"Know the peace that comes from providing for yourself and your family in case of emergency or financial difficulty."

Grain Mills

If you are storing whole grains, like wheat, consider getting a grain mill for your family for Christmas, or asking family members to donate to your grain mill fund for Christmas and your birthday.

Electric grain mills produce fine flour, which makes light baked foods like we are used to eating. These are great for busy people who want a fast way to grind wheat so they will use it regularly. When purchasing an electric mill, ask about the noise level and how much flour it makes at a time. Consider how easy the mill is to store.

In a time without electricity, a hand grain mill will be important. Before making a purchase, consider how fine you want your flour. It’s important to ask this specific question or test a mill yourself, if possible.

An inexpensive grain mill that is easy to turn, grinds flour quickly, and produces medium fine flour can be purchased for around $60-$80. This flour makes good-tasting baked foods that are more coarse and heavy than those made with fine flour.

If you want fine flour, like you get from an electric mill, a grain mill with stone burrs produces the finest flour. The trade off for producing fine flour requires more muscle, as these are stiff to turn. If you want less effort turning the handle, you have the option of passing grain through this grinder twice, on a coarse and then a fine setting. For this option, make sure the mill allows flour to pass through a second time.

Steel burrs are necessary for grinding oily or wet seeds and legumes, including beans. Some hand grain mills come with both stone and steel burrs that can be used interchangeably.

Make sure you can open your cans!

A good can opener is important to have if you store food in a large number of cans. Buy a heavy-duty manual can opener, usually found at your grocery store. Less expensive ones do not last with heavy use.

Water Storage Information

Current recommendations for stored water are a minimum of 14 gallons/person, enough for about 2 weeks. National emergency authorities recommend changing and replacing your stored tap water every 6 months. It’s easy to remember to do this in the spring and again in the fall.

FEMA and the American Red Cross say pre-treating tap water that is treated commercially by a water treatment facility with bleach will not increase its storage life and is not necessary. If you store water from a well, or public water that is not treated, follow instructions provided by your local public health authority or water provider.

Easy Water Storage Ideas

If you don’t want to store your own tap water, you can store water in one of the following ways:

Buy commercially bottled water in cases. Follow the expiration dates on the bottles.

Commercial water service companies, such as Culligan, sell water bottled in 5-gallon containers, which they deliver to businesses and homes. Culligan recommends a storage life of 2 years. The company delivers new bottles and takes away the old, making this a great idea for water storage if you live in an apartment or condo, or are elderly. Call your local company for cost of deposit and delivery.

Extending Shelf Life of Stored Food

It is important to keep food away from humidity, air, light and high temperatures. (Think HALT to help you remember). Of these, high temperatures are the most destructive to the quality of food.

When you have a choice, avoid storing food in clear plastic containers which diminishes nutrition and quality of food with exposure to light. In humid climates, transfer food in #10 cans to ziplock or other closeable bags and return it to the cans for further protection.

New News about Storing Mayonnaise

The Association of Dressing and Sauces, representing a large number of major US companies, says “more than 60 years of research has proven that commercially prepared mayonnaise does not cause foodbourne illness.” Strict standards are used in creating commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type salad dressings using pasteurized eggs and a careful balance vinegar, lemon juice and salt, which slows and even stops the growth of bacteria. Foods added to mayonnaise, like chicken, ham or potatoes, are the cause of bacterial growth in dishes. See www.dressings-sauces.org/mayonnaise.html .

Page 2 of the pamphlet “Make Mine Mayonnaise,” located on this website, states in the Q&A section that commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type dressings are safe to store at room temperature after they are opened. Labels suggest refrigerating these foods after opening only to ensure high quality and freshness.

This means that in an emergency without electricity, continued use of commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type dressings is a safe possibility. If you decide to do this, consider purchasing these products packaged in squeeze bottles for extra safety, minimizing introduction of bacteria into the contents as they are used. Store these products in the coolest, darkest place possible.

Storing Oil and Dressings

The shelf life of oil and dressings is around 1-2 years. Maximize shelf life of these foods by storing them in a cool place away from light, even in a paper bag, if necessary.

The majority of oil stored will be used to make bread. It should be rotated as often as you are able. Replace rancid stores with new oil, which is relatively inexpensive. Rancid oil is dangerous to eat and should always be thrown out.

Storing Lecithin

Lecithin can be stored for use in making bread in place of oil. This has a longer shelf life than oil, however, it is harder to find and is more expensive.

NEW Puff-dried Carrots

Dried carrots contribute important vitamin A to food storage. Yet for some people, dried carrots can have a strong taste and smell, even in soup or main dish recipes with plenty of spices. They also require cooking for 25-30 minutes to become tender.

New puff-dried carrots have now appeared on the market. These are made using partial dehydration followed by either sudden heat for 30-90 seconds, or sudden pressure reduction in a pressure chamber, causing them to puff. Puff-dried carrots have a GREAT flavor, tasting like fresh carrots. In fact, they can be eaten right out of the can! They hydrate and cook in 5-10 minutes, and taste so good they can be served alone as a side dish.

Search online to learn where to buy them. The taste and nutrition make them worth the additional cost compared to dried carrots.