Letter Re: Guidelines on Storage of Various Supplies?

I would like to know:  Some things should be stored at “0” degrees. Other things at “70” degrees. Some can tolerate light, some requires dark.(Some medicines, batteries, et cetera.) Anything you could mention would help on this subject. THANKS, VERY MUCH. Survival Minded, – Brother Slim

JWR Replies:  I see a FAQ coming!  I’m sure that a number of SurvivalBlog readers will have a lot to add to this (and please do!), but here is a list of guidelines, for starters:

1.) Gardening seed should be stored in the dark, above freezing, in low humidity. The refrigerator is ideal. Seal them in Mason jars or in Ziplock bags to protect them from humidity.

2.) Most herbs, batteries, liquid medicines, liquid/caplet vitamins, and chemical light sticks are also best stored in the refrigerator.

3.) Most medicines and vitamin powders and tablets are best stored in the freezer.

4.) Most storage foods should stored in the dark, in the coolest (but not ever below freezing) part of your house.

5.) Ammunition should be stored in sealed ammo cans. Tupperware will also suffice. It stores longest below 80 degrees, so don’t store it in an attic. Ammo should never be stored in the same room as oil, solvents, bore cleaner, or paints, since the fumes from these will deaden primers.  For the same reason, if you keep any guns loaded, that ammunition should used up in target practice once every 18 months (or less), and replaced with fresh ammunition that has been stored in sealed ammo cans.

6.) Liquid fuels of all descriptions should be stored in sealed containers, in a cool, dark place, the appropriate stabilizer added. Heat, moisture, and the opportunity to evaporate are what will shorten the storage life for liquid fuels.

7.) Matches should be stored in tupperware-type containers to protect them from humidity.  Resist the urge to store them in Mason type jars.  (Glass makes nasty shrapnel–and it would indeed be just that if the matches were ever ignited by heat or friction and there was no place for the resulting gasses to escape.)

8.) Paper products and ladies’ supplies should be protected from humidity, but heat is generally not a problem. Keep them out of direct light.

9.) Do not store any flammables beyond your immediate needs in your house, barn. or garage. You should construct a dedicated “paint shed.”  OBTW, for the foregoing, I don’t class standard ammunition a “flammable.”  Keep it close at hand, but hidden from burglars.