OK, your question sounds like you are starting at the most simple of beginnings. You have product but don't know how to store it or what resources are available. I will approach from this basis.
The ward has available to it on a Stake level both a can sealer for # 10 cans (which are available empty and new at the Bishop's storehouse), and a bag sealer for mylar bags.
Obtain used but food grade and intact plastic buckets from a local bakery. Ask in advance for them to NOT cut the lids and buy them a lid lifter that will take lids off intact. Cheap investment.
Now: Mylar bags are great. They make packaging simple and allow you to package items in smaller amounts, so you can easily retrieve them from a larger container. Mylar bags of product inside a 5-6 gallon tin container is nearly perfect form of storage: the rats or mice cannot chew through the tin, the mylar bag is impervious to gas migration and with a quick squirt of CO2, and an oxygen disc, are very stable. You can seal them with a vacuum food saver, so that extends the product life even more. Finally, in a flood, the product will float, and NOT be ruined.
Next: plastic buckets. These are great too, but have a couple of draw backs. The lids are hard to lift, when full a 5 gallon bucket is heavy, and if a woman or child retrieves a heavy bucket from the storage area, and at the top of a stack of buckets, they tend to set it down hard, which over time can cause the bucket to crack on a bottom edge or in the center of the bottom, which may pass un-noticed. The crack can allow product to sift out, bugs like ants to get in, and attracts larger pests like mice, which can chew through plastic bucket sides. Still buckets are useful, and I still use them for much of my bulk product. I also squirt CO2 into these, for all beans and grains, and pastas.
#10 cans: All dry product can g o into #10 cans, and using the church's sealing tools, they are an excellent means of storage. Box, and mark each 6 cans, so you know what is inside. You can do this also at the Storehouse, since they have the tools there for everything. A can is 58 cents, the lid is 13 cents, plastic lid is 8 cents, and the box is 57 cents. they are usually sold as a package, so get a box and two plastic lids for every 6 cans and lids.
Oxygen absorbers: these are plastic discs that contain powdered iron filings. This reacts with the oxygen in the air in a can to oxidize and bind oxygen. That's all it does, it does not pull a vacuum, it does not absorb ALL of the air, nor does it sanitize or do anything else. The reason to bind oxygen is solely to keep weevils from hatching. Almost ALL grains and ground grain has weevil eggs in it.
CO2 will do the same thing. It is heavier than air, displaces air, dries moisture, and prevents weevils from hatching.
Product that has hatched weevils is ruined. It is NOT extra protein, as some people will say. It is only edible if you are in a starvation situation.
CO2: Available at welding shops: rent a big H tank, with a hose, regulator, and a nozzle with a 16" extension tube on the end, to poke down into product. Don't try it on powdered products! POOF!
When taking out product from buckets with CO2, don't pour, dip carefully, so you don't slosh the CO2 out, and it will sit in the bucket just fine, until emptied. CO2 is heavier than air. Pretty cool!
Keep your product stored inside the house, so there are not huge swings in temperature. Keep it at least as cool as 70 degrees, and preferably cooler. Heat is far worse, than freezing.
Treat all containers gently.
Inspect old containers when shifting them around to obtain buckets on the bottom of stacks.
Be creative when deciding where to keep stuff, and write it down! Inventory everything.
Rotate product: Depending on your budget, you can rotate everything so that nothing is older than 5 years. That is, you will always be eating 5 year old food, and buying and storing a little bit each month.
Watch for sales, and bargains, buy more than you figure you need, and consult charts to know how much you're targeted to have for your group.
Yes, you may print this out.
Last edited by hankpac; 06-10-2008 at 12:49 PM.