Societies around the world have been storing food for thousands of years. Many civilizations were built, prospered, and were saved through the preservation and preparation of food stores for lean times, famine, winters, etc.

Nowadays, the way we get and keep our food is a lot different than the ways hunter-gatherer and agrarian societies got and kept theirs. First of all, we have constant refrigeration at our disposal. Second, we have stores that sell us everything we need. And third, preservation technology has improved tremendously—even in the last few decades.

When it comes to family preparedness, food storage should be at the top of the list. You never know when a rainy day might hit, when someone might lose their job, or when some other disaster or emergency hits. We need a lot of things to survive, and none may be more important than food.

There are a lot of different organizations and individuals willing to tell you what they think about the right way to build up food storage. While you don’t have to go completely apocalyptic, having no food storage at all is unwise.

The LDS Church suggests these four things to focus on when building a complete food storage list:

1. Build a 3-month supply. This should include foods that are a regular part of your everyday diet. You can build up this supply by buying a few extra items during your grocery-shopping trips. Start with a goal of building up a 1-week supply, then grow it from there. Once you have a 3-month supply, start using it by eating the oldest foods first and replenishing the food you consume. (Constantly rotating your supply this will prevent the unpleasant situation of only having rotten, expired food when you really need it.)

2. Have a water supply. Having a supply of clean drinking water may be more important than having a supply of food. If your local water services shut down for some reason, you’ll be grateful you have water until things get fixed. Water that is pretreated and clean should be stored out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat.

3. Develop a financial reserve. Make sure that a substantial part of your savings is set aside specifically for food, and not for other, general savings purposes. Sometimes, having enough food means simply having the resources to buy groceries. If someone in your family loses their job, you’ll be thankful that you have money for groceries during lean times.

4. Build a longer-term supply. With today’s technology, many food items can last for three decades. As long as your government allows, you should save dry staples like grains and beans. Make sure you regularly rotate these items into your three-month supply.


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