How Basic Can You Get? List #1 For Beginners

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This weekend some very good friends of ours spent several hours at our house.  At one point over dinner, the husband, James, began asking about food storage.  How did I know what to store?  How long would it last?  His wife, Dawn, had questions of her own and I began making a simple list of how to start with preparedness.

I asked them both what their concerns were.  Dawn mentioned the news about the solar flares that might cause problems with electronics on Earth and James said his main concern was a war developing in the Middle East.  Since we had never talked about preparedness before, I was surprised that those concerns were on their radars.  Previously, we had just chatted about work schedules, homeschooling, and whether or not our kids should go to church camp this summer.

After James and Dawn left, I started writing out a list of the most simple steps we had talked about and then decided to post them here.  If you are new to the  idea of preparing for an emergency or worst-case scenario, here’s where you can start!  I’ll be posting additional lists throughout the year, all titled, “How basic can you get?”

Here is List #1.

1. Start saving empty soda bottles for easy water storage containers.

Eventually, you’ll need 28 of them for a water supply lasting a family of four for one week.  That’s about one gallon of water per person, per day.  If you live in a hot and/or humid climate, add another gallon per person.  Clean out the bottles and run the caps through the dishwasher.  Refill with water.  You can add 1 drop of bleach if you wish.  Cap tightly and store these in out of the way places.

This step will give you enough water for one week for a family of four.  Continue adding to this supply until you have at least a month’s worth.

Put 3-4 in your vehicle, underneath the back seat.  This car water is back-up water, something you’ll only use and drink in a dire emergency.  It won’t taste good but it will keep you hydrated and alive until you can get help.

TIP:  Do NOT use empty milk jugs or fruit juice containers. The plastic (non-BPA) used for the soda bottles is a heavier quality and meant to last longer. According to the FEMA website, the downside of using fruit juice containers for water storage is that sugars from the juice are difficult to remove from the plastic bottle and could cause bacteria to grow. I know many people, however, who use these bottles for water storage.

2. Continue saving and cleaning soda bottles to use for food and water storage.

If you don’t drink soda, ask friends to save their empty bottles for you. When you go to a party where soda is served, ask if you can have the empty bottles. Fizzy soda water can be added to fruit juice for a nice, light drink, and it’s very inexpensive. That would be one way to get the bottles without having to start drinking soda!

3. Begin looking for cheap rice, pinto beans, lentils and other legumes.

As you buy them, pour them into clean soda bottles and cap tightly.  Once 25 or more of these are filled, you’ll put one 100 cc oxygen absorber in each bottle. You can buy these on Amazon, at Winco stores, at Honeyville Farms stores, and at LDS canneries.

4. Talk things over with your spouse or significant other.

Set aside an hour or more to chat, and list everything you’re worried about that could affect your family’s, “life as we know it.”  Solar flares?  Massive earthquake?  Banking crisis?  Riots?  Civil war?  Include every concern and then discuss the likelihood of each.  Finally, select the top 4 or 5 that have the greatest likelihood of occurring as your preparedness focal points.

That’s all.  With these four steps, you’ll have a good start on water storage, a supply of free food storage containers, the beginnings of a dried goods storage, and a specific idea of what you’re preparing for.  Here are the rest of the articles:

List 2   List 3   List 4   List 5   List 6

91 thoughts on “How Basic Can You Get? List #1 For Beginners”

    1. Oxygen absorbers can be purchsed online at I just recently ordered 300 100cc o2 Absorbers for a very reasonable cost- around $20.00 I do alot of dehydrating of fruts,veggies and herbs and use them alot. Last fall I purchased milar bags/o2 absorber sets. I got 1 gallon sized and 5 gallon sized bags as well as the proper sized o2 absorbers.We also started buying our soda in 2 liter bottles so I can recycle into water storage. Do yourself a favor and add the chlorox.

    2. eBay! Or your local (or not so local – it's worth a stock-up trip at some point) LDS Bishop's Warehouse. You can buy mylar bags there, too.

    3. Do what I do.
      Get online and google (in this case) "Buy oxygen absorbers."
      Then start reading and gathering knowledge.

