Three Letters Re: Family Food Security for a Recession or Depression


I have been checking a few other sites this morning that I frequent, and while at the Viking Preparedness Forum, I was checking the food and water storage board and came across these canned food shelves. It is a good set of shelves, making the best use of space, and allowing them automatic stock rotation.

We live in a house with a monolithic slab foundation, and the footprint, does not give us a great deal of room to work with, but I think that we can do something similar ourselves.
I liked the way that they were set against the wall, and took up very little space. I also liked the fact that they had extra space above for expanding the shelves a bit more.

Just thought that it was an all around good idea, and one that some of your readers might be able to make good use of also.

BTW, I also found these related web pages. Hope that they help.

How to Make a Self-Rotating Food Storage for Canned Goods

Food Storage Shelves, Food Storage Racks & Food storage shelving Accessories

FIFO Storage Can Rack – Canned Food Rack – Improvements Catalog

As always, may God bless you and yours in everything you do. – Dim Tim


Dear Mr. Rawles:
I read your blog frequently and enjoy the information you publish. It helps keep me informed and challenged.

However, lately I’ve been wondering about some of the provisions of Martial Law and Executive Orders that have been signed by past presidents.

In the event of a declaration of Martial Law, can the Federal Government go-door-to-door and confiscate food that citizens have stored for their own use? It is my understanding that farms, equipment and food can be confiscated so that it can then be controlled/distributed to the people who do not have any food.

There are anti-hoarding laws on the books in some states, but I don’t know all the details. FEMA guidelines advise people to have a short-term supply of food on hand for emergencies. But in the event of martial law, how much food is one family allowed to store? If a family has made the effort to store a year or more of food, will they be allowed to keep it or will it be confiscated?

Bottom line: Why bother purchasing dehydrated or freeze-dried food for long-term storage if it will end up being confiscated by the Government to give to someone else? Is it futile to do so or should one be prudent and go forward with plans for long-term food storage? – Joan X.

JWR Replies: There is indeed a slim but nonetheless real threat of storage food confiscation in the U.S. It is one of the many reasons why I emphasize OPSEC in my blog. If you are concerned about the prospect of martial law, then I recommend that you buy the majority of your storage food with cash, without generating a paper trail. You should go pick it up in person. OBTW, there are food storage vendors that advertise in my blog that are located in several regions around the country (within reasonable driving distance for perhaps 80% of he SurvivalBlog readership in the US), and many of these are “Mom and Pop” operations that will make cash sales. With these small vendors, you don’t even need to mention your name.

While keeping circumspect is important, don’t become so preoccupied with secrecy that you cease being charitable. The two goals need not be mutually exclusive. You can maintain OPSEC if you dispense charity through your local church . FerFAL (formerly SurvivalBlog’s volunteer correspondent in Argentina) had some interesting comments in a recent blog post at his personal blog “Surviving in Argentina”. He posited that dispensing charity face to face with desperate poor people can be both risky and troubling. While I don’t agree with all that FerFAL wrote, I can see the wisdom of keeping a low profile to avoid being “marked” by freeloaders. My advice: Give, and give generously (both now and in turbulent times), but be prepared give at arm’s length. I recommend that you make arrangements in advance with your church elders to act as intermediaries for post-WTSHTF charity. Be sure to get their promise to maintain your anonymity. My personal philosophy is to give until it hurts.

Good Morning,
I have been reading for a couple years and I’m a 10 Cent Challenge subscriber. I have just purchased a quantity of five gallon food grade buckets and wonder if there would be any benefit to storing in vacuum sealable one gallon size bags, as opposed to the five gal metal lined bag using the dry ice and O2 absorber method? Thanks for your ministry. I have learned so very much. Also I just the purchased the “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course taking advantage of the pre-election discount, thanks. Sincerely, – John V

JWR Replies: There is indeed some utility in vacuum packing, as you described. It is, however, much more labor intensive. With most bulk foods the shelf life that you would gain with vacuum packing (versus CO2 packing) is not that great. It can also be a mess, especially with flour and other powders. In essence, the marginally longer storage longevity does does not justify the extra time or material required. The only notable exception is for foods that have a high oil or butterfat content, such as brown rice. It would also be worth doing with powdered milk, if it were not such a mess. In that case, my advice is to store only nonfat powdered milk, to reduce the risk of rancidity. (Since it is the butterfat content of regular powdered milk that contributes the most to rancidity.)

I describe a simple “do-it-yourself” CO2 packing method in the “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course. With this method, a family can pack several hundred pounds of wheat, rice, or beans in just one evening.