Emergency Preparedness

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 45nut, May 20, 2010.

  1. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Seeing a possible, er probable maelstrom of a firestorm on the horizon, I have begun to make preparations for a katrina style emergency situation. As it is, I need to obtain more staples that don't require refrigeration and have a long shelf life. While floundering around on algores invention I came across this information:

    * Baking powder — 1 1/2 years (if you’re in doubt, test by dissolving a small amount of baking powder in hot water… if you get good bubbles, it’s still OK)
    * Baking soda — 2 years (again, if you’re in doubt, test it by adding a few drops of vinegar to a small amount of dry baking soda… you should see some fizzing action… if not, throw it out)
    * Dry cereals — unopened packages 6 to 12 months, opened and re-sealed 2 to 3 months
    * Dry hot cereal — 6 months
    * Oatmeal — 1 year
    * Baking chocolate — 1 1/2 years
    * Semi-sweet chocolate — 1 1/2 years
    * Cocoa — indefinitely
    * Instant coffee — unopened jar 1 to 2 years, opened and refrigerated jar 2 months (freeze to extend shelf life)
    * Ground coffee — unopened can 2 years, opened and refrigerated can 2 weeks (freeze to extend shelf life)
    * Corn meal — 1 year (freeze for longer storage)
    * Grits — 9 months to 1 year
    * Corn starch — 1 1/2 years
    * White flour — 6 to 8 months
    * Whole wheat flour — refrigerated, 6 to 8 months (freeze for longer storage)
    * Jams and jellies — 1 year
    * Molasses — unopened 2 years, opened 6 months (refrigerate to extend shelf life)
    * Mayonnaise — unopened 2 to 3 months or expiration date (refrigerate after opening)
    * Non-fat dry milk — unopened 6 months, opened 3 months
    * Dried pasta — 2 years
    * Egg noodles — 6 months
    * White rice — 2 years
    * Brown rice — 6 months to 1 year
    * Flavored or herb rice — 6 months
    * Bottled salad dressings — unopened 10 months to 1 year, opened and refrigerated 3 months
    * Made from scratch or mix salad dressings — refrigerated 2 weeks
    * Vegetable oil — unopened 6 months, opened 1 to 3 months (no refrigeration necessary… store in cool, dark place)
    * Solid shortening — 8 months (no refrigeration necessary)
    * Brown sugar — 4 months (store in an airtight container to prevent hardening)
    * Confectioners sugar — 1 1/2 years
    * Sugar — 2 years
    * Corn syrup — up to 3 years
    * Pancake syrup — 3 to 4 months (refrigerate after opening)
    * Tea bags — 1 1/2 years
    * Instant tea — 3 years
    * Loose tea — 2 years
    * Vinegar — unopened 2 years, opened 1 year (distilled vinegar keeps longer than cider vinegar)
    * Herbs and spices — 6 months to 1 year (longer if frozen)
    * Peanut butter — unopened 1 year
    * Vanilla and other extracts — 3 to 4 years (use earlier for peak flavor)
    * Dried beans — 1 to 1 1/2 years
    * Dried peas and lentils — 1 year
    * Yeast — use-by date or freeze indefinitely
    * Nuts — unopened 6 months (2 years in the freezer)
    * Cake mixes — 1 to 1 1/2 years
    * Salt — indefinitely
    * Canned fruits and vegetables — within 2 years
    * Canned soup — within 2 years
    * Mustard — unopened within 1 1/2 years
    * Canned fish (unopened) — 3 years for water packed, 5 years for oil packed Article here

    Does anyone know of good sites or plans, i.e., what to store and how that they would be willing to share. I'm thinking about doing a class / small group at church, but I recently found out one of the security guys at church is a high security clearance feeb, so now I'm on another list. :mad: :mad:

    Anywho, anyone like to help with this project?
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Baking powder is a mixture of a base and an acid. They react, giving off CO2, which is what makes the baked good rise. Because they are reacting with each other, all the time, it has a shelf life.

    Baking soda, on the other hand, has no shelf life. Like coal and salt, it is dug out of the ground.

    Creme of tartar also has no shelf life. It is the acidic residue from the inside of wine casks. http://www.ochef.com/933.htm Mixing creme of tartar together with baking soda gives you baking powder. Don't bother with storing powder, store the two parts of it, and mix it as needed.
    http://frugalliving.about.com/od/condimentsandspices/r/Baking_Powder.htm

    Your other shelf-lives are very pessimistic. I'm still eating pasta I bought for Y2K. Haven't seen any problems yet. 2 years for white rice? Mine lasts longer.

