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Survivalist’s Guide to Storing Survival Food for Emergencies: Preparing Your Prepper Storage Room

Having a long-term survival food supply for emergencies is essential for ensuring the safety and survival of your family. That’s why learning how to begin storing survival food is such an important skill– one that develops into a lifestyle that prioritizes complete autonomy, even in the wake of the most severe disasters.  

Storing survival food is more than hoarding MREs from the army surplus store. It requires proper planning and execution to ensure the stored food remains safe for consumption.

So, if you are interested in survivalist foot storage–keep reading. This article will provide valuable information on how to store your survival food, including methods, locations, and conditions for storage

The Importance of Survivalist Food Storage

survivalist food storage during emergency

For a prepper, having to resort to living off the food in their emergency food stockpile is not a matter of “if” but “when.” That’s why having a well-stocked prepper storage room is non-negotiable.  

Common scenarios when you can rely on your survivalist food storage.

  • Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes

  • Power outages as a result of bad weather, solar flare, or EMP attack

  • Disruptions to the food supply chain in the aftermath of an economic recession or depression, global pandemic, or civil unrest.

In addition, you can also rely on your survivalist food storage for more mundane scenarios, like when you’re too sick to go grocery shopping or if you forgot to pick up a certain item from the store. 

The benefits of having a long-term survival food supply include peace of mind, self-reliance, and being prepared to provide for your family's basic needs.  

Methods for Storing Survival Food

The methods for storing survival food are about as diverse as the food items themselves. As a well-equipped prepper, you should employ various methods for storing survival food to ensure your prepper storage room is as robust as possible. 

Canning and Pickling

Canning foods, like jams and jellies, fruits, and vegetables, is a fantastic way to preserve food for the long term. Canning, along with pickling, is a particularly helpful food preservation method if you grow a garden at home and need a way to preserve your harvests. 

But we should mention that canning and pickling require a lot of work. And unfortunately, if you skip a step or make a mistake, the food you preserve is susceptible to premature spoiling. 

Dehydrating and Freeze-drying Foods

prepper storage room  for Freeze-drying Foods

Dehydrating and freeze-drying food is another effective food preservation method. By removing the moisture content from food, you can extend its shelf life while preserving its natural flavor and nutritional content. 

However, the fallback of these methods is that the equipment you need to effectively dehydrate or freeze-dry food can be extremely expensive and take up a lot of space in your home, not to mention the time involved in dehydrating. One serving of dehydrated chicken could take you 5 hours or more, while freeze drying it could take a day. 

Storing Staple Foods in Mylar Bags and Food Buckets

Storing food is sometimes as simple as removing it from its original packaging and storing it in long-term food storage containers, for example, food-grade mylar bags and food buckets. This method is particularly helpful for staple food items that you buy in bulk.

  • Beans

  • Rice

  • Flour

  • Oatmeal

  • Pasta  

You can extend its shelf-life by transferring food into mylar bags or food buckets. That’s because food containers like mylar bags and food buckets protect the food from moisture, premature oxidation, light (artificial and natural), and pests. 

Keeping Professional Prepared and Packaged Survival Food

Thus far, we’ve only mentioned DIY methods for emergency food storage.  But another great way to add to your food prepper storage room is to invest in professionally prepared and packaged emergency food buckets

Commercially crafted freeze-dried and dehydrated emergency food, like the products from Valley Food Storage, are ideal for survivalist food storage. That’s because our products have a 25+ shelf life.  

Not to mention that our delicious recipes are created with non-GMO, simple ingredients that you can understand. What you read on the package is what you get. And trust us, you’ll have no problem pronouncing all the simple and clean ingredients we use.     


[product_render product-handle="freeze-dried-meat-6-pack"]

Conditions for Storing Survival Food

The best conditions for storing survival food are well known. Whether you stockpile food from the fruits and veggies from your garden, canned goods from the grocery store, survival food kits, or all of the above doesn't matter.  

Regardless of the situation, you must look for the five biggest enemies of survival food storage.

