Food and Water Storage Tips
Food and Water Storage Tips
Emergency preparedness is a subject in which we at Industrial Container are very well versed. Here in the Mountain West, we have a long-standing and well known cultural interest in storing food and water against hard times, and we’ve also done business through a number peaks in national interest. We provided people with preparedness solutions through the Cold War, Y2K, a couple big hurricanes, and the currently popular “Prepper” movement. We know which containers work and why, and we’re happy to pass some of that knowledge on to our customers.
In the category of home food storage, plastic buckets are standout products. They offer utility, durability, and portability that’s hard to match and they are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Nearly any storage item that primarily needs to be protected from moisture and pests can successfully be stored in a plastic bucket.
Take for example the 5 gallon white plastic pail with a metal handle. This thing will hold a big bag of rice or flour, many smaller bags of beans or sugar, or even a couple dozen cans or bottles. The metal handle can reliably carry the weight (if you can), and the bucket is strong enough to stack. It also doubles as a chair, which generally cannot be said of a “bug out bag”. Couple it with a Gamma Seal Lid and you have a package that can be opened and resealed innumerable times, insuring your ability to rotate items in and out during storage and maximize your shelf efficiency. It’s opaque, so anything that’s UV sensitive will be protected, and the moisture barrier is excellent.
Another product in this category that we really like is the 13 gallon EZ Stor. Its footprint is great for stacking in a corner, and it’s big enough to hold a much larger volume of, say, whole grains than other pails. There’s a great hinged lid for these, which is definitely durable enough for daily use if you wanted to put something you use daily (like dog food) in it, so you can be confident that you can rely on it holding up for the duration of an emergency. We carry a wide variety from the EZ Stor line of products, and if you take a look, I’m sure you’ll see something you can put to use.
Whenever we discuss water storage, an elephant called BPA seems to enter the room. It’s a real concern for many of our customers, and while the controversy is far from settled, we’re able to offer a range of containers that are great for long-term water storage, and that are manufactured BPA free.
A favorite among our customers is the 5 gallon blue stackable water container. It’s made with HDPE plastic, and its thicker walls really improve the gas barrier compared to other containers made from the same material. The 5-gallon size makes it easy to move around, for that reason it’s popular with the outdoor recreation crowd. Getting water back out of it is pretty convenient compared to some larger barrels because all you really need is a spigot threaded to screw right into the lids. We also stock a lighter weight 5-gallon container called a Streampak. It’s quite good for storage, but since it’s not stackable, you’ll either need to plan more floor space for it or purchase a rigid carton (link M058). The thinner plastic means you may want to change out the water more regularly.
Some people will need a much larger storage vessel, and for them we stock a variety of blue plastic barrels. Generally referred to as drums in our industry, they’re very durable and also made of HDPE, with thick walls for peace of mind when storing water for long periods of time. When considering a drum, don’t forget that some sort of pump or siphon will probably be necessary when it comes time to get a drink.
Glass is a material blessed with an abundance of both advocates and critics. The one really glaring downside to glass is that when it fails, it does so catastrophically (and it’s pretty easy to imagine a disaster that would cause glass containers to fail). If you want to use glass, you have to have a plan to mitigate the breakage issue. You might even consider carefully storing your glass in some sort of (ehm) rigid plastic bucket.
On the other hand, the upsides of glass are numerous, and they truly have to be considered. Glass jars are non-reactive to nearly any substance you might want to store. With glass, there is no compromise between the gas-barrier and the moisture-barrier because it’s excellent at providing both. Best of all, and the reason it remains the most widely accepted material for home canners to this day, you can heat-pasteurize your food storage inside it, and in that capacity glass is highly reusable.
There really is a unique satisfaction in taking steps to protect your family from the unpredictable possibilities which may at some point confront any of us. We’d love to help you prepare, take a look at the different packages we have available, and let us know what we can do.