    1. I can't remember where I saw this advice, maybe somewhere here at the survival mom, but if you volunteer to help clean up after a party you can get soda bottles for free.

    2. I would like to know why you can’t use plastic juice bottles, also. The Simply Orange bottles are nice and square and would store better than round bottles.

      1. Two things, one these plastic containers are shipped in boxes or those plastic milk cages. they are not meant to stack on top of each other. They will crush and break spilling all the water out. Not all plastic bottles are BPA free. I do not trust the smaller bottles so I am going to change directions here and say instead of soda bottles. Which if you think about it 28 will take up a lot of storage space. instead get the 5 gallon water bottles. That’s 640 ounces. a soda bottle holds about 100 ounces or 3 liters. compare the space needed to store one 5 gal water bottle to what is about 6 and 1/2 soda bottles. These 5 gal bottles are also much more sturdy. I still wouldn’t store on top of each other but a simple wooden (2 x 4 frame) shelf or rack could be built to hold about 10 bottles 5 high and 2 wide. plus you could put a shelf on top for things needing shelf space. Now if you have a garage you can get 55 gallon food grade barrels. Four of those used to collect rain water will give you 220 gallons in the same amount of space as my 10, 5 gallon rack mount. Remember, its not just about drinking water, you need water for preparing food, washing your hands, laundry, Personal hygiene. So 1 gallon of water a day may turn into 10 gallons a day. Something to consider.

  1. Hi, I was wondering if you have any concerns about chemicals leaching from the bottles into your food/water. I don't know if soda bottles have BPA, but one article I read said that they do have DEHP, another carcinogen, that's more likely to leach into food when you're re-using the bottles. I know that if it were an emergency, we'd be less likely to care about such matters. On the other hand, these chemicals could be the overall cause of poor health over time. It's one concern that holds me back on prepping – what to use for storage… just wondering if you had considered this and have any info that could alleviate my concerns. Great site by the way, and I appreciate all the info for beginners!

  2. I've also started keeping those heavy plastic coffee cans to store dry goods in the pantry after you open a larger container. Speaking of coffee, does anyone have any good ideas for stocking up on it without taking too huge a hit to the budget? This is one area where we just can't seem to build a cushion, even buying several when they go on sale. Maybe we just need to bite the bullet and buy a few cases with a couple months prepping budget. Even a minor crisis might turn into TEOTWAWKI if my husband can't have coffee…

    1. I pack my ground coffee just like Lisa's beans and rice suggestion. I pour it into a clean, sterile and dry 2 liter bottles with O2 absorbers. It may dry out the coffee, but in a SHTF world there won't be a Starbucks to compare it to anyway. 😉

    2. Coffee just keeps getting more and more expensive. I stock up in many ways. Sometimes I find them in grocery stores marked down because of dented cans on their clearance racks. I repackage them in mason jars with foodsaver or foodsaver bags. I match coupons with sales and constantly get good qaulity coffee (12 oz bags of say Starbucks) for $3 to $5 (my max price point) each. After the holidays, the flavored ones are marked down too. Then Amazon has specials on coffees periodically, if you get on a reoccuring subscription you can get them for about $3.50 a bag, see blogs like mojosavings.

    3. Try green coffee beans and roasting your own. We started doing that and are saving about $5 per lb. not counting the labor or energy roasting. Green coffee beans store way better than roasted coffee. You can buy the green beans on-line and roasting techniques/methods can be found on you-tube. I want to eventually roast on a home-made rocket stove. Google 'rocket stove' and be prepared to learn some amazing things! This is a pretty aggressive approach, but if you like coffee like I do it is a slam dunk and you cannot beat fresh roasted coffee.

    4. Front load your supply. If a typical large can of coffee lasts you guys 4 weeks- build it into your list to buy one every 3 weeks. Alternately, take some for food supply FIRST. Open the coffee, fill a mason jar and vacuum seal it with a food saver or whatever, then use the rest of the can of coffee as usual, replacing it when you run low just like you always do.

