Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. - Ezra Taft Benson


Build on the Basics:
"We continue to encourage members to store sufficient food, clothing, and where possible fuel for at least one year. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored. However, we suggest that members concentrate on essential foods that sustain life, such as grains, legumes, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, sugar or honey, and water. Most families can achieve and maintain this basic level of preparedness. The decision to do more than this rests with the individual.

"We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear" (Home Storage: Build on the Basics, Ensign, June 1989, 39).

WATER  (14 gal. per person for two weeks supply)

Water is more essential than food in sustaining life. Store a minimum of seven gallons of water per person for drinking and food preparation. Store an additional seven gallons per person of the same quality water for bathing, brushing teeth, and dishwashing. Use heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Metal containers, which may corrode, tend to give water an unpleasant taste.

If you have any doubt as to the bacterial safety of stored water, you may purify it by boiling vigorously for one to two minutes or by adding chlorine bleach (5 percent sodium hypochlorite solution). Generally, half a teaspoon of bleach will purify five gallons of clear water, and one teaspoon will purify five gallons of cloudy water. If you store it away from sunlight in clean containers, and if it is safe bacterially at the time of storage, water will remain pure indefinitely.



Build on the Basics

Grains include wheat, rice, rolled oats, dried corn, pearled barley, and other cereal grains. Flour, cornmeal, and pasta products such as macaroni and spaghetti are also included. Each family should store various grain items that suit their individual circumstances. For example, rather than storing three to four hundred pounds of wheat per person, a family might choose to store two hundred pounds of wheat, one hundred pounds of flour, twenty-five pounds of rice, twenty-five pounds of rolled oats, twenty-five pounds of dried corn, and twenty-five pounds of macaroni per person. There are numerous combinations. This gives variety to the menu and encourages using and rotating the supply. It also provides choices for those who do not like or cannot eat a particular grain.

Legumes—an inexpensive, nutritious protein food—include beans (soy, pinto, white, kidney, lima, winged, red, navy, pink, and blackeyed), split peas, lentils, and peanuts. They can be stored in clean, dry metal or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. They may also be dry-pack canned.

Fats and Oils
Fat is essential to every diet. Shortening, cooking oil, margarine, and mayonnaise are suggested for storage. Store fats in sealed containers in cool, dry, dark places and rotate them frequently.

Powdered Milk
Nonfat powdered milk, instant or regular, is an excellent storage item. It contains all the nutrients, except fat, found in fresh milk. In the past, storing large amounts of powdered milk has been recommended. However, this has often led to spoilage and waste. More recent studies show that smaller quantities of milk are adequate if people store and eat larger quantities of grains.

Powdered milk can be stored in the original sealed packages, or if purchased in bulk, it can be stored in tightly covered metal or plastic containers. It can also be dry-pack canned.  You may also use canned milk as part of the milk storage program, but you must rotate it regularly.

Nutritionists recommend iodized rather than plain salt, when it is available. Store salt in its original container in a cool, dry place.

Sugar and Honey
Whether to store sugar or honey is a matter of personal choice. Sugar may harden; honey may crystallize and/or darken. Neither affects the safety of the product. Store honey in small containers. Then, if it crystallizes, you can immerse the containers in hot (not boiling) water to reliquefy it.

Store granulated sugar in a tightly covered metal or plastic container or place it on a shelf away from moisture in its unopened cloth or paper bag. Occasionally knead the bag to help prevent the sugar from hardening.