Being well prepared for any sort of emergency situation is always a good idea, especially when it comes to natural disasters and other such scenarios. It’s always wise to have an emergency food stockpile ready to go in case all else fails.
Sure, there are plenty of foods that will stay good for months or even years to come, food that you can use to feed your family in a worst-case scenario.
However, there are threats to your food stockpile, things that can destroy them, such as moisture and pests. How to keep moisture and pests away from your food stockpile is the focus of this article. It’s all about keeping your stockpile in prime condition so it’s well preserved when the time of need arises.
How to Keep Moisture and Pests Away From Your Food Stockpile
Sealing the Room
The first step in your fight against moisture and pests is to seal the room where you are keeping the food stockpile. Generally speaking, most people are going to use a basement, a bunker, or other kind of underground storage unit.
Being underground means that there is the possibility of moisture seeping in through the walls and foundation, and pests are always a problem too.
Therefore, you need to ensure that wherever you are keeping the food stockpile is 100% sealed against the outside world. This means that you should be checking for any kinds of holes or cracks in the floor, the walls, and the ceiling.
You’ll want to do a 360 degree sweep of the area and take care of any and all entry points where either moisture or pests could make their way in. Also, be sure that whatever you use to seal the room — whether it’s plaster, concrete, or cement — that it is water and pest proof.
Waterproofing the Room
Seeing as moisture is going to be one of the biggest threats to your food stockpile, both because moisture can ruin food and because it provides pests with a source of hydration, you’re going to want to waterproof the area. This is especially important if your food stockpile is being kept in a basement or underground, as these areas can get especially moist.
Removing any and all water sources is very important, so make sure that there are absolutely no leaks to be found; you should repair and seal all pipes, and even plug the drain in the floor when it is not in use. All pipes and walls should be insulated to cut down on the possibility of leaking, moisture seeping, and condensation from occurring.
You’re also going to want to cover the walls with a couple layers of waterproof paint. Keep in mind that if the wall is already painted, for the best moisture protection possible, always remove the old paint before applying the new waterproof layer. If all else fails, if the storage room still seems moist, it might be wise to invest in a decent dehumidifier.
Using the Right Food Containers
The next step to take in ensuring that your food stockpile is safe from both moisture and pests is to have it all sealed in the proper kind of containers. Any kind of container which is solid and chew-proof is highly recommended, and at the same time, this packaging needs to be moisture proof.
Hands down, the best kind of food to withstand both moisture and pests is canned food. Metal cans keep moisture out and they’re near impossible to chew through.
Next on the list is a plastic bucket, one that come complete with a gamma seal. These sorts of plastic buckets are great for holding a number of perishable and nonperishable foods; they are near impossible to chew through, and they’ll keep moisture out too.
You can also consider using glass jars. Glass jars are much stronger than plastic containers in the sense that they are impossible to chew through, and only large pests can knock them over to shatter them. Therefore, put those glass jars in places where pests cannot push them over.
No matter what you do, chances are that at one point or another, pests are going to get into that food stockpile room. Therefore, it’s best if you take some preemptive action. In other words, add some strategically placed rat and mouse traps to the mix, as well as a good number of insect traps.
If you can eliminate pests before they get to the food, you are on the right track. Many people love using their cats to their advantage, as cats make for great natural rodent traps. Let your cat into that storeroom every now and again to see if it can flush out and catch any pests that may be present.
Freezing and Refrigeration
When the power goes out, you won’t be able to keep frozen or refrigerated food cold any longer. However, anything that can be refrigerated or frozen, foods which will also stay good once they thaw out or get warm, should be kept cool or frozen until the last possible minute. No pest is going to get into a fridge or freezer.
Remember to take all of the above steps very seriously, because both moisture and pests can very quickly ruin even the best of food stockpiles. If you follow all of these steps, when disaster strikes, your food stock will be ready to use.