Family Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness

By Debi D. Koontz

I have a strong belief in the importance of family preparedness. In my home we live on our food storage whenever life throws us an unexpected difficulty. We do not think of our storage as only being there in case of some drastic emergency like an earthquake or civic unrest. Using your food storage in your daily life is the only way to be successful in having a complete and efficient supply on hand for whatever you and your family may be called upon to bear.

I would be the first to admit that I am, by no means, an expert in this area, but I do have an interest, which has prompted me to research this topic, and I can share ideas and experiences that I have had. I hope this information will be of some use to someone somewhere, and that perhaps it may help families prepare in time.

This booklet is in two parts. The first part are some notes, ideas and hints on all aspects of starting, organizing and using your food storage. It is beyond the scope of this work to be complete in all areas on this topic, but is simply a starting place with basic information.

The second part is a detailed list of most of the items that should be considered for your storage. I did not simply list each item, but described reasons, uses, advantages or disadvantages about each item. Many item descriptions include information on how best to store them. Please read through the list and the descriptions and decide which are most important to you and your family. If you are just beginning, it may be wise to prioritize what items you intend to store. The list is divided into three sections: Food; Health & Grooming; and Household & Emergency supplies. Many medical and emergency uses are given for various food items, however, if itís food then it will be listed in the food section, regardless of itís other uses (medical, emergency, etc.) Each part of the list is listed in alphabetical order. This booklet covers everything from mild to extreme circumstances.

When you read through the list you may be tempted to think, Oh, I want so much! Iíll never do it! Well, take heart. Donít let fear or doubt overwhelm you. Any storage is better than no storage and even the best storage had to start with a single item. Just begin and then build it as you can. You can do it!

Should anyone reading this wish to contact me please feel free to contact me via e-mail at . I would love to hear from you. If you wish to pass the information in this booklet along, thatís fine, but please keep it complete and intact, with my name attached (for copyright and possible future publication purposes). I appreciate this. So, now, read on and enjoy. I sincerely hope this is of use to you and your loved ones.

Part One

Comments on Storage and Preparedness

*Buy and store what your family eats. You have to be able to eat and use your food storage everyday to be able to rotate it. The best reason to store what your family eats is that in a time of emergency, if youíve only stored the basics like wheat, beans, rice, etc. and your familyís diet is suddenly changed, (perhaps even at the same time youíre all experiencing stress), you and your familyís stomachs and digestive tracts are not going to be cooperative and calm. Times of stress are not the ideal occasion to suddenly change your whole diet. This is especially true for children.

*Most foods will last longer than many people think, (especially if they have to) if they are stored well. Rotation is the key. Also, containers are important. Nearly everything must be kept dry and airtight. Temperature is important, and is often the determining factor in the shelf life of many foods. Cool is better that warm. Dry is much better than damp. Insects must be kept under control. Open containers invite pests to come and make themselves at home.

*Donít panic when you think of all you need and want to store. It wonít happen overnight. You should plan your storage as a family and set priorities for storing what you feel is most important first. You can supplement it as time goes by, for as long as you are able to. Sometimes it may require sacrifice from your family. Itís up to you to decide how much you want to invest. Thereís no wrong way. Any storage is better than none, and every little addition is great.

*A simple, almost painless way to build your food storage is to just buy extra products every time you go to the store. Whenever you buy something, buy two. When somethingís on sale, buy the limit. If there is no limit and you can afford it, stock up.

*Your storage should be kept in a dry, clean, cool and hopefully pest-free, and organized place in your home. If you have not organized your storage either on paper or in its set-up, rotation will be difficult. Itís also hard to see how much you have and decide what you still need. If space is a problem, you may decide to sacrifice a piece or two of furniture (ex. China cupboard, potted plant, spare bed, end table, bedside table, etc.), then put food storage in its place. If itís impossible to fit all your storage in one room in your home, you could break it up (ex.: water storage and camping gear-garage; canned food-kidsí bedroom; first-aid supplies-bathroom; boxed items-your bedroom; candles, batteries, & other emergency supplies-front room; paper products-basement). Be sure not to put tempting, easily opened foods in the childrenís rooms. The temptation may prove to be too much for them. However, they need to be taught now the importance and sacred need for the food storage in which you invest.

If you really find it difficult to find space for storage, be creative. Donít let the lack of space be your excuse not to prepare. Try unusual places like under the bed, inside coffee tables or end tables, behind the sofa, in empty spaces in drawers and closets, etc. If this is the method you are forced to use in your home, be very sure you keep a good record of where youíre putting everything. Wherever you store, just remember that the temperature must be cool, and it needs to be as dry as possible.

*Besides your food storage and emergency supplies, you should have a separate 72-hour (3 day & 3 night) kit. This should contain the minimum amount of food, clothes, and water for each family member. 72 hour kits should also include any needed medication, an emergency shelter (a tarp or cheap lightweight tent), a first-aid kit, candles, waterproof matches, pocket knife, flashlight w/batteries, and some kind of blanket, bedding or lightweight sleeping bag. Each kit can be added to as desired, but should be relatively lightweight and easy to carry. Your 72 hour kits should be packed tightly into backpacks, duffel bags, etc. and should be in an easily accessible location (ex: hall closet, near the front door, garage, tool shed, or the trunk of your car). Be sure to rotate out all food, water and medicine periodically to keep them fresh. This is especially important if your 72 hour kits are stored in an outside storage location (trunk, shed, garage, etc.). Complete kits are available for purchase, but itís less expensive to put together your own, with exactly the items you desire to met the needs of your family.

*Remember: Store what you eat, and eat what you store!

(If you think preparedness is not important, imagine what would have happened to Noah and his family if they had put off building the ark, gathering the animals, and laying in their food and supplies!)

Part Two

Storage List: FOOD

Alum (white, powdered)- An imperative food item, with medical uses, to store. When sprinkled on an open wound it will draw out infection and any drainage. It will leave the sore disinfected and dry, and will speed healing. (Buy alum in the spice department at your grocery store.)

Applesauce- Whether canned, bottled, homemade, or store-bought, cinnamon flavored or unsweetened, applesauce is very convenient and nutritious. It has a long storage life if sealed airtight, and can be used in cooking (pancakes, bread, muffins, cake, cookies, and even casseroles). Since it has natural sweetness it can even supplement or replace sugar inmost recipes. The old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" aptly applies to applesauce (and apple juice).

Baking Powder- If youíll be doing baking, youíll want to have some on hand.

Baking Soda- There are so many uses for baking soda that a boo could be written on itís uses. It can be used as a deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, cleaning and scouring agent, degreaser, and a natural deodorizer. It has leavening properties and can be mixed with cream of tarter to make baking powder. 1/2 tsp. mixed in a 4-oz. glass of water is good for upset stomachs (remember bicarbonate of soda?). In laundry itís good as cleaner and water softener. It also makes soaps stretch farther. It can be used as a coolant for the skin, especially for sunburn, rash, bee-sting, poison ivy and oak. Helps maintain pH in water. Baking soda can be used safely without polluting the ground water. It also makes a great fire extinguisher.

Basil- Excellent seasoning for all foods and dishes. Stores well in airtight containers. Basil tea taken hot stops vomiting and eases stomach cramps. Helpful when applied to snake bites and insect stings. (The tea is made 2 tsp. per hot cup water once a day.)

Beans & Lentils- Excellent and important storage item. Even when stored so long that they get quite hard, simply soak them for a little longer before using. Put ginger in the water while soaking beans to lessen problems with gas. Beans are a great source of protein. Cooks well over a campfire if soaked before cooking. When sprouted, their nutritional value increases greatly and offers inexpensive, year-round fresh greens too add to your diet.

Beef Jerky- or other cured smoked meat needs no refrigeration and tastes as good as it is convenient, while offering important protein.

Black Pepper- Convenient, versatile seasoning. Stretches a long way.

Bottled Salad Dressing- Your favorite flavor will be a good way to eat sprouts (if youíve discovered the benefits and ease of sprouting your grains, beans, legumes and lentils). When sprouts and dressing are joined by canned or fresh vegetables, you have a fiber-rich, nutritious salad.

Bullion Cubes- Great for broth to feed an invalid or sick person. Good to use as a base for any soup. Simply add any vegetable, grain, meat, pasta, etc. Can be used to make gravy, or r in the water while boiling rice. Stores well in airtight container.

Candy- A special treat now will become an even more special treat in time of emergency when luxuries are scarce. Wouldnít it be nice to have candy to give a child on their birthday if they had no other gift? Candy also offers a quick burst of energy because of the high sugar content. Candy could well be one of the more popular items for barter (as would soda pop). Luxury items usually are. Most candy will store for a fairly long time (though it may lose color, flavor or texture slightly), if kept absolutely airtight, cool and especially DRY. Individually wrapped candy is better than soft. If you decide too store candy be very cautious about leaving any open for any length of time. Itís an invitation to ants and other insects.

Canned Foods- Stores for a very long time. Try to keep dry and undented. Bulging cans must be thrown away. Rotation is very important. Many canned foods are complete meals and donít require other foods to complete. Be sure to have at least one manual can opener. A good variety of canned foods are a smart foundation to your food storage. Examples of canned foods you may want to consider storing are:






Pasta (ravioli, spaghetti, etc.)


Evaporated milk

Sweetened condensed milk


Pork and beans

Meat (turkey, chicken, etc.)


Cinnamon- Yummy added to oatmeal, bread, wheat, cereal, cookies, hot chocolate, etc.

Cold Cereal- In itís sealed package, in a dry place, most cold cereals will store 1 to 2 years. Besides being eaten with milk for breakfast, some kinds of cereal make handy, nutritious snacks straight from the box. Itís very important to use and rotate your storage of cold cereals. This will provide you with maximum freshness for the longest period of time.

Condiments- These are important to store for your own use as well as use for possible barter. These are the often-overlooked items, which will make a big difference when you are dependent on your food storage. Important examples:



Mayonnaise (rotate!)


Steak sauce


Barbecue sauce

Soy sauce

Tabasco/hot sauce


Corn Meal- Healthy, tasty, and versatile. Can be used for fry batter, bread, pone, muffins, cornbread, and pancakes.

Corn Starch- Cornstarch can be used in place of talcum or baby powder. Great for diaper rash and other rashes. Absorbs moisture. Great for cooking. Used as a thickener with simple broth to make gravy. Also will stretch soup and thicken it. It has carbohydrates to provide energy.

Dehydrated and/or Freeze-Dried Foods- These are the foods with the moisture removed. This allows for extremely long storage. These are convenient and lightweight to carry, and are easy to prepare. Water rehydrates them. Flavor is retained, and it takes much less space to store per serving than other food storage items because the process shrinks the food to 1/8 to 1/7 their normal size. They donít need to packed in space consuming water like canned foods. (Often, though, the "water" from canned foods can be used.) You can dehydrate foods yourself in your oven (lowest setting, door ajar), or in the sun at temperatures of at least 110 degrees. The process takes an average of about 18 hours. Turn the layer of food occasionally during process.

Dried or Ramen Soup- Complete, nutritious, lightweight, and easy to prepare. Requires only hot water. Stores for a very long time because there is no moisture in it. (which is what limits the shelf life of some foods).

Flavorings- Vanilla, almond, and maple are the most common and useful, though others (orange, lemon, etc.) can be included to suit your families preferences. These could one day be handy when creativity with your food supply has you trying to make new and different foods.

Flour- Many uses!! Thin flour water (plus dash salt) batter will make tortillas. (Fry on both sides dry or in oil.) Flour can also be used as a thickener. Be sure to ROTATE. It can be stored in the freezer for longer storage but needs to be kept dry. Flour can help blood clot on small wounds. (Put a handful over wound and hold firmly with hand until blood flow stops. If you add salt or alum into the flour, it will help disinfect.)

Gatorade/Sports Drink- These drinks can restore vital minerals and nutrients and prevent dehydration (which can be fatal). Their shelf life is fairly long unopened.

Ginger- Powdered or gingerroot. Made into a tea it can be used as a decongestant (like hot mustard plaster, but better because it wonít burn the skin). Just immerse a towel, rag or old shirt in a strong, heated ginger tea and place on chest to loosen chest congestion. It causes heat even after itís cooled, though it can be re-rinsed in the warm tea. A milder tea can be drunk for upset stomach and gas. Ginger in the water of beans as they soak will control gas problems. Ginger is a good spice to add to any cooked vegetable. Itís often used in Chinese cooking.

Hard Red Winter Wheat- Of all grains this stores the longest. It can be sprouted to provide you with fresh greens, even with limited water. It can be ground, coarse or fine, to make flour. It can be added whole to soups (or ground, as a thickener). It can also be cooked and served as hot cereal. Wheat is rich in iron and vitamin E. When storing grains like wheat you should also get some kind of grinder or handmill.

Honey- Every food storage must have honey. It will last forever. Honey, which was found in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, still had itís beneficial properties. Honey can be used in place of sugar as a sweetener. Itís sweeter than sugar is so use it at a rate of ½ the amount you would sugar. When honey crystallizes simply melt it in hot water (rotate/turn/shake during process). Honey, used on open cuts, will provide a protective covering and will disinfect (though itís sticky). Honey also helps coat sore throats.

Hot Cereal- Though you can use your stores of oats and wheat to make hot cereal, thereís advantages in storing pre-packaged, commercial brands. They store well and are very convenient. Itís especially nice to store a favorite of your family. (ex.: Malt-O-Meal, Cream of Wheat, Maypo, etc.)

Instant Hot Chocolate- A nice treat, quick energy and very convenient at home or when camping. It can also be a source of warmth on cold mornings. Baking cocoa powder can be stored too, but it requires more ingredients to use it to make hot chocolate (but it certainly does have many uses in baking that make it a good item for your storage).

Instant Mashed Potatoes- A convenient source of the nutrients in potatoes. It will store a very long time. The better the packaging, the longer its shelf life will be. Canned is better than boxed. Mashed potatoes leave stomachs feeling full faster than most foods, which is an advantage when trying to stretch your food storage.

Jell-O- This product offers a way to cover the taste of chemically treated water. It can be added to with canned, fresh or dehydrated fruit. Jell can also help relieve diarrhea symptoms. To do this prepare jell as directed with just slightly more water than normal. Then drink the jell water while still warm, like tea. This will also provide necessary liquid to avoid dehydration, which is a big danger of diarrhea.

Jelly & Jam- Stores well. Easy topping for pancakes, tortillas, crackers, and all bread items. Adds flavor and sweetness to bland foods. Can be added in small amounts to cake or cookie recipes for extra zing, or for a sweet, fruity flavor if used in place of sugar.

Juice- (canned/bottled/boxed/frozen/powdered) An essential storage item. Quick, convenient and very nutritious. Adding a variety of flavors is good addition to your food storage. Juice can be used as a snack or small meal in and of itself. It can be used in cooing in place of other liquids in many recipes. Apple juice can be poured over cold cereal or granola in place of milk. Tomato juice can be used in cooking meat or pasta. Tomato juice or vegetable juice makes an excellent base for soups and stews.

Kool-aid- This is another item that will help the water taste better when itís been chemically treated. Itís also a nice addition to pancake batter or muffins to add a sweet fruity flavor. It contains vitamin C, which is an important one because the body is unable to store it and therefore it must always be replenished. If you store the unsweetened kind (which is much cheaper and compact), be sure you have sugar stored (or sweeten it with honey). You may prefer to store the kind that already has the sugar added because it is so convenient. There are alternate versions of Kool-aid that contain less sugar, and are already sweetened (ex. Crystal Light). For all of these, however, you absolutely must keep them dry. It is important that they remain airtight as well, so it may be a good idea to keep them dry, airtight, and organized for easy access and the ability to rotate, by putting them into a plastic container (Tupperware, Rubbermaid, etc.).

Marshmallows- These can be eaten even if they get dried out (which just makes them crunchy). Toasted marshmallows are the highlight of camping. They can be used when cooking yams and pumpkin. Theyíre also good right out of the bag for energy. Kids love them. Used in making "cereal treats" (ex. Rice Krispie treats- though most cereals will work). They should be fresh (not dried out) though to be used this way. A handful added to Jell, during preparation, is also a nice treat.

M.R.E.ís- (Meals Ready To Eat) Good for 72 hour kits. Compact, complete, healthy, lightweight, and convenient. Needs no refrigeration, and can even be eaten unheated if necessary. But they are expensive!

Nutmeg- Should be used SPARINGLY only. Good sprinkled on hot chocolate and eggnog. Can settle stomachs, nausea, and vomiting. Also can be used as an expectorant. Helps improve appetite and digestion. Good for helping maintain a healthy intestinal tract. In boiling water it can be used as a deodorizer. A good seasoning to add to bland dishes. But remember to use it sparingly, donít over do it.

Oats- Excellent source of bran and fiber. Popular cookie ingredient. Can be added to meat loaf. Makes nutritious and filling hot cereal. (Added nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, or dehydrated fruit makes it even tastier.) Can be used to make pancakes. Oatmeal baths, masks, and soap are healthy for skin and good for itches and rashes.

Oil/Crisco Shortening- Very useful and important, especially when cooking over a campfire or using food storage basics. Butter flavor Crisco can be used in recipes in place of margarine is you have none stored (though powdered butter/margarine is available). Use slightly less Crisco than the recipes call for. Ideas of recipes that this replacement can occur are things like macaroni and cheese, many casseroles, and definitely cookies. Oil is used in making bread, tortillas and crackers. Can be used to make a dressing over sprouts and fresh vegetables. Be sure to rotate. You must do this with these items particularly. Itís necessary to have oil on hand to season cast iron skillets.

Packaged Dinners- Examples: Tuna or Hamburger Helper, Noodle Roni, and boxed Macaroni and Cheese. These have both advantages and disadvantages. The negative points are that they usually take up a lot of space per serving over other storage foods. Also, you usually need other foods to prepare them such as milk, margarine or even meat. But if youíve got butter powder or butter-flavored Crisco and canned or powdered milk, these can be very convenient. (Meat can be omitted or substituted). They are good because flavors (cheese, etc.) and spices are already added. Everythingís pre-cut and pre-measured (though additional pasta, rice, etc. will stretch the number of servings without drastically affecting taste or consistency). You can also add any canned or dehydrated meat to make it a complete, balanced one-dish meal.

Pancake Mix- Yummy, quick to make (the best kind to store is the ones that require only water to be added). Be sure to have a good skillet to cook the on. Store completely dry and airtight in cool place. (Muffin Mixes are similar and also a good storage item, but once again, be sure to store ones that need only water to be added unless you have the other needed ingredients stored as well.)

Parsley- Fresh or dried. Parsley is rich in vitamin C and in iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin A. Prevents urinary infections. Good for fevers. Excellent for prevention of, or maintenance of, cancer. Cures sting from insect bites when used in a poultice. A tea made from the seeds can be used as a shampoo to kill vermin in the hair. Helps aid digestion (which is the original thought behind sprigs of parsley being placed on dinner plates in restaurants). Excellent addition to soups, salads, coleslaw, potato salad, casseroles, on meat, or cooked into scrambled eggs.

Pasta- Some regions have an easier time than others storing pasta do. All pasta, however, will be usable stored for long periods of time IF kept cool (to avoid insects like weevils), dry and completely AIRTIGHT. Simply add any number of food storage items to cooked pasta. For instance, things like powdered cheese; cut-up meat product; spaghetti sauce; vegetables; soup; canned milk; powdered butter, etc. Cooked pasta can be eaten cold or hot. Often, leftover pasta dishes can be fried in a skillet (even over a campfire), either plain, or with added scrambled eggs.

Peanut Butter- Excellent source of protein and quick energy. Stores for a very long time unopened. Can be eaten plain or on bread, soda crackers, or tortillas. Travels well and is convenient because it doesnít need to be cooked or refrigerated. One teaspoon per day gives needed protein.

Pop Tarts- These handy food items are surprisingly nutritious and extremely convenient. They can be eaten cold, like a food bar. Or they can be heated in toaster or oven. While camping, they can be heated on a grill or even on a heated rock near a fire.

Powdered Butter- A good item to have on hand with innumerable uses.

Powdered Cheese- Great to add to pasta or eggs. Makes a good base for a vegetable & cheese soup. Makes easy casseroles. Easily stored dairy item.

Powdered Eggs- Stores for an extremely long time if kept in an air-tight container. Add to recipes in place of eggs. Makes scrambled eggs and omelets. Added to leftover pasta (especially mac & cheese) with a little water and/or oil, and fried, makes a yummy meal.

Powdered Milk- Must have water to mix with it. Store in an air-tight container in a cool/dry place. Must be used and rotated regularly. Serve it to your family now (plain or mixed with regular milk) to get them accustomed to it. It is a critical item of your storage because itís needed to use with so many other foods and dishes. Doctors have said tat most people could live healthfully for a month or two on powdered milk alone!

Pudding- (boxed mix) With adequate cooling or refrigeration, pudding is a nice treat and a good use of your powdered milk. If refrigeration is a problem, then pudding can be used to make a special treat: "Quick Shakes". This is simply unset pudding, but could be viewed as an energy drink because of the calories and carbohydrates it offers. During stress your family will be happy to get such a yummy surprise. It does also offer protein and vitamins. Evaporated milk may also be used (water should be used to dilute the evaporated milk first, however, because it is so rich). Pudding can also be used in baking delicious cakes, cookies or pancakes, by simply using it to replace an equal amount of flour in the recipe. This adds a rich texture and flavor.

Rice- Must be stored in a cool and air-tight container. Itís filling and healthy. Water used to cook rice can be saved to drink or use in cooking (itís high in vitamin B). Rice can be cooked in clear broth to add flavor. It can also be added to soups. To make rice pudding simply add sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. (More things can be added to your taste). Rice can be cooked many ways: steamed fried or boiled. It can be made into a hot cereal. Added vegetables and/or meat make a complete meal. Any spice will add variety (ex.: spanish rice, curried rice, etc.)

Salt- In ancient times salt was highly valued. Nowadays this inexpensive item is an excellent addition to your food storage for your own use and for future barter needs. Salt is very versatile. It can be used to cure meat, add flavor to otherwise bland foods, and can be used to help ease the pain of sores. It will speed healing (try it on a canker sore). Apply the salt straight on the wound (it sometimes stings initially), or dilute it with water. ½ tsp. in warm water is good for headaches and indigestion.

Sage- Good seasoning for roasts, soups, etc. Can be used as a cure-all. A strong sage tea is an excellent gargle for tonsillitis or ulcers in the throat or mouth (good mixed with lemon and honey). The sage tea can be drunk cold or hot. Itís one of the best remedies for gas, liver, stomach, kidney or bowel trouble. Will stop bleeding and is good used to clean old wounds and ulcers. And wound will heal more quickly when washed with a sage tea. Itís useful for typhoid and scarlet fever, measles and smallpox. Soothes nerves and relieves headaches. An effective hair tonic (will make hair grow if roots havenít been destroyed), and will remove dandruff. When used in high quantities sage is good for easing female problems, and all lung problems (colds, asthma, coughs, bronchitis, influenza and pneumonia). Tea from sage should be steeped (while covered), not boiled.

Soda Crackers- These have a longer shelf life than you might think. The key is to keep them absolutely dry, and of course, air-tight. If they so get soft and stale, it takes only a few minutes to "re-crisp" them in the oven. Soda crackers are a bread item in your diet and can even be eaten like sandwiches, topped with tuna salad, meat & cheese, or peanut butter and jelly (itís good, try it!). Soda crackers can also help alleviate queasiness. They provide the body with salt, and are a good addition to a meal of coup, stew or chili.

Spaghetti Sauce- This makes a quick, easy meal out of any pasta item. Vegetables, powdered cheese, meat, or spices can be added to it to taste.

Spices- If there are spices that you frequently use, it is a good idea to add them to your food storage so that you are able to continue to "spice up" your cooking.

Split Peas- These last a long time because theyíve had the moisture removed. Makes good soup. (add enough spices and seasoning to suit the taste preferences of your family. Meat and onion and carrots are also good additions.)

Sugar- Itís important to keep sugar cool and very dry, but itís an important part of any food storage. Also be careful to watch out for ants or insects. If the sugar gets hard it can be chipped or grated and then used with no problem as long as itís unpolluted with anything. Sugar may be highly prized one day, but remember that honey can also be used as a sweetener at a ratio of half that of sugar. Brown sugar and powdered sugar may be stored as well for their many different uses. Brown sugar is delicious when added to beans, wheat cereal, cookies, and is often used in bread, canning and preserving recipes.

Syrup- Though syrup can be made with water, sugar and maple flavoring, itís very convenient to have some pre-made syrup on hand. Itís better to buy it in small containers so you can use it up in just one or two meals so you donít have an opened bottle inviting pests (especially if thereís no refrigeration). Yummy when added to pork and beans.

Velveeta- This product doesnít need to be refrigerated when itís unopened and stores fairly long. Itís good added to many dishes, melted over bread, tortillas or crackers, or eaten plain. Itís a great source of vitamins from the dairy food group.

Vinegar- When mixed with honey itís a cur-all. It can be used as an astringent. Itís a wonderful glass cleaner. Itís used in cooing as a preservative (to pickle-when used with salt and water).