  1. Too much oxygen (oxidation)

  2. Moisture and humidity

  3. Warm temperatures

  4. Natural and artificial light

  5. Insects and pests 

Therefore, the best locations for storing survival food are cool, dark, and dry. Now let’s discuss some of the best places to keep your survival food stockpile.


Best Locations for Storing Survival Food

Typically, it’s preferred to store your food somewhere easy to get to and with everything in one place. For example, in an insulated basement, closet, pantry, or underneath the bed in a spare bedroom. 

Storing food in common living areas is not the best idea. We also discourage storing food in outdoor spaces such as sheds and garages.

  • Basements offer tons of extra space and remain cool and dark. Just make sure that your basement doesn’t get too humid. If it does, try using a dehumidifier.

  • Closets are ideal locations because they are convenient and remain super dry and dark.

  • Obviously, food pantries are perfect if you have spare space. Otherwise, keeping your emergency food in your pantry may take up valuable storage space for non-emergency items.

  • Creative storage spaces, like under the bed, are perfect for storing survival food.    

Ultimately what you want is a location that is practical in terms of remaining cool, dry, and dark. You also want your food storage location to be convenient so that you know exactly where to access your stockpile when disaster strikes.  

Spread Out Your Supplies

We recommend storing emergency food in multiple locations throughout your home to ensure access during emergencies. For example, if unexpected flooding occurs in your basement after a severe thunderstorm, you won’t have lost all of your prepper food storage.

Emergency Food Storage

Tips for Effective Emergency Food Storage

After you’ve built up your survivalist food storage, you’ll need to transition to managing and maintaining your supplies. Here are some tips to incorporate into your new survivalist food storage lifestyle.

Keep Everything Labeled

Labels are super important for food storage. For example, if you keep individually wrapped mylar bags of food inside larger food buckets or plastic totes, label the larger container, so you know what's inside without opening it.  

Also, label the individual packages with a note about their contents and when they were packaged. 

In addition, we recommend labeling other non-perishable food items, like cans, boxes of broth or stock, bags of rice, and pasta packaging with the date you bought them and any other information you need, like the date you want to use it by. With proper labels, you can quickly identify where particular food is kept, when they are stored, and when they are expected to expire.  

Practice “First In, First Out”

As you restock your emergency food supply, we recommend employing the “first in, first out” (FIFO) strategy for food rotation. 

Using the FIFO strategy ensures that the food items you bought in the past get rotated out (eaten) before the newer items you just resupplied. For example, the can of beans that went into the pantry first should be the first can you take out when you go to prepare a meal with beans.

By following the FIFO rule, you can avoid food spoilage and ensure that nothing gets wasted.

Keep Your Food Storage Area Clean

Hygiene and cleanliness are two critical components of storing emergency food.  

Shelves should be kept clean. This will help with the build-up of dust and debris.  

As you rotate items, containers should be cleaned and sanitized. This will help prevent the growth of mold. 

And, of course, if a spill occurs or a package breaks open in your storage area, clean up anything and everything that might attract insects and pests.   


Keep an Inventory Sheet  to Track Your Storage Needs

As you develop your prepper storage room, it’s important to keep an inventory of what you have, especially if you have food spread out around the house.  

An inventory sheet will help you track what's coming into storage and what you are rotating out. With that type of information, you can ensure that your supplies are up to date not only in terms of their expiration dates but also in terms of the amount of food you have compared to how many people you will need to feed and for how long.   

download preparedness checklist

Final Thoughts On Your Prepper Storage Room

Survival food storage is a crucial element of emergency preparedness.It’s important to understand how to store emergency food, including proper methods, locations, and conditions for storage. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your family has a safe and reliable food source during times of crisis. That way, you can remain self-reliant, no matter what happens in the world.  

If you are ready to begin storing survival food, visit our website to check out our wonderful emergency food products. Or, if you want to keep learning about prepping and emergency preparedness, you can keep reading our Practical Prepper Blog. And to connect with other preppers in the community, join our Disaster Dry Run Group