A question about your caches and stores.

Across the board (and the pond)   I  read with great delight that more and more people are putting time, effort and money into prep supplies.

Food, Fuel, Water, Medical, Maintenence, Logistics, Communications, Reference and Security subjects being addressed in sensible and prudent style.

But ( and please correct me if i am wrong) but I am detecting a few cases that cause me concern.

(1) Dates and Ages

(1) People bulk buying their food, fuel, medical TIME SENSITIVE gear all at one time, which can often mean those supplies become life expired all at the same time. I have just heard from a friend who bulk bought ALL of his AA, AAA and CR123 Lithium batteries in 2012 and now they are all just about life expired which means a big bill to replace. 

I have read of people buying assorted bulk food stuffs from one supplier all at the same time thus meaning stuff like their bulk rice, grains, powdered eggs all need replacing at the same time.  And should that batch of supplies be defective you lose the whole lot.

I strongly reccomend getting your supplies in  over a prolonged period from various sources and if it suits you, different brands.  Then EAT the oldest foods first, use the oldest batteries first, the oldest meds the oldest fuel etc. and buying different batches with different dates from different stores also reduces the risk if you are unfortunate enough to buy a bad batch of something.

BUY WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU BUY, rotate your stocks so the freshest gear goes to the back of the shelf., and only buy foods and brands you actually like and prefer.

(2) Where are you storing your supplies, again I am hearing some alarming stories. 

 So it is highly preferential you dont put all your eggs in one basket, literally. IF  you can do not store all your supplies in one location, if there is a fire, flood, riot, quake, etc you could very easily lose everything instantly.  Try where possible to store your essential supplies in multiple locations, even within your home by spreading your supplies about, it is better than having them all in one cupboard or larder.  Even better if you can divide your supplies at assorted locations such as work, the cabin, in an insulated trailer, or even at a neighbours place.

(2A) Guys unless you attic / loft space is weather proof and totally insulated dont store FOODS, MEDS, or perishables in your roof space, temp variations in roof spaces can vary by 100 degrees in some places.

(2B) Going to the other end the Outhouse, Cellar or Garage, unless it temp and humidity stable dont store perishables in those places also

(2C) Never store FUEL or Chemicals in the same place as Food, Water and Med supplies (or cleaning materials)

(2D)  If storing bulk water never stand plastic containers directly onto the floor ESPECIALLY if its concrete, Insulate with wood, carper etc because chemicals in the concrete apparently can leach into the stored water ( I dont know the chemistry but I’m told its true). Also water does NOT go off but it does go stale and cab absorb chemical from the air and storage container. So its wise the empty, rinse and refill the water containers a couple of time each year.

(2E) Dont store anything on the upper shelves that could ruin the supplies underneath if it leaks.

(2F) dont store glass containers high off the ground in quake zones, Also consider stringing elastic shock cord across each shelf to hold containers in place if their is a quake.

Storage supplies RESTRAINT elastic



  • Comments (12)

    • 2

      Good morning Bill,

      Those with logistics and some of the business backgrounds know about rotations and expirations.

      We started our learning by copying HM Royal Navy.  In hot weather and drinking water consumption high, as soon as lookout sees any nimbo clouds, out comes the buckets to collect rain water.

      Ref (2C);

      What ?! Fuel, chemicals, food, water, med supplies AND cleaning suplies like ammonia and bleech (This is Hurricane Alley and flood waters are xontaminated) … Think chlorine gas when the ammonia and bleech have a get-together. 

      Aforesaid describes the typical soccer mom van loadout for a hurricane evac.

      Now, in practical terms, above load can be moved from A to B eg Swamp to Shendandoah Valley road side (No rest areas, no motels, no restaurants as soon as a hint of a hurricane. The places are already packed with vehicles and humanity and semi-humanity).

      The problem is when the little old lady from Pasadena equivalent, the Mario Andrettee wantabee, the Evil Kenieval in training plays bumper cars with the soccer mom van.

      Burn trauma wards are already overloaded and in real practical terms are “out of network”. This means in American English they don’t accept insurance for payment. Medicare is useless.

      Medicines are on my person in a vest. No road flares, no oxygen candles, mimimal magnasium products if in ammo can. …… …… and if I ever evac for a hurricane, it’s in nice weather before any announcement. Otherwise, it’s shelter in place.

      Suffering not involved. The preparedness allows for this. AND it costs less !

    • 2

      As with most preppers, I subscribe to the notion of keeping extra food in the pantry… several weeks worth.  Plus we have freezers full of garden veggies, which of course will go bad if the electric goes off & the generators run out of fuel.

      Plus I have my long term stores, in a closet built inside my upper barn.  The hot, humid climate of Mississippi can really degrade the storage life of food stores, so this closet has its own wall AC unit, so that the room stays around 63 or cooler year round.  It also keeps the humidity down.  So yes, all my stores are in the same spot and somewhat vulnerable to say a tornado strike, but then again, I wouldn’t need the stores for such a localized event.  

      It would be nice to spread my stores about but that makes it mostly impossible to keep them cool and dry.  So I choose to keep them in one nice, secure location.

      closet outside

      closet right

      closet left

      • 1

        100% pure prepping wisdom defined.

      • 2

        ever think about working in a simple disguise/con and plausible reason to have that stack of buckets in the corner?

        I have fake bucket labels indicating fictitious work projects and fake contents – the actual code number for the bucket inventory blends into the labeling – helps to load up a fake one for eazy snooping for the curious snooper ….

