When creating a longer-term food storage, concentrate on gradually building a supply of food that will last a long time. Store foods that will keep you alive if you have nothing else to eat. Foods like grains, legumes, powdered milk, sugar, and salt will last 25, or even 30 years. (Remember to store water)
If you can afford it, freeze-dried foods can add substantially to the palatability of your food storage. But again, store additional water, or have the ability to purify the water available.
Here is a link to learn more about Longer-Term Food Storage.
When developing any kind of storage plan, in addition to food and water, there are many other items to consider including. As mentioned elsewhere in this website, clothing and shelter to protect yourself from the elements is very important! And having the means to cook your food, and produce light and heat is also important.
There are other items to consider storing that can make life much more comfortable, and some items that can largely influence whether you succeed or fail (which in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death). Now is the time to decide whether to include these items. Do not wait until the need arrives, as that is too late. I would much rather be prepared and never need it than to find myself lacking when the time comes.
It is impossible to list everything everyone may need in their long-term storage. Everyone’s situation and needs are different. My guess is that you will never totally feel you have everything you need. Just do the best you can in your given situation. Remember The Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and methodical is best. Here is a list of items I found (source unknown) to give you an idea of what you might consider including:
- 72-hour kits in backpacks
- 3-month food storage of rotatable goods and other items
- 1 year food storage
- Water and water purification supplies.
- Clothing for all seasons, including winter snow.
- Wool socks
- Regular socks
- Hiking boots
- Snow boots (snow shoes)
- Sneakers and several pairs of “camp shoes”
- Hats for all seasons.
- Gloves—several pairs of work gloves and winter gloves.
- Foam pads
- Warm bedding (e.g. winter sleeping bags, light-weight sleeping bags, blankets)
- Sleep wear
- An all-weather tent which can withstand high winds and storms and that has a vent for a tent stove.
- A tent stove for heating and cooking inside the tent during cold winter weather or when otherwise confined to your tent.
- Lanterns, matches, variety of flashlights, candles, and other sources of light and heat.
- A variety of batteries.
- Emergency radios and communications equipment.
- Several tarps.
- Sanitation supplies, personal hygiene items and kits.
- Medication, supplements, essential oils, other supplies for medical situations (include several first aid kits, suture kit, snake bite kit, etc.)
- Eye wear—several pairs of glasses, contacts, and sunglasses for each member of your family.
- Camp tables
- Wheat grinder
- Food prep items (dutch ovens, cast iron pans and skillets, cooking utensils, items such as oven mitts, can opener, knives, cutting board, etc.)
- Pots and pans, cups, plates, dishes, silverware.
- Wash basins for dishes, cleaning and bathing.
- Laundry detergent, dish soap, and hand soap (bucket and plunger for washing clothes)
- Sunscreen and bug spray.
- Tools—Axes, hammers, nails, screw drivers, screws, hunting knives and other helpful tools useful when camping in a long-term setting (e.g compass).
- Various garage tools and household tools and supplies.
- Lots of rope of various lengths for various purposes.
- Spare tires for trailer and motor vehicle.
- Scissors, multi-tools, tweezers, razors, super-glue.
- Storage organizers
- Personal records, pictures, official documents (marriage license, birth certificates, etc. (paper copies as well as scanned versions on a flash drive (or CD) for portability).
- Family History records.
- Cash—including small bills and coins.
- Hymn books, children’s song books, other music.
- Scriptures and other books (e.g. children’s books)
- Games and other items for entertainment purposes and to relieve stress.
- Written or printed contacts list of family and friends.
- Paper maps of various states and regions of the U.S. (or country (area) you live in)
- Writing utensils
- Pet food and supplies.