Whole Cloves- These are used in cooking meat (like ham), and pickling and preserving. It adds flavoring to fruits, soups and stews. One or two cloves added to lemonade "spices" it up. (Most people do not like to eat the cloves, only use it as a spice/seasoning agent.) Whole cloves can be used directly on toothaches to help relieve pain. One clove can freshen breath after only a few minutes in the mouth. A few can be added to the water of vegetables while they are cooking. Several cloves in a pan of hot water is an effective air freshener (added citrus peel and a cinnamon stick makes it even more aromatic-especially during the holiday season).

(*If you have access to freezer space, it offers you a wonderful opportunity to store meat, cheese, margarine, and many other great food items. Remember to rotate things as you use/buy them. I, myself, have a large freezer full of food, which I use and have stored. However, itís extremely important that your ENTIRE food storage is NOT frozen, to prevent the loss of your complete supply if power is lost).

Storage List: Health & Grooming

Antibiotic Ointment- (ex. Neosporin) Speeds healing. Reduces the risk of injuries becoming more severe from infection. Should be included in first aid kits, 72 hour kits, and a good supply should be included in your storage.

Aspirin/Tylenol/Aleve- An absolute MUST! One day it could be your entire pain-killing "pharmacy" in a bottle. This may make the difference of pain being bearable or not, for you or a family member. Check expiration dates and rotate as you use it.

Baby Powder/Body Powder- Powder, in olden days, was found in great quantities in all the best boudoirs all over the world. This was because they knew itís advantages in absorbing moisture, controlling odor, and leaving one feeling fresh and dry. That way of thinking may one day be well emulated if the water and opportunity to wash is restricted. But remember that the need to wash is still very important to hygiene and sanitation. So, even if itís greatly reduced due to water shortage, it should never be replaced completely.

Band-Aids/Bandages/Sterile Gauze Pads- A must to have on hand. They will probably be used quickly so store a lot.

Bar Soap- You can never store too much. The milder the better. Heavily perfumed or deodorant soap may leave a residue or cause a rash if inadequate water for rinsing is available. Though you should also store some anti-bacterial and/or surgical soap.

Calamine Lotion- A good item too have on hand when living at the mercy of mosquitoes, poison ivy, and other skin irritations. Youíll be happy you have this someday, either for yourself or for a family member.

Deodorant- Imagine working hard for your familyís survival, sweating profusely, then being unable to shower or wash very often! Or even being able to change into a limitless supply of clothes. You, and those around you, might appreciate having a supply of deodorant.

Diarrhea Control Medicine- (such as Imodium AD) In difficult or stressful circumstances, diarrhea can be a serious problem. Especially when there might be tainted food or water supplies. Diarrhea, left unchecked, can cause dehydration, even death. This, and all types of medicine, needs to be rotated according to expiration dates.

Hydrogen Peroxide- (and rubbing Alcohol) An excellent source of disinfecting. This item could mean the ability to avoid a severe infection. Besides being used directly on wounds it can also be used to disinfect surfaces (bathroom sinks and counters, and needles to take out slivers).

Lotion- When working hard, this will be a luxury item.

Misc. First-Aid & Medical Supplies- Take your pick from these following examples of important medical supplies:

Ace bandages



Bandage tape

Black silk thread (for stitches)

Clean scissors (or clean razor blades)

Cotton balls

Cough syrup or drops

Disposable gloves

Epsom salt

First-Aid book

Hot water bottle

Ice packs


Medication to induce vomiting


Sheets (for bandages and slings)

Smelling salts


Sterile needles


Toothache/canker sore medicine



Prescription & Other Medications- These should be stored as far in advance as possible for all family members with special needs (ex.: heart problems, asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, menstrual problems, etc.). Check expiration dates periodically and rotate as you use it.

Razors/Shaving Cream- If you donít plan to be excessively hairy, youíll need to have a supply of shaving supplies. Donít forget, an electric razor wonít be good for very much without electricity.

Sanitary Napkins/Tampons- These might be overlooked, but be careful not to. Donít forget growing daughters too.

Shampoo & Conditioner- Plan a "head".

Toothpaste- Youíll be glad you have it. Even of you donít have a toothbrush and have to use your finger. Remember, it may one day be very hard to find a dentist. Storing spare Toothbrushes, as well as Dental floss, is a good idea also.

Storage List: Household & Emergency Supplies

Air Mattress/Cot/Ground Pad- If youíre positive that you wouldnít be able to sleep with a rock in your back on the cold, hard ground, then now is the time to prepare. These items could one day be your bed during an emergency, and would be a real luxury. Patch kits are available to keep air mattresses usable. In the meantime, these items are handy for unexpected guests.

Baby items- If youíre expecting, or prone to get pregnant easily items such as formula, cloth diapers, baby clothes, baby food, and bottles could be a blessing to have on hand. If you do not need these items after all, they would be excellent for use as barter to families who find themselves in this unexpected situation. For deliveries itís good to supply items like sterile scissors, strong silk thread, surgical soap, a nasal aspirator, etc.

Batteries- If youíre clever enough to store battery operated radios, lamps, flashlights and so on, youíll never have too many batteries. Be sure to rotate them now, on an ongoing basis, as you use them. They can be stored in the refrigerator. Keep track of where batteries are in your home (remote control, clock, etc.) so you can use them if you run out during an emergency. Rechargeable batteries should not be your entire store because if thereís no power, then you will soon be out of luck.

Blankets- Native Americans used blankets as barter. Pioneers used blankets as heirlooms and wedding gifts. Hours were spent hand-stitching quilts. As blankets became tattered and worn they were put to good use as doors, rugs, tablecloths, and were made into coats. I donít think, as you become prepared for whatever lies ahead, that you could ever have too many blankets. Especially if they are sturdy and warm. Just imagine how appreciate you would before each and every blanket on a freezing night, especially if you and your children are sleeping without electricity or even outside. If you did end up with too many blankets, there would be a demand for them Iím sure.

Bleach- This is an inexpensive storage item that is quite valuable. It can help you have a purified water supply, clean clothes, and disinfect almost anything. Donít buy a more expensive name brand. Bleach is bleach. Also, avoid bleach with a fragrance added.

Bug Spray/Insect Repellent- These may one day be your only line of defense against those pests who often carry diseases. Mosquito netting may be a good investment as well.

Camp Shovel/Hatchet/Hammer/Saw/Axe- If you are living in the great outdoors, or in reduced circumstances, youíll need the tools to help you survive. Digging latrines or cooking pits, chopping wood, setting up tents and clotheslines may be daily activities some time in the future. Even id youíre living in your home, but are unable to use the toilet because of lack of water, youíll need to dig a substitute one.

Cast Iron Skillet/Dutch Oven- Skillets work really well over a campfire if they are seasoned. They retain heat and cook evenly.

Candles- Quick and easy to use. Portable. Takes no batteries, kerosene or electricity. Be sure to store candleholders too! Smokeless, dripless tapers are nice, but big, wide candles last longer. Votive candles arenít as good because they donít last very long.

Clothes- Sturdy, well-made clothes for all seasons are important to have for each member of the family. If you have growing children be prepared with sizes to accommodate their growth. Remember that fashion will not matter. Quality and fit will mean much more. Thick socks and sturdy shoes are excellent to have. Extra pairs might want to be considered. Work gloves, winter gloves and hats, extra shoelaces, dependable wristwatches, winter coats, warm pajamas, and so on are all very good items to have on hand. Be sure to have each item for each member of the family.

Clothesline/Clothes Pins- Back to basics. When clothes get wet, or hand washed, youíll need a way to dry them to prevent mold for forming. Clotheslines can also make temporary shelters with sheets, blankets, tarps, and tablecloths draped over them.

Dish Pans & Dish Drainers- Most of us have been spoiled by automatic dishwasher and donítí have these useful things on hand. These will become important to having clean, sanitary dishes and pots and pans if you are without power. Also, if water is in short supply, the dish-panful of water would have to last. These can be used indoors or out. They donít cost a lot, so they are a good investment.

Garden Seeds- Be sure to store non-hybrid seeds to get the maximum amount of harvest after the first year. Store seeds in a dry place. Growing your own fresh produce is a wonderful addition to a stored diet and allows you to survive on a more permanent basis. Make sure to store enough extra water to keep your garden growing through dry times. Never water your garden in the heat and light of mid-day. Include herbs in your garden. They add flavor to all meals and often have medicinal qualities.

Grinder or Hand Mill- This is a necessary item to have to grind wheat or other grains, into flour or meal, if you have them in your food storage. Though expensive, electric grinders are easy and fast. Hand mills are good when thereís no electricity.

Kerosene- Return to the old days. What worked for your grandparents will work for you. Kerosene stored for a long time. Be sure to keep it upright. If you store kerosene, make sure you have lamps to use with it, and visa-versa.

Liquid Dish Soap- Versatile product. Besides washing dishes, it can wash clothes, camping gear, shoes, floors, and hands.

Lysol- (or other disinfecting spray) This is a great way to control germs (& odors) which can cause disease. Great caution must be taken, however, not to get any on food or food preparation areas, or where children or pets could get it into their hands (or paws) or in their mouths.

Matches- Long-handled fireplace matches are great. Also any wood match is good. They should be stored in watertight containers. Flint, fire-starting stones are very handy with limitless uses. You should also try to store at least some waterproof matches. These are good in 72-hour kits.

Means of Mobility- Be creative. Bicycles, wheelbarrows, handcarts, wagons, etc. You need to think ahead of what you might use to transport yourself and your supplies in an emergency situation. You may want to store repair supplies like extra inner tubes, tire patch kit, etc.

Paper Plates/Cups/Bowls & Plastic Utensils- When water becomes scarce, and sanitation is a problem, these will be extremely important to you. The best and least expensive plates to store are the cheap, plain white ones sold in packages of 100 or more, often for less than a dollar. They take up little space and when used with re-usable plate holders theyíre stronger than the bulkier, more expensive styrofoam plates.

Paper Towels- These can be used as disposable towels, tissues, napkins, wash cloths, and toilet paper. Well worth the effort to save them.

Pencils/Pens & Paper- These will become more valuable and appreciated as access to them stops. You will want to be able write journals, recipes, notes, and reminders. If you find yourself home-schooling your children, paper and pencils would be invaluable. (Books too.)

Pet Food- If Rover or Fluffy are important members of the family donít forget to store food for them. Be sure to use and rotate, especially dry food. Canned pet food stores quite a long time. Pets can also live on many regular food items you might have stored (especially if theyíre hungry). Even beef or chicken broth. Though they may help the rodent population by supplementing their diet themselves.

Plastic Wrap/ Foil/ Wax Paper/Trash Bags/Ziplock Bags- Important items for food preparation and storage. Only unscented clear or white trash bags should be used to hold unwrapped food. All trash bags make good ground cover, emergency ponchos, equipment cover, and makeshift shelters. Foil is great for cooking in, or over, a campfire. Ziplock bags are versatile for holding food, matches, candles, first-aid supplies, even a dry pair of socks. Wax paper is good for food preparation work space.

Pocket Knife/Hunting Knife- Let your imagination tell you all the reasons why these are critical emergency storage items.

Radio- (Short-wave or transistor) Be sure it runs without electricity and is portable. A simple antenna is an added investment. This could be your link to the outside world in case of emergency.

Rope/Nylon Cord- This may turn out to be one of your most valuable supplies. Uses include everything from creating shelter, to emergency rescue, to a creative outdoor shower or latrine.

Safety Pins- Whether living in your home, or in the open, safety pins have limitless uses from clothing repair to first aid.

Scrub Brush/Broom/Bucket/Mop- Cleanliness and sanitation may one day be very important to keep you and your family healthy, as well as comfortable. Even living in a tent, a broom will be handy to keep the floor of the tent clean and dry. A simple twig, when stepped on, can cause a rip in the tent fabric. How much easier to sweep it out than to worry about repairing your tent.

Sewing Kit- The size and contents are up to you. For instance, if you have stored fabric youíll need plenty of thread. But every household will need a sewing kit of some kind to keep clothes, blankets and towels in good repair. A smaller version is ideal for 72-hour kits.

Tarp- This is another versatile item. The more you have on hand, the more youíll find uses for. A few ideas are: a ground cover, a shower, a tent, as well as means of protecting your firewood and supplies.

Toilet Paper- Do I even need to say how very important you might one day find this item to be? It could be quite valuable, in fact. I know that I would much prefer it over leaves and dirty scraps of paper. It will store forever if you keep it dry.

Towels- When you canít do a load of laundry every day, and you and your family are trying to stay clean and dry, and when you are trying to keep pots and pans and dishes clean, you will treasure every single towel you posses. Especially if you lose or ruin any and are unable to replace them. Towels also make good throw rugs when living in a tent.

Travel Game/Deck of Cards- If you had no TV, movies, video games or libraries at your disposal, how much would you and your children appreciate a diversionary activity? Put a couple in your 72-hour kits. These items could be invaluable to keep children occupied while you are busy.

Vinyl Tablecloths- These provide more than just a clean eating area. They can be used as blankets, curtains, ground cover, and emergency shelters. They can also be made into raincoats or ponchos. In an emergency, they can be cut down to be placed around feet by tying a cord around the ankles to keep in place. Shower curtains can be used in similar ways to these tablecloths, though with less durability, thickness or warmth. Never throw away old shower curtains or vinyl tablecloths. They could still be quite useful.

Water- This is, without question, the single most important and life-saving item you could store! Besides being necessary to drink, itís needed to wash clothes and dishes and to bathe in. It will need to be used sparingly because no matter how much you have, youíll never know how long you will have to depend on your supply. I fear that long before people would start to panic over finding food, they will be desperate for water. Water can be stored in glass or plastic containers (except milk containers because they are biodegradable), and must have an airtight lid. A small piece of plastic wrap placed over the mouth of the container before you put the lid on helps keep the water fresh. You can use tap water plain if you change it once a year, or add a small amount of bleach or other commercial purification product before storing indefinitely. You can also boil water before using to kill germs and improve the taste. Try to store your water in a cool place. Donít overlook the water in your toilet tank and water heater in an unexpected crisis. Waterbed water can be used for washing, but donít drink it or use it on eating surfaces because of contamination due to the chemicals used in making the plastic lining.

Water Purification Tablets or Containers/Filter Pumps- An absolute must. These can be life-saving. They can help turn most unusable or questionable water sources into safe drinking water. These are especially vital when living "on the trail" or outdoors. Boiling water helps remove the bacteria too.

(*One last note from the author: I sincerely hope and pray that this information will be of help to someone. I would hope that after reading this you would not feel apprehensive or scared or negative. We are told that the righteous need not fear, and preparation, in any form or amount, can certainly offer plenty of assurance and confidence. In this work I have presented all kinds of uses in all types of situations, mild and extreme, now and in the unknown future. It is not my intention to be someone that stirs up panic or fear. No, in fact, the opposite is the case. I hope that others will incorporate this calmly into their daily lives and continue to live as they are now, with just the added assurance and peace of mind that it can offer them and their families. I wish all of you every happiness as you set out on this course in whatever way you select. Have fun and good luck!)