Saturday, October 17, 2009

Food Storage and Window Film


I am an avid reader of your blog and have read your book
(congratulations BTW) more than a couple of times. I am fairly new to
prepping but have made some great strides in the past year to catch up
before this whole country (USA) crumbles beneath our feet. I was lucky
enough to purchase a large amount of ammo, weapons, etc before they
became too scarce earlier this year. Of course, I am a proud owner of
a Glock 19 w/ night sights (among other firearms) thanks to your
advice and I love it! I have been working on storing enough food &
water for a years supply which will be to my benefit even if the S
does not HTF because of the declining dollar and inflation. I have
metals and cash tucked away and have recently removed most of my money
from the banks which I believe are soon going to be an unsafe place to
store funds. We (my fiancee and I) still have a long way to go to be
adequately prepared but, thanks to you, we are well along our way. Our
next task is putting up iron on the doors and installing shatