Friday, March 2, 2012

How long might something store?

This article describes storage life of many dried foods that are staples in a long-term storage. I found the information helpful and hope you will too.

Storage Life of Dried Foods.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

CDC Helps Us Prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

In an effort to make preparedness more fun, the Centers for Disease Control has released an article on how to prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse. I like that they are helping make preparedness fun. Hopefully people will become better prepared as a result.

Thanks to KSL.com for alerting me to this threat.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Buying Binoculars

We recently made a trip to Yellowstone National Park as a family and to make it more enjoyable for the kids, we purchased some binoculars before we went.  As I researched my options, I realized that binoculars just might have a place in your emergency plan.  Okay, maybe that's a stretch given the many things that would come before like water, food, clothing, shelter, heat, etc., but they might be a little useful.


In determining which binoculars to buy, I first wondered what numbers like 10x28 or 8x22 mean.  This excellent site explains that the first number is magnification and indicates how many times closer the subject looks.  The second number is the diameter (in millimeters) of the objective lenses.  Divide the first number into the second and you get an idea of how much light comes through the lenses which has a direct correlation on the clarity and brightness of the subject.  The site also explains the prism types (roof vs. porro), the different types of coatings, and other important factors.

After reviewing my options, I settled on the Bushnell Trophy XLT 10x28 compact binoculars which retailed around $80.  I chose them based on price, features (magnification, coatings and waterproof), and size.  For the kids, I bought Tasco 8x21 compact binoculars for $10 each.

While the binoculars were helpful in viewing some of the wildlife, we didn't need them to see all the wildlife.  Two bison crossed the road right in front of our vehicle before stomping down the oncoming traffic lane right next to our vehicle.  Here's a couple pictures.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

#10 cans vs. Mylar pouches

One disadvantage of Mylar pouches is what to do with the product after you’ve opened the pouch.  I’ve found it difficult to store an open Mylar bag of dry milk in my cupboard without dry milk ending up everywhere.  I’m currently rotating out some dry milk I canned a couple years ago and my solution has been to pour the dry milk into a large plastic bin with a lid. However it seems the quantity of milk in the pouch is always a little more than the size of the bin and pouring the milk into the bin often results in a light dusting of sticky dry milk on the counter.

My new solution is to can all of my products in #10 cans.  The product doesn’t need to be transferred to a new container and when your done you might even be able to repurpose the can. 

Now what to do with all my pouches of dry milk.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Storage Conditions



As I've been storing food for the past few years, a few of the things I've worried about are rodents, insects or water destroying my hard work. To avoid having pests or water destroy your hard work here are some tips.

First, store food in containers that are bug proof. Plastic containers are good and any other container that can keep the food smell away from critters. Also, keep the area where you store food clean as possible and do any prep work away from the storage area.

Second, resources on the Internet suggest to keep your food dry and as cool as possible. Usually a basement or cellar would work best for these conditions. Keep food off the floor to allow for breathability. I'm assuming if you have a water leak you'd likely still lose some things so an auto-shutoff valve when water is detected may be just the item to have installed. Online you can pick one up for around $100, and it could definitely be worth a lot more than that in savings to your house and storage.

My third tip is to use what you store. If you're just storing food to use in 30 years or whenever disaster strikes, you might find that your food just wasn't stored properly, but 30 years too late. I think it's best to keep food you use, rotate food you have and set up a replacement schedule so that you can buy things on sale, and use them later. I also think that you should have your minimal threshold of food storage, and keep a small reserve beyond that to allow time to replace what you use and always have your desired level of storage on hand.

Sources

Provident Living - Storage Conditions

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rotating Food Storage - Powdered Milk

Many families go through milk by the gallon and ours is pretty close. I think we average just under a gallon per day. In order to keep up with this demand, and have adequate food storage, we use powdered milk for everything.

Storage


Powdered milk stored under normal conditions only keeps it's nutritional value for about 1-2 years. Canning the milk can increase the shelf-life significantly when done right. If milk is stored properly, in a cool, dry place at temperatures 75 degrees F or lower, you may be able to store it for up to 20 years.

But my kids won't drink it


If you can't totally replace your need for fresh milk then you can mix fresh and powdered milk 50/50 or you could just use powdered milk when you're cooking. I notice very little difference in taste between eating a bowl of sugar-o-s with fresh or powdered milk. A tall glass of fresh milk does taste different but if you get a decent quality powdered milk it's not too bad. You could also add chocolate powder to help make it more palatable. Storing milk can be great for food storage needs and if you can find a way to use and rotate it you'll save money and your bill for fresh milk will go down as well.

Sources



  1. Survival-Center.com

  2. Family Home Storage

Friday, October 30, 2009

Food Storage Rotation

When I started yearsofplenty.com a couple years ago, my intent was to provide both a resource for people who wanted to prepare themselves but also a place for a web application to help people to rotate their supplies. If you search the Internet for "food storage rotation" specifically, one finds many ideas for rotating food. One resource I found last night is http://www.pep-c.org/storageandrotationtips/. Reading through the list I think two of the major reasons that I wanted to write this software was to account for making sure that rotation happened when necessary and as a side effect of having good data, I would also be able to solve things like estimating a rate of consumption and other data points that might be interesting to my family. I have yet to write the software but now with the primary goals written down maybe I can start getting something off the ground. Drop me a note if you have thoughts or suggestions that might be helpful on managing inventory in a cost-effective and simple way.