My Favorite Food Storage Method

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For long term food and water storage, my favorite is the 5 gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid.  They are easily portable, easy to label the contents, easy to stack, easy to open and re-seal, etc!  They are a great way to store food, water, and supplies.  You can pick up any 5-gallon bucket from a hardware or paint store (darker in color, the better). You can get Gamma Seal lids online, in surplus stores, and some hardware stores (again, darker in color, the better).  Make sure they are new, have never had paint, chemicals, oils/fats, gasoline, stored in them before because those chemicals can leach back into your food/water and contaminate your stored goods.


I like to do my buckets this way:


-Several Complete Buckets that have MRE/Mylar Food Pouches (food & water for 2 or 3 people for 72 hours), Mylar water pouches, a can opener, some matches, a small water filter/water purification tablets, a roll of toilet paper, a small basic first aid kit, and some basic medication like aspirin, Tylenol or Ibprofen.   I call these Complete Buckets because if you had to Bug Out, if you grab a few of these buckets AND your Bug Out Bag (that should be properly stocked and ready to go), you can easily throw all of these in a vehicle and Bug Out or carry these items if you had to walk out of an emergency situation.  A Complete Bucket gives you supplies for a few days to a few weeks to hopefully get to a better location and away from the emergency. Label COMPLETE


-Several buckets that are just food (whether that be canned goods, mylar pouches, freeze dried foods, or grains/beans/rice/sugars)  If doing a whole bucket of grains, beans, rice, sugars, etc, make sure you purchase a mylar bag liner for the bucket to protect your stores. Label FOOD


-Several buckets that are just water pouches, water filtration/purification items  Label WATER


-Several buckets that are just first aid/medication products  Label FIRST AID/MEDICINE


-Several buckets that are just toilet paper  Label TP or BATH SUPPLY


-Several buckets that are just matches, lighters, firebuilding supplies, Sterno cooking fuel, candles LabelFIRE


-A bucket or two of Baby Supplies  (see Putting up for Baby post), more if you already have a baby or are/will be expecting a baby for sure.  Label BABY


-A bucket or two of Pet Supplies (see Putting up for Fido and Fluffy post)  Label PETS


-A few buckets of alcohol and tobacco products-  even if you don’t drink or smoke, these make great barter items in an emergency Label BARTER


-A bucket of “fun stuff”-  books, games, cards, toys for kids (children get easily bored in an emergency situation and may not have electricity to play their Game Boys or cell phone games)  Label RECREATION or FUN


-Several buckets of comfort foods-  candy, chocolate, hot chocolate mix, coffee mix, or other favorite treats


-Several buckets of feminine products- not only are these great barter items, need items for women every month, but can also use to stop heavy bleeding on a wound (cut, gunshot wound).  Label FEMININE HYGIENE

-Several buckets of soap, wash rags, shampoo, comb/brush, razors, a bath towel or two rolled up, and other hygiene products you prefer  Label HYGIENE