Letter Re: Storage Without a Basement

Hi, Mr. Hugh! I live in the hot, HUMID, deep South and have a couple of things to add to the conversation. 1) If you have a spring, dig it out and box it in with cypress wood or some other wood that should last in water. We did that back in ’75, and added shelving on the inside of the box, at just under water level. Our spring water is very cold and should keep milk and milk products nice and cool. I have to admit that we’ve never had to use it for that; we just pump the water up to the house to use normally, but in a grid down situation, it’s there and works nicely. The old folks call it a “Spring Box”. 2) If your house is up off the ground, you can keep your potatoes and onions under the porch in the cool sand. My folks have done it for years, as did their folks before them. Hope this will help if someone is planning a home/looking for land in preparation of off-grid situations. – Dixie

Hugh Replies: Length of storage is another item to think about in this discussion. In the prepping circles, we commonly banter about terms like 30 year food storage life or 20 year storage life, and we sometimes don’t want to look at something that has a 10 year life or less, but that may not be the best strategy. I have quite a few LDS friends who purchase their supplies in #10 cans and put them in the closet for their time of need. Unfortunately, I have seen many who have had to throw out large amounts of food because it had degraded past the point of being edible, especially in hot environments. The prepping philosophy “store what you eat; eat what you store” is very well applied in a situation where controlled temperatures and humidity are not available. For example, if you store MREs and actually eat MREs on a regular basis, an extremely shortened food storage life span of one year is still okay. Three years of food would be better, but not many people have a three year larder. Most canned goods can easily survive one year in an environment that has temperatures approaching 100 degree F for a couple of months of that time frame. If you have a one year larder, you don’t have to worry about the damage that five consecutive years of high temperature would produce. You will simply eat it by the end of the first year. Your colon will also appreciate the fact that you are not drastically changing your diet, should you start eating out of your larder, and you don’t have to worry about throwing old food away.