    There are some things you need to do, though. Few years back I bought some corn meal. Never used it. After a year or so, I remembered it and went to make some corn bread. There were holes in the bag, and meal on the shelf. The bug eggs in the meal had hatched and ate the meal. (yes, there are bug eggs in the food in this country) Had some instant oatmeal with the same problem. So, now, with any type of grain products, it goes in the freezer for at least two weeks. Then it goes into storage. The two weeks of below zero kills the eggs.

    I date my food. When it comes in the house, it gets the expiration/best by/sell by date on the package written largely on the label. If it goes in the freezer, then it gets the date it was bought. Y'all may recall a thread, a few months back, where I cooked a steak that was thirteen years old? That's how I knew it was that old - the package was dated.

    Check out the Latter Day Saints' website. Emergency Essentials has a list in their catalog.

    Lotta good info here. You gotta register, but I think it's a good place to go.
    http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/vb/showthread.php?t=203510
    http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/vb/showthread.php?t=203510

    There are two main things you need to remember, when storing food.
    Store what you eat and eat what you store. Lots of places recommend storing wheat. Without a grinder, and without being used to eating whole wheat in your diet, you either can't use it, or it will make you sick. I've seen people recommend sweet potatoes for storage. I don't like sweet potatoes, so why would I store them?

    #2 - rotate your storage. This is where dating the packages helps. But getting a case of, for example, canned spaghetti, and then putting it on the shelf, as (emergency supplies), and leaving it alone while buying and eating canned spaghetti all the time, will mean that you will, eventually, opening ten-year-old cans of spaghetti that have dried out.

    Make an inventory. Actually, make several. Food inventory. Ammo inventory. Fuel inventory.

    You gonna be okay if the lights go out? Got candles, kerosene lamps, Coleman lanterns? When that big white Kenmore in the corner of the kitchen don't get hot, you gonna be able to cook that food? You got some way to heat the house, if there is no power, come winter?

    Having some staples on hand is lots better than most folks. You know, the ones that have to go to the store every day, so they have something for supper and breakfast tomorrow. But, there's a lot more to it than having a little food put back.
  3. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Thanks Alpo, that's the kind of post I'm looking for. I am just getting started on the food part and I need some organizational help.

    Anyone else with ideas to contribute?
  4. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    Buy a dehydrator and work the heck out of it.
    Use it in the garage as it will put hella moisture in the air, and the smell can be overpowering depending of what you're drying.
    Then get a good vacuum sealer.

    I'm with Alpo on the shelf life thing. I thought canned products were good as long as the can wasn't deformed. :confused:

    I have dried banana slices that have been in regular ziplock bags for close to 20 years. They turn to mush when rehydrated, but work well when baking.

    Be sure to zest fruits like oranges. It dries right up and comes right back.
    Keep the skin on the veggies when drying. I've had 15 y/o potato slices that are great in a casserole.

    Of course you'll need water to bring it all back. But that opens up a whole new discussion.:p
  5. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

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    Seeds! Organic non-GMO seeds. I'm not saying you have to buy the big crisis seed kits being advertized everywhere on the alt-media sites. I mean go to the hardware store, go to the garden section and pick up organic seed packs. Ya know watermellon, tomatos, raddishs(like Alpo said) what ya like.

    my 2 cents.
  6. PunjabiPillbox

    PunjabiPillbox New Member

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    I thought about posting here, but ahh what the heck, the more the merrier, right? Taken from grandpappy.info, this is his compiled list of a one year food stock, although it does leave room for some inferences to be made.

    He also has a companion food price inflation index for three years based on the former list, in case you were wondering.

    On the canned goods topic, they're definitely a better bet than not, IMHO, as per several FDA articles excerpted on the same page;

    HTML:
    http://www.grandpappy.info/indexwil.htm
    has a lot of good stuff in general on hard times survival, including wilderness recipes I've been meaning to try out, and a similar article about medicines' shelf life.
  7. PunjabiPillbox

    PunjabiPillbox New Member

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    **^ Velveeta, cheddar, butter can all be canned as well to drastically improve shelf life(I'll have to find that one, think its in my Amish cookbook)
  8. PunjabiPillbox

    PunjabiPillbox New Member

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    sorry double post
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  9. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

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  10. mcw120566

    mcw120566 New Member

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    Check out the book, Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton. Has a lot of great info. Check the LDS website, they have a lot to offer as far as stores info, how to rotate things, as well as purchasing storage prducts, it is a great resource.
  11. carver

    carver Moderator

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  12. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    If you dry lock it without oxygen it will last for who knows how long...
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