Every self-respecting prepper has the same problem. Storage. Preppers, by nature have stocked up on all manner of usable goods. Whether it’s First Aid supplies or food or gasoline or medication, storage solutions must be found for all of your supplies. Some food items can be canned, frozen or dehydrated. Food must be kept safe from freezing, (unless, of course you want it frozen), dry, free from mice, bugs and other vermin. One of the best things I have discovered for general purpose storage is a five-gallon bucket (food-grade plastic, of course) with a gamma-seal lid. A gamma-seal lid is one that snaps onto the bucket, then the center of the lid is removed by unscrewing. The whole affair creates an airtight, waterproof seal capable of protecting your stored supplies. Gamma-seal lids can be ordered through several outlets online. Standard lids are fine, but they create a problem when you try to open them (especially without tools) and then reseal the container. Buckets stack neatly and are easily portable. For more ideas check out www.fivegallonideas.com.
Another tool that comes in handy is a food vacuum sealer. You know that thing that sucks out all the air and moisture from your salmon, elk and venison steaks. When you’re putting together your get-home bag, use the vacuum sealer to store items you don’t want to get wet and also to save space. Not only are food items protected, but so are matches, batteries, ammo and various other items. Vacuum sealers can be expensive, costing as much as $500, but I actually picked one up for $15.00 at a garage sale recently. They usually require special bags, but are really quite handy for storing some of your essentials.
Then there is first aid gear. First aid kits are self-contained and usually are designed more for successful marketing than for actual use. (Sorry, it’s the cynic in me!) Imagine showing up at an accident scene and jumping out of your car to help with first aid kit in hand. Popping open the lid you find various band-aids, some gauze pads and a small roll of bandage tape. Oh, and maybe a mini-packet of Tylenol. It’s then you discover the accident victims have injuries of the life-threatening kind and even if you combined all the stuff in your kit, it wouldn’t begin to help. I carry a kit in the toolbox on my ATV. It is marketed as an “Off Road” kit. I was pretty proud of it until I realized that any accident involving an ATV or hunting accident was going to be way above the pay grade of that little first aid kit. Having said that, I began accumulating bandages, suture kits and various other over-the-counter remedies to the point I needed a storage solution. I finally wound up with a tool box that seems to fill the bill. It’s a plastic one made by Husky with a cantilever-style top and carries a massive amount of gear. Trouble is, now it’s full.
As always, send your comments, questions and storage solution ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns can be found on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is a retired Postmaster and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.