We all have traditional storage in our homes with file boxes, plastic tubs, garden sheds and the like filled with the over flow. However, when planning storage for survival, other considerations come into play.
What are we storing? Food, medicine, dry goods?
When storing perishables the method should be considered. Some foods can be frozen in an outside freezer, canned foods should be kept in a cool, dry place while freeze dried foods can be kept from 7-25 years, stored almost anywhere they are safe and still maintain their quality. Basic first-aide type medicines and products can be kept in the home in a safe, dry place. Prescription medicines are more difficult as they may need refrigeration or be restricted to refills.
Dry goods can be kept anywhere there is sufficient space. Since most of the paper items that fall into this category are bulky, having a dedicated place in the garage or garden shed is helpful.
How long do we need to store it?
The type of storage you select will depend on how long an item needs to be stored. For food you may consider vacuum sealers, assorted zip bags, canisters, jugs, as well as a dedicated freezer or cabinet. It is always a good idea to have assorted containers on hand for holding medicines, packaged foods and pet necessities that you want to keep on hand.
How easy are the products to access in case of an emergency?
For emergency items that you may need quickly, i.e., lights, medical, fire extinguishers, keep these in the house in a place that is easy to get to and that everyone in the family knows about. For other items like generators that require setting up, these can be kept in a garage and set up as needed. In our experience, we've found setting up the generators after 4-6 hours without electricity will keep our food from defrosting or getting warm.
Are all of the peripherals for use close at hand?
This is especially true if you are setting up a generator. You want to have all of the wires, plugs, extension cords and lamps handy and easy to get to. For food items, you'll want to have electric skillets, griddles, coffee pots, and small microwave on hand for preparing food or boiling water.
How safe is the storage unit? From fire, water, climate?
Where you store your survival supplies depends on the item, however, you want to make sure they are stored safely. You do not want to store paper goods in an area where they may catch on fire, i.e., next to hot water heater, furnace, etc. Also, you do not want to put any items where they may become wet. This might be from rising water, leaky roof, or rain. All items stored should always be enclosed in some sort of protection whether it be a cabinet with solid doors, a box or tub with a fitted lid or smaller items in zip bags or small, snap-top containers.
Climate should be considered if the items are sensitive to temperature change or excessive temperatures - hot or cold. You wouldn't want to put your supply of bottled water in the garage where it might freeze, nor would you want to put your canned goods in a place where they would be come overheated. In both cases your items could burst.
When thinking of storage, think of size, ease and location. Once you've got these in hand, you'll find your storage problems have been solved.