        You can do the similar with totes – plenty of “Xmas decorations” with a fake top layer of tangled lights and tree ornaments …

    • 3

      We have a rather unique building we call “the bank barn”.  The lower level is dug into the hillside and the three walls are made of “eco blocks”, massive concrete blocks that had to be set in place with a big machine. The two framed walls are sheathed with Hardie Board. We call the lower level the machine shed.  There’s a framed, multi use wooden building sitting on top.

      I talked my husband into building me a “cold cellar” into one corner of the machine shed.  Cold cellars really don’t work here, but the temperature in the room is remarkably stable.  It’s insulated on the two framed walls and ceiling, and has the eco blocks on the other two walls.  There are vents to the outside along one wall above the blocks, and a fan on a thermal switch that activates at set temperatures to draw cool air in so there’s good air circulation.  The fan is ducted down to the floor, so the cool air pushes the warmer air out through the vents.  The floor is “dirt”, lined with anti-varmint hardware cloth, then topped with 3/4 minus gravel.  The point of this is so that if one were storing humidity loving produce, one could water the floor. 

      Since temps here don’t really get that cold, we’ve converted the “cellar” to shelf stable food storage.  So we now also have a dehumidifier and use when appropriate.  Hubs has built in massive shelving, bolted to the blocks.  Most of the goods are stored in Sterilite tubs.  I have a pretty efficient inventory of everything in the cellar, that makes first-in-first-out very convenient.  However I had a learning curve, including how to use stored food, and am currently undergoing a massive update, clearing out things that need to be used and replaced in the near future.  Also working on making dividers for the tubs so glass jars don’t jostle around/fall over.  I also need to work on “second tier” (tubs are stacked two-high) restraints so they’re less likely to fall.  Also taking my empty canning jars (stored on the bottom shelf) out and storing them elsewhere so I can move all the glass to the lower shelves.

      Work in progress.

      • 2

        An absolutely first class example of well thought out prepping, its amazing what preppers can achieve when they put their minds to it.

      • 3

        Good evening Dogpatch,

        A real good setup !

        Appreciated reading about the FIFO inventory control method.

        Don’t feel lonely.  Many a contribution to the local food bank was not for true, sincere humanitarian concerns by an enlightened citizenry.  The stuff needed to be used up pronto.

      • 2

        You’re both very kind!  I’m just a beginner, so much appreciated!

        Bob, the inventory is a Google Sheets spreadsheet.  I know nothing about spreadsheets, but I struggled through building this one and it’s worked perfectly.  The biggest problem is the dummy making the inaccurate entries, or just grabbing stuff without entering!  I’ve got that more under control now as my “system” evolves.   Hubby is also much better about telling me when he makes a withdrawal.

    • 2

      in regard to storing water containers on bare concrete >>> the only time the chems used in the concrete mixing make a difference is when the concrete is still new & not totally cured – could be a few years ….

      the most prevalent reason not to store direct is because of black mold – the wet & dark void areas under the containers are breeding ground ….

      luv to see something across those storage shelving units like bunge cords – but – it’s not only for the earthquake areas >>> the definition of SHTFs for preparing preppers include all kinds of potential rock & roll scenarios – if we knew what disasters could possibly happen in our neighborhoods it would keep most of us awake nights …

      if you want more complete shelving unit coverage across the front >>> the plastic snow fence does a good job while flexing enough to retrieve food but hold shelf contents off the floor …

      • 2

        Shot of the shelving.  I think the bottom tubs (hold quart jars) are secure.  My idea for the second tier (hold pint jars) is to screw eye screws into the verticals, and run conduit across at the right height, and have the conduit drilled at the ends for “hair pin” clips or some such.  I could just pull a pin and slide the conduit back.

        The metal shelf is held to the concrete in a similar fashion.  There are eye bolts in the concrete wall.  A 3/8″ metal rod slides across the back of the shelving unit and inserts into the eye bolts.  I’m about to get another shelving unit for the framed wall.  We’ll do the same thing.

        The wine cabinet, of course, is well protected by wooden doors!  LOL!  It’s awaiting the 2021 hard cider bottling!


      • 1

        Good morning Dogpatch,

        Had already signed up for crowd control.

        Many preppers ready to help load the hard cider bottling inventories.

        I am now in the mood for that Canadian apple juice that’s fermented and then distilled.  It does work.


        Again, don’t feel lonely.  Many of the UG’s Federal Agencies don’t work spreadsheets with view to having accuracy.  When 2 comma numbers are “misplaced”, it shows a lack of knowledge – – – or perhaps something else.


        After viewing your pictures and Redneck’s nearby in thread, I now hesitate to even let someone look at my  fuel canisters or medical supply inventories. Can’t even keep a few tins of saddle soap in a neat stack.

        Keep up the great prepper work.  You said you were new to this ?! You’re needed in the Senior Executive Service, Defense Logistics Agency !

      • 1

        LOL! Thanks for the early morning laugh!  I’ve thought about committing a bit of my “hoard” to making some applejack, but the cider has enough kick for me. 

        I’ve held assorted jobs that involved some form of tracking inventory, so that part came both easily and out of necessity. When I “got serious” about prepping, the “what is all this stuff and how do I manage it” challenge quickly emerged.  So I’m experienced with paperwork but have a struggle with an organized approach to prepping itself. I’m “strong” on food and water and personal items, very very weak on security, bugging out/get home scenarios (although we’re all containerized and staged for wildfire evac, if that happens this year).  Not so hot on first aid. We make a little progress every month, but yes, compared to some in this community, very much entry level.