      I stock up on the sales, too. I ended up making an "extended" food pantry NOT in the kitchen for the surplus food storage. It was important to keep the "open and being used" away from the "food storage" items, because in my house if the husband and kids see it on the pantry shelf, they'll use it. So now, when I use up a carton of oatmeal or can of coffee from the pantry, I put it on the grocery list. I go get the replacement from food storage, and the new one I buy goes into the food storage area (so we're always rotating.) My "extra food storage" is a bookshelf in my office.

  3. Why no juice bottles? I don't drink soda so I use cranberry juice bottles and have never had a problem with them. I wash them with soap and water and let them set for a day and then rinse and disenfect with a bleach solution and let that set a day or two and then drain and fill with tap water, that way a little of the bleach stays in the bottle and then store in the dark in the basement. Have never had a problem and the water seems fine and the cranberry juice bottle seem sturdier than soda bottles and are square so the they take up less room than soda bottles.

    1. The official word is that juice bottles can retain fruit sugars that remain attached to the plastic. FEMA gives soda bottles a thumbs-up but discourages the use of both fruit juice and milk containers.

      1. What else could I use, then? Would half gallon canning jars be okay? We’re older & so are our friends we don’t buy liter bottles of anything. Can’t use it before it gets stale. Anything else we could use for the beans & rice & how many oxygen packs would go in the half gallon mason jars? Thanks so much!

        1. Yes, you can use jars. They\’re just heavier and breakable. For a 32-ounce jar, use a 100cc oygen absorber. You might also look into small sized mylar bags.

    2. Been using cranbery juice containers for years for emergency hurricane prep. Benefit#1- it does not have to be refrigerated before opening-storage for months. Benefit #2- the containers have handles and have a square-ish foot print in the freezer. ie:less wasted space. Benefit #3- frozen water containers can be moved into refrigerator at night-near the milk, to keep cold. Move back into the freezer during the day when the generator is running to re-freeze. Benefit #4- cranberry juice can help ward off urinary track infections. Perhaps important in a shtf situation. By the way, I fill the containers every June with RO water for my kitchen. RO water in the generator battery is there if needed.

  4. I still dont understand about the fruit bottles. FEMA is government=do not trust all info. Wont the clorox kill any bacteria from fruit sugars? Thanks for the good info, will be looking forward to your other advice. The advice from a Survival Mom means more to me than anything the govt. says.

    1. Martha, I share your distrust of government agencies in general, but this one thing (!) makes sense. Sugars in both fruit and milk can adhere to the plastic and may still be present when the empty bottle has been cleaned. I did some checking around and found this statement on a Red Cross site. "If you chose to use your own storage containers, chose two-liter, plastic soda bottles—not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them." I know that many people use these containers, though.

      One website claimed that the plastic juice containers mentioned in the Red Cross and FEMA information are the same type of containers used for gallons of milk, but that's not how I read it. So, if juice containers are all you have, I would say go ahead and use them but add that drop or two of chlorine.

  5. I have stored some water in the juice bottles, they're sturdy, so they were too hard to dispose of! I planned to use that water for flushing and washing though.

  6. I fill empty milk jugs with water for cleaning,, toilets,, and washing,, soda bottles for drinking, i also buy water when its on sale,, in the summer months kroger will sale gallons of ice mountain water 10 for 10 then you get an additional 5.00 off if you buy ten,,,,, cant beat this price i usally buy 30 at a time,, as for coffee,, dollar tree sales 12oz bags of coffee for 1.00 i empty bags into a mylar bags add oxy absorbers,, husband and daughter have both said this coffee isnt bad,,,, would rather have fodgers or maxwell house,, but both said in the event of teotwawki,, they would be very happy to have this coffee, they also sale hazelnut favored coffee,,, both really liked this…

    1. Thanks for the coffee tip, I hadn't thought of checking the dollar tree. And you're right in a SHTF situation this would be much better than living with no coffee at all.

  7. I read on a different site, I think, that soda bottle's are made for holding pressure and thus, they are ideal for storing with an oxygen absorber that actually creates a little bit of a vacume, or if you use other methods, like the dry ice method. Maybe this is why everyone says soda bottles. I don't know I skiped right to buckets or mason jars.

