The Five Most Common Myths About Emergency Food Storage

water bottles for food storage

 You would think that with something as important as emergency food storage, everything pertaining to it would be clear and simple. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there! So we want to be sure to get things sorted out for you so all you have on your plate is feeling confident that your emergency supplies are stocked correctly. 

Five Most Common Emergency Food Storage Myths 

We plan and plot out our food storage so we can feel safe and confident that when we need food, water, and other basics of life, we will have them. However, there are a lot of myths about how and what we should be storing. We explore some of the most common myths about emergency food storage below.

  1. Water Doesn’t Expire

    This is definitely a common belief. However, there is so much that can go wrong with stored water, and your water storage does need to be checked and rotated every six months to ensure that chemical leaching hasn’t occurred as well as to make sure bacteria and other pathogens have not contaminated your emergency water supply. If stored in large barrels, you will need to replace that water every six months as well. And be sure to make use of it by watering your garden instead of it just flooding down the drain!
  2. Building An Emergency Food Storage Is Too Expensive!

    It can be surprising to see the price of emergency food storage bins and for building an adequate food storage pantry for long-term use. But those prices are most definitely cost-effective when you calculate and realize how long high-quality food storage will last. And building your food storage needn’t happen all at once either! Even with the anxiety and urgency you might feel to get prepared for any upcoming emergencies, if you start making changes to build your emergency food storage now, it won’t be as nerve-wracking as you might think, and getting to that first one-month supply will be just as easy. Every time you get groceries, add just one or two extras of the items you always have on hand anyway. In no time at all, you’ll have enough food for three days, a week, three weeks, a month, three months, and on and on. Just be sure you have a system in place to rotate and use older items and to keep adding items to your stockpile!
  3. Canned Foods And Freeze-dried Meals Are All You Need

    It may come as a shock to some, but there is so much variety to be had in your food storage. It’s not just about how many cans of beans you have or how many MREs are on your shelf. Yes, these are great and important assets to your storage, but canned items will lose their nutritional value in a few years’ time. And MREs, as vital as they are, do require a large amount of water to prepare, which is why water is always needed in such high quantities. So to keep your pantry efficient and effective, you’ll also want to have grains, nuts, flours, milk powders, condiments, and all the necessities you would normally have on hand to create full and nutritious meals. 
  4. Once A Ten+ Year Food Pantry Is Met, You Are Done!

    As good as it feels to have an organized and stocked food storage, it isn’t over at that. You will continue to increase your inventory and use the food you have on hand as you regularly rotate your supply. This can be as simple as adding dates with a Sharpie marker on your foods as you put them in their designated storage spaces and putting the newer foods in the back and using the foods at the front. And even with best intentions, sometimes packages and cans can become misplaced and a bit skewed on the shelves, which is why doing a more thorough inventory check every six months is recommended so you can stay informed on what you always have. 
  5. Food Storage Can Go Wherever You Can Fit It

    Not every living situation offers a lot of storage options for, well, anything. And it will often be advised in such cases to just store your food wherever it can go. And as well-meaning as that might be, there are certain spots in any living quarters that are more conducive to safe food storage practices than others. Wherever you may be living, the best little nooks for storing food will always be cool, dry, and dark. 

Common Emergency Food Storage Mistakes 

All the efforts made with storing food for emergencies will all be for naught if not done correctly! Here are some very common mistakes to steer clear of. 

  1. Storing Food You Don’t Like And Will Never Eat

    Definitely be sure to stock up on foods that you actually enjoy eating. Being in a dire emergency situation doesn’t mean you will want to eat whatever you have on hand that you wouldn’t normally eat on any regular day. So fill your pantry with nutritious favorites, as well as comfort meals, beverage mixes, snacks, and foods that cater to the specific needs of those in your household (the particularities of toddlers’ and older childrens’ diets and those with food allergies and/or sensitivities). And be sure to include oils for cooking and condiments to make your meals complete!
  2. Don’t Know How To Prepare The Food You Have Stocked Up On

