare Services (American International Electric AIE 305 A1 and Mercier ME305 A1) meet the following specifications: 3/16-inch (5 mm) wide seal, 11.5-inch (305 mm) wide jaws, rated for up to 8-mil (205 microns) thick pouches, and equipped with a safety switch to cancel operation if the jaw is obstructed.
Where can I find an impulse sealer?
Impulse sealers are available at most home storage centers. Many stakes also have impulse sealers available. If you prefer, you may purchase an impulse sealer from Distribution Services or online at ldscatalog.com.
Is it necessary to remove all the air from the pouches?
No. Oxygen absorbers remove only the oxygen from the air in the pouches. The low oxygen content eliminates
food-borne insects and helps preserve product quality. Visit providentliving.org for additional information on
Is it normal for the sides of the pouch to pull in once the pouch is sealed?
With most products, the sides of sealed pouches will pull in slightly within a few days of packaging. This is more
noticeable with granular foods than with powdered products. Visit providentliving.org for additional information on oxygen absorbers.
How should pouches of food be stored?
The pouches store best in a cool, dry, rodent-free area. Storage containers should not be in direct contact with
concrete floors or walls.
Are pouches rodent proof?
Pouches are not rodent proof. If rodents or other pests are a significant potential problem in the storage area, the pouches should be placed into containers that are rodent or pest proof. Do not store them in containers that have been used to store nonfood items.
Should emergency kits be packaged in pouches?
Many emergency supply items are not suitable for packaging in foil pouches. First aid items and food rations, such as granola bars, are best stored in containers with removable lids to allow for frequent rotation.
PETE Bottles for Long-Term Storage
1. Use PETE bottles that have screw-on lids with plastic or rubber lid seals. You can verify that the lid seal will not leak by placing a sealed empty bottle under water and pressing on it. If you see bubbles escape from the bottle, it will leak.
2. Clean used bottles with dish soap, and rinse them thoroughly to remove any residue. Drain out the water, and allow the bottles to dry completely before you use them for packaging food products.
3. Place an oxygen absorber in each bottle. The absorbers can be used with containers of up to one-gallon capacity (4 liters). Additional instruction about using oxygen absorbers is available at providentliving.org.
4. Fill bottles with wheat, corn, or dry beans.
5. Wipe top sealing edge of each bottle clean with a dry cloth and screw lid on tightly.
6. Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from light.
7. Protect the stored products from rodents.
8. Use a new oxygen absorber each time you refill a bottle for storage.
Where to Get Oxygen Absorber Packets
Oxygen absorber packets are available at home storage centers and Church Distribution Services, or they can be ordered online at ldscatalog.com. Unused oxygen absorbers can be stored in glass jars with metal lids that have gaskets.
Buckets for Long-Term Storage
Plastic buckets may be used to store food commodities that are dry (about 10 percent moisture or less) and low in oil content. Only buckets made of food-grade plastic with gaskets in the lid seals should be used. Buckets that have held nonfood items should not be used.
To prevent insect infestation, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) should be used to treat grains and dry beans stored in plastic buckets. Treatment methods that depend on the absence of oxygen to kill insects, such as oxygen absorbers or nitrogen gas flushing, are not effective in plastic buckets. Avoid exposing food to humid, damp conditions when packaging them.
Dry Ice Treatment Instructions
1. Use approximately one ounce of dry ice per gallon (7 grams per liter) capacity of the container. Do not use dry ice in metal containers of any kind or size because of the potential for inadequate seals or excessive buildup of pressure.
2. Wear gloves when handling dry ice.
3. Wipe frost crystals from the dry ice, using a clean dry towel.
4. Place the dry ice in the center of the container bottom.
5. Pour the grain or dry beans on top of the dry ice. Fill the bucket to within one inch (25 mm) of the top.
6. Place the lid on top of the container and snap it down only about halfway around the container. The partially sealed lid will allow the carbon dioxide gas to escape from the bucket as the dry ice sublimates (changes from a solid to a gas).
7. Allow the dry ice to sublimate completely before sealing the bucket. Feel the bottom of the container to see if the dry ice is all gone. If the bottom of the container is very cold, dry ice is still present.
8. Monitor the bucket for a few minutes after sealing the lid. If the bucket or lid bulges, slightly lift the edge of the lid to relieve pressure.
9. It is normal for the lid of the bucket to pull down slightly as a result of the partial vacuum caused when carbon dioxide is absorbed into the product.
Storage of Plastic Buckets
• Store plastic buckets off the floor by at least ½ inch (1.3 cm) to allow air to circulate under the bucket.
• Do not stack plastic buckets over three high. If buckets are stacked, check them periodically to ensure that the lids have not broken from the weight.
Visit providentliving.org for additional information.
SEVEN MAJOR MISTAKES IN FOOD STORAGE
(from Emergency Essentials www.beprepared.com)
1. Variety - Most people don't have enough variety in their storage. Ninety five percent of the people I've worked with have only stored the four basic items we mentioned earlier: wheat, milk, honey, and salt. Statistics show most of us won’t survive on such a diet for several reasons. A) Many people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they are eating it meal after meal. B) Wheat is too harsh for young children. They can tolerate it in small amounts but not as their main staple. C) We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer to not eat, than to sample that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggested and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particular ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans. This will add variety of color, texture and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion. Also, include a good supply of the spices you like to cook with. These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited. One of the best suggestions I can give you is buy a good food storage cookbook, go through it, and see what your family would really eat. Notice the ingredients as you do it. This will help you more than anything else to know what items to store.
2. Extended Staples - Few people get beyond storing the four basic items but it's extremely important that you do so. Never put "all your eggs in one basket." Store dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods as well as home canned and "store bought" canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast and powdered eggs. You can't cook even the most basic recipes without these items. Because of limited space I won't list all the items that should be included in a well-balanced storage program.
3. Vitamins - Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others might be added as your budget permits.
4. Quick and Easy and "Psychological Foods" - Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. "No cook" foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation, MRE’s (Meal Ready to Eat) such as many preparedness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. "Psychological Foods" are the `goodies' - Jello, pudding, candy, etc. - you should add to your storage.
5. Balance - Time and time again I've seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item and so on. Don't do that. It's important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and your have to live on your present storage, you'll fare much better having one month supply of a variety of items than a year's supply of two or three items.
6. Containers - Always store your bulk foods in food storage containers. I have seen literally tons and tons of food thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became highly susceptible to moisture, insects, and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies. Never use trash can liners as these are treated with pesticides. Don't stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A better container is the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods.
7. Use Your Storage - In all the years I've worked with preparedness, one of the biggest problems I've seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It's vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to have to learn under stress. Your family needs to be accustomed to eating these foods.
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