  8. We don't drink soda either so I put some of our water in the cranberry juice jugs (with handles). Even though they were washed & bleached before use, I guess those will have to go into the washer or pool if not used for washing and flushing in an emergency. My question is, why is the sugar in juice bad but the sugar in soda okay? It makes me wonder if the government was talking about the paper coated juice and milk containers.

    1. The sugar in juice is usually natural fruit sugar, and most juices have a natural acidity. The "sugar" in soda is usually high-fructose corn-syrup.

  9. Typical milk jug with handle is hard to get clean on the inside. My mom-in-law saves me the one gallon mayo jugs – they're sturdy and have a good handle that's not connected to the inside of the jug. They are also wide mouthed, so they go through the dishwasher on the bottom rack without any problems. Lid screws on tight too. I've had one gallon jugs of water (similar to milk jugs) from the store crack and leak on me. Anything thicker than your standard plastic jug would seem better to me. Or you could purchase the empty water jugs that are stocked next to the filtered water station in the grocery store, and fill it yourself at home. When I do wash out regular milk/juice jugs, I let them sit for at least 12 hours with a lot of hot soapy water in them, then let them soak a little with plain water in them, then rinse them out a few times. Then again, I'm using them for milk-in-the-freezer storage after I visit our dairy farmer friends!

  10. So why not use water gallon bottles? Are the soda bottles liter 2 liters that you are referring to? is there BPA in all plastic?

    1. Another option is to store water in glass jars. They're heavy and breakable, but if you don't want to use plastic, your choices are limited. Maybe look into storing water in sealed mylar bags.

  11. If you drink a glass of wine with your meals you may want to start buying Carlo Rossi in the gallon "glass" jugs (Cabernet, Burgundy and Chianti). In the space of a year you can collect a nice number of gallon "glass" jugs and they have a nice handle. Glass is much better than plastic. These jugs can be used to store all manner of things like water, rice, beans etc. I even used them a couple of times to make some home made wine. The screw tops from large plastic containers of Clorox fit these glass Carlo Rossi jugs which can also be used to store your clorox since clorox, if left in their plastic containers will eventually leak all over the floor and cause a big mess. I stocked up on clorox and poured it all into Carlo Rossi gallon wine jugs. Works great. The metal top of the Carlo Rossi jugs are not clorox proof.

  12. BPA is in most plastic bottles that are used for one time uses like soda, water, and juice bottles they are not meant to be reused and are even more dangerous to reuse in warmer climates warmer temperature allow the BPA to seep at a quicker rate than in cold temperatures. My supply of survival water is in the containers that I bought them in water is not an area that I am willing to gamble in I would hate to be in a survival situation and find that my water is tainted. I do however save my plastic laundry soap containers for grey water use some I rinse for grey water some of them I just fill with water for soapy water. I get free 5 gallon buckets from a local food joint, a lot of bulk items that restaurants use come in 5 gallon buckets. I use those for rice and bean storage( I use a garbage bag as a liner) as well as chicken feed. Metal coffee cans are handy also I don't store anything in them now but I do save them as well as all glass containers from things like spaghetti sauce or pickles I figure they will come in handy when Ziploc bags and Tupperware are no longer just a shopping trip away.

    1. I read plastic garbage bags have pesticide in them so you shouldn't store food in them. Better to get plastic or metaL bags made for food.

  13. Water storage is critical, I don't drink soda so the money I save I use to buy five gallon buckets from home depot. They are safe and you can stack them up to three high with no damage. Cost is under 4 bucks and they can be easily carried by all for refill. If you store on concrete but them on a pallet so you don't have any chemical leaching from the concrete. If you will be filling from a hose buy a white water hose from the RV dept. at WALMART.

  14. Unless they make one gallon soda bottles, something is wrong with your math (28 bottles equalling one gallon per person per day for a family of four). 56 two liter bottles should do the trick. 🙂

  15. IMHO, concerns about the effects of BPA on neurological development are still debatable. If avoiding BPA is high on your priority list, prep accordingly. However dehydration and starvation are real concerns in a SHTF world. If people become desperate enough, whether or not BPA is harmful will be the least of their worries. The ability to filter scummy pond water and trapping and cooking a raccoon or squirrel will be a bigger concern for most people, especially the unprepared. Dehydration and starvation kill much faster than chemicals POSSIBLY leached into your food supply. (Again, this is JUST my opinion.)

  16. Fruit juice containers aren't good to use because even bleach won't remove all of the fruit sugars. Bacteria loves sugar, so it's a chance you take if you use them. Any liquid container that is marked with a 1 on the bottom of it is fine to reuse and store water in. Hope this helps. 🙂

  17. Just a note, a family of four would need 56 pop bottles for a week.

    Each bottle is 2L, which is basically 2 quarts. So 2 bottles = 1 gallon of water.
    4 people need 28 gallons of water for a week (4×7), using the recommended 1 gal/day rule. So, 2 bottles x 28 = 56 pop bottles.

    1. I love the way you guys keep me on my toes! In my book I list the need for 28 GALLONS, and here I was in this post focusing on the soda bottles! I\’ll make the change so no one else is confused. I guess 2 weeks of water is better than nothing. LOL

  18. Beginner PREPPING TIPS: Start simple (K.I.S.S.)
    -Pick up some 4-5 gal. buckets @ your neighborhood bakery/donut shop for free (SurvivalMom tip)(or you can offer them $1 p/bucket). Be sure to clean them well with bleach & dish soap.
    -Buy some large mylar bags, oxygen absorbers & new bucket lids (I bought mine from–& check out YouTube on how to seal bags with an iron).
    -Next, buy a few bulk food items such as white rice ($9.50 for 25 lbs.@ Costco) & pinto beans (& con't to build over time with additional items such as wheat (hard white or red), oatmeal, lentils, white sugar, salt, etc. Look for bulk food & storage items from sites like Honeyville, The Ready Store & Costco.

    IMPORTANT: Store all food items inside your home where the heat is regulated (NOT in a garage or attic) & your bulk foods can last for 20 years. Just begin with a few bulk items & a couple of buckets at a time & you will be surprised at how quickly you can build up your supply.

  19. I packed lots of beans, rice, sugar, salt, etc, in 2 liters bottles with O2 absorbers. The idea was to store them in a water tight plastic barrel buried for long term storage out at my brothers farm. After a week the 02 absorbers pulled such a vacuum on the tightly packed bottles, it deformed (dimpled) all of them in several places. I'm not sure how this would weaken the plastic where it has creased over the long haul. Perhaps causing a leak to develope which defeats the airtight package. My next batch will probably be without them. Some friends have stored this way (without 02 abs) and they have no problems after years of storage in their basement.

    1. I have soda bottles that are tightly vacuum packed and haven't noticed any deterioration of the plastic. Do you remember what size oxy absorber you used? It's actually possible for a container to implode when too many are used for the container size. If your friends have stored food in their basement, one thing they have going for them is the cooler temperatures. Heat is a huge enemy of food.

    1. Becky, the best way for most people to store water is to have multiple layers. For example, someone with a pool could consider that water as "stored" for use with laundry, sanitation, and bathing and some people have their own wells. Add a few cases of individual bottles of water, larger bottles, and even larger water barrels. Look for used barrels wherever "horse people" buy their feed and other supplies. Around here, I buy them for less than $20 each. And, for storing those water-filled soda bottles, well, let's just say my kids don't have any room under their beds for anything else!

  20. The govt has given itself the right to collect more than one week's worth of (hoarded) food for redistribution to the masses. Is everyone willing to store for the sake of others, or do you have ideas about how to conceal the storage in some way?

    1. Many locations.Hide anything anywhere. Be creative and don’t hesitate to buy long term food for hiding supplies in the walls.

    2. ….wait……what?……who says the government can come into my house and take a weeks worth of my food? and who determines what a weeks worth is? is it for one person? or a weeks worth for each person in the house? under what circomstances can they do this? this has me disturbed.

      1. ok….sorry. I ran and did some homework. This is what my son was telling me about. bill S1867. From what I can find Obama won’t sign it until they change it to exempt natural born citizens from arrest. That doesn’t exclude the whole food thing. The bill says that you could be considered a terrorist for stocking more than a weeks worth of food.

  21. A tip for the rice…. it should be frozen overnight to kill any weevils or weevil larvae that may be in the rice. They are invisible to the naked eye, until several months later when there are millions and completely ruining your rice. Just freeze the rice and let it come back to room temp on the counter for a couple of days before you pack it away for long term storage.

  22. hello im new to prepping and have a few ? what is oxygan absorbers and where do u buy them,? and i drink lots of bottle water can i wash and refill them with more water because i dont buy soda bottles. and cant i just keep the bean and rice in the bags or boxs that they come in ?or will they last longer in glass jars or jugs ?

    1. In answer to your questions:
      1. Oxygen destroys food over time. Oxy absorbers absorb oxygen giving food a longer shelf life. You can buy them on Amazon, eBay, and Ready Made Resources.
      2. Most individual sized water bottles are not made out of plastic that will last a long time. Can you buy cases of them when they're on sale and just always try to have a few cases? That's one of the things I do.
      3. Definitely do not store grocery store-bought food in the same containers they came in. Cardboard and plastic bags are not designed for a lengthy shelf life. Instead, use jars, buckets and other containers.

  23. my first time here and let me tell you I have found more information here then anyplace on the web. This site is wonderful. I do have a question tho.
    My furnace room is in our basement. It stays about 60 degrees F all year round. Is that a good place to store my food and water? and animal food?
    Have not started storing as of yet. will be getting our storing supplies this weekend. and starting hitting yardsales. and looking into freeze drying goods

  24. NOTaN.E.liberal!

    I'm new to this, although I've always had a loaded pantry in the basement with food and cases of water for years. Everyones' information is wonderful and very useful! Please keep the info for newbies coming. I'm trying to come up with a game-plan to start seriously storing for our family of 4. I'll admit, I'm a bit intimidated by all this. I do not know the "techniques" and I can't afford to waste any money on bad techniques and spoiled food stores. (Yikes!) But I do have plenty of ammo! 😉

  25. I’m a couponer who has always kept a few extras of this and that around from finding good deals. Recently, my gut has been telling me I need to start stockpiling more. Too many things in life are unstable! I figure if nothing else, its like a retirement fund-less I have to worry about as I age.

    Aren’t there oxygen absorbers in some foods like nuts when we get them from the store? Can these be reused?

    There is a ton of great information on this site and I will be spending a great deal of time here learning as much as possible. Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge.

    1. Oxygen packets lose their ability to work, over time. You want to keep any you buy tightly packaged. If there is an LDS cannery and bishop’s storehouse near you, you can buy them cheaper there than anywhere, but don’t buy bunches to save, just get what you need at any particular time.

    2. I did find a website that mentions how to re-use oxygen absorbers: you remove them and dry them in either a very low oven, or a dehydrator, and then re-bag them. You could just do a search on re-using o2 absorbers…

  26. Just wondering if it is okay to reuse juice containers and milk jugs for water that will be used for cleaning, flushing, etc.? Thanks for all the wonderful info!

    1. The milk jugs do break down. After about a year or 2 you will find puddles periodically I do use Juice jugs and mark them non potable for cleaning and toilet flushing

  27. I just wondered what you would suggest if you don’t drink soda? I’ve been saving water in empty bleach bottles, just filling it with water when it’s empty, but I don’t use all that many. I did buy gallons of water, and 24-packs for the food storage, but just wondered if there’s any other free container that works.

  28. My plan for plastic storage bottles is my tea bottles for my store bought tea. They are squarish in shape and so store easier and have wide mouth openings so it is easier to fill with food stuffs! I reuse them now for extra non potable water (we have been without water on and off for the past three weeks b/c of city construction) and to water my plants. I go through about 2 a week so it is a good supply for me and keeps them out of the trash (or away from the recycling plant, reuse is so much better). They fit better in boxes and on shelves. The brand is the Sweet Leaf Tea. It is the same shape as many plastic juice containers (we don’t drink a lot of juice, just almond milk, water and tea, hardly any soda).

