Hello my friend and welcome back! In today’s post, we are going to look at preparing in areas with high humidity levels and how to deal with it. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.
I, like millions of other people, live in the Deep South. Here the humidity level stays around 90 – 100% most of the time. If you are not careful, you can lose a lot of preps to mildew and water damage as well as rust. This is a lesson most of us learn the hard way. You see it is one thing to manage items on a day to day basis, and another thing to put something up for long term storage. It is enough to drive a person crazy! Now I know that not everyone lives in areas like this, but may still be subject to floods and standing water which can drive the humidity up for short periods of time. In these cases, you need to keep a close eye on your preps and make sure they are kept dry and free of moisture.
How do I know if I have a moisture problem with my preps? Things to look for in your preps are signs of mildew on bags and moisture collecting on metal or plastic containers. These are sure signs that you have a problem and need to take action now. You need to make sure that any grain that you store is kept in airtight containers and are properly sealed. Throwing a few desiccant bags in with it is another good idea, just in case any moisture gets in while it is open and being used. You need to remember that this issue will not go away when SHTF hits, and if anything it will more than likely get worse.
So what can I do to help protect my preps from excess moisture? If you are trying to keep moisture out of powdered items such as Baking Soda or seasoning like salt, then the first thing you will want to do is remove them from the cardboard boxes they come in and store them in a vacuum sealed bag to keep out any moisture that they might come in contact with while in storage. I would then place these items in another airtight container such as a sealed chest of some type that you can find in the sporting goods section of many stores. I bought one that didn’t have a seal on it by accident so as the Marines say, I adapted and overcame! I filled the plastic tote full with items that are sensitive to moisture and had been placed into vacuumed sealed bags first. Then I ran a thin line of Siliconized rubber caulking all the way around the lid before sealing it. Because none of the items have an expiration date on them, they will last indefinitely for the most part. I do however suggest that you try to get containers with seals already in them when possible. Something you may not have thought of using for this are Ice chest. Both old and new work as long as the seal is intact and it if is has a drain on the side, be sure it is sealed well so no air gets into the chest. These will also be great for use in keeping things cool or warm after it all hits the fan. Remember that when at all possible, try to buy items that serve multiple uses so if their original intended use I not needed, they can also serve in another role when it all hits the fan.
Now, I know that many people have different ideas about storing up grains like beans and rice. They are very comfortable with the way they are doing it and that is great. As for me, I am a worrier when it comes to my preps. I constantly worry that something will happen to them and I will be caught without many of my preps, of course that is just me. For this reason I try to seal everything I can in vacuum sealed bags when at all possible. Then I like to place them inside something that is air and water tight such as 5 gallon buckets. Yes I know, I have heard all of the arguments from folks on both sides of the fence about using these. Everything from they are hard to store and handle, to rats like to eat plastic. I can’t honestly say I agree with all of the arguments on either side, but for me they seem to be the best option.
Another thing that many people overlook when storing canned food in a high moisture environment, is that most of these are packed in cans made from Tin or steel and of course these both rust over time. I know people who have lost quite a few cases of canned food because they didn’t check on it and the cans began to rust badly. If you are going to store canned goods for long periods of time in a high moisture area, be sure to take a rag soaked in Olive oil or some other type of food safe oil and wipe each can down thoroughly before storing them and be sure to check them often. Don’t just think that because they are in a can, that they can be stored in boxes and not checked periodically. My point here is that high moisture areas require special attention when it comes to storing preps. Take the time to pack them correctly and check on them often and you will improve your odds of having all of your preps in good shape when you need them! Well that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, and until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared! God Bless America!