    You have twenty pounds of wheat! Great! But do you know what to do with it? Do you have enough yeast if you’re planning on making bread? What about all those beans? Do you have recipes that will turn the mundane black bean into chili or stew with some added freeze-dried or canned vegetables? Knowing what you can do with your emergency stockpile of food is just as important as building it up. And practicing and becoming familiar with recipes that you can mentally conjure up to create meals that will keep you healthy and full and satiated during crises is oh so important. 
  3. Not Storing Enough Water

    Often having enough water for hydration will seem sufficient. But water is actually far more important than the food you have on hand (and can help you determine how much that is). The very accurate survivalist saying of one being able to live up to three weeks without food but only three days without water should be cemented into our heads while preparing our emergency food and supplies. Not only do we need clean water to keep hydrated, but we need just as much water for preparing and cooking our food and even more water on top of that for hygiene and cleaning. So definitely don’t neglect the proper calculations on how much water you need to store along with your food
  4. Not Preparing For And Equipping An Alternate Fuel Source To Cook

    What often comes with emergency situations where we have to shelter-in-place is a lack of electricity. Do we often consider what we will do when the lights go out and we have no way to cook our much-needed food? I know I certainly have been guilty of not following through the thought process of what comes after such circumstances, but it’s so important to be sure you have thought through where you will cook with your backup propane stove when you don’t have electricity—When it’s summer, cooking outside is no problem, but what about when it’s winter? Do you have a plan in place for where you’ll be able to set up your propane stove or grill when it’s too cold outside?
  5. Not Storing Vitamins And Medicines

    Having a backup of medications, OTC, and RX, as well as any daily vitamins or immunity-boosting vitamins, is so important! Just as much as it’s imperative to keep your body strong and healthy with adequate food and water in crises, so too is it to make sure you have all the supplemental help to maintain energy and health when emergency situations arise. 

3 Principles Of Food Storage 

Along with all the above information provided to help you organize and prepare your emergency food and water storage, here at Hibernate, we have a few of our favorite key best practices for getting the most out of your efforts in building your supplies. 

  1. Store Foods That Will Fill You Up!

    Emergency food storage kits are built to keep you full and energized throughout tough times. And going beyond that to make sure your storage is diverse and plentiful, one principle we live by at Hibernate is to fill your pantry with foods that fill you up and sustain you. Here’s a list to get you started:
    1. Oatmeal
    2. Soup and stew mixes
    3. Nuts and seeds (butter, powders, whole)
    4. Canned and dried beans
    5. Canned meats and poultry
    6. Lentils
    7. Popcorn
    8. Protein and granola bars
    9. Protein powders
    10. Dried fruit
    11. Instant potatoes
  2. Store Foods That “Last Forever”

    There are some foods that seem to have an infinite shelf life. Like the honey found in Egyptian tombs that are still edible after 3,000 years?! Yes! These are the kinds of foods that we always are sure to have in our pantries: honey, maple syrup, white rice (brown rice has more acids that give it a shorter shelf life), vinegar, salt, popcorn (for popping!), soy sauce, vanilla extract, liquor (helpful for making tinctures and disinfectant too!).
  3. Get A Garden Going!

    Any amount of fresh greens and plants will be of enormous benefit to you, emergency or not. Even something as simple as a small sprouting garden in your kitchen can offer tremendous nutrition benefits and will help give a semblance of normalcy in trying times. 

hibernate food storage for emergencies

Hibernate Makes Emergency Food Storage Easy 

There is a lot to think about and do to feel secure and prepared for when emergencies hit, and we want to help you feel calm and relieved about where you stand when it comes to your food storage. Hibernate has made it easy for you to build up your emergency food storage in manageable stages because we know you want to feel confident and clear about how you can withstand any unforeseen circumstance that hits. We want you to feel empowered that you know the best practices for building and maintaining your food storage and getting started is as easy as ordering your first two-week supply and building up from there. 

Get confidence and peace-of-mind of your preparedness with a Hibernate order today!

More On Food Storage From Hibernate:

Is Rice A Good Emergency Food?

What Food Never Expires?

How Much Food Do I Need To Feed My Family In An Emergency?