  29. I am a single person, and I never drink soda. I have saved several of the Lactaid milk bottles, I guess they will now be non-potable water, now. I hope to dry-can some of my food.

  30. My current water source is rain catchment. I keep my drinking water in 64 oz. rectangular juice jugs. I have 60 of them that I keep in regular rotation. They work well for me. I have been doing this for a year and a half. Milk jugs and the gallon water jugs have the problem of springing a leak after about six months of use. If one is truly concerned about contamination then glass is the way to go.

  31. Will water stored in 2L soda bottles stay good long term? Or is it something that needs to be rotated periodically? If needing rotating, how often?

    1. Phinecia, water is water, and as long as it doesn’t come into contact with any contaminants, it should be fine, long term. Recently, I came across some bottles of water (2-liter bottles) from 2003! The water tasted fine but I didn’t need it for any indoor purpose and poured it out in the backyard garden. You could always plan on pouring the water through some sort of filter. You could also put a drop of bleach in the water just as an extra precaution.

  32. Nicole - DinkyGreen

    I am definitely still a novice at storing food outside of the freezer. Soda bottles to store dry goods too? I love the idea! Hey, I wonder if you’d consider sharing a post from time to time on the Saturday Preparedness Fairs hosted by I know the blog’s author would love this fairly new preppers’ link party to grow, and you have a lot of great stuff here, old and new.

  33. Is it ok to use the hi-c juice containers? They only contain like 10% fruit juice. Im using them for dry goods.

  34. Anne Meisenheimer

    I would say yes Jennifer but I can only go on my experiences. I’ve stored homemade wine in a Hawaiian Punch jug and it has been in that jug for at least 4 months in the fridge. The wine is in perfect potent condition with no mold or funky stuff (lol). I washed the jug with hot soapy bleach water and after rinsing with hot water I immediately used it. Hope this helps some =)

    1. The storage life of any food depends on the storage conditions. Keep it in the coolest place possible, and in a dark, dry location for maximum shelf life.

  35. I store water in glass gallon apple cider jugs. I put a little boiling water in it and swish to clean it. Then dump water. Then boil a gallon of water, pour in glass bottle and put on lid (which has a rubber seal). It will actually seal like a canning jar. This is heavier than the plastic but safer to drink.

  36. what about those water bottles that are made from that very thin plastic? Non-BPA is fine but what about the other chemicals that replace the BPA? I’ve read about those being even MORE hazardous than just the BPA. I also can’t remember the name of the chemicals and bottling companies aren’t required to reveal that information. So….

    1. The Survival Mom

      The thin plastic is not designed for long-term storage. Soda bottles are made from BPA-free, food safe plastic called PETE. Most plastic food containers, such as peanut butter jars, are made from this plastic. If there’s an issue with PETE, I certainly haven’t heard about it and continue to recommend PETE containers for food storage.

  37. Is it safe to just buy gallon jugs of water? I pick up a few gallons each time I go to the store and stick them in the closet.

    1. Absolutely! This is just providing more options for storage. Also, some people live more remotely and may simply want to store and bottle their own well water because well pumps often don’t work without electricity.

  38. It is all well and good to suggest beginning to put aside dry food like rice and beans, but you should make sure that you know how to cook them and that your family will eat them. Practice cooking them and train the kids (even the big one) that what is on the plate is what they will eat, no exceptions (sorry, 1 exception, allergies) and you will be more prepared than you can believe. And by using them now you will also be saving money for the big things.

  39. What about storing water in thermos and Gatorade type coolers? We have a stock pile of them from over the years, plus you can always find a stack of them at second hand stores for cheap. If TSHTF I always thought my first move would be to fill up bath tubs and sinks and anything that could hold water, and to keep bleach handy to add as necessary. (We live in the country, but very close to a lesser known military base. Provided it’s not a base attack that we probably wouldn’t survive, we plan to “bug-in.”)
    I was just wondering if those items would be ok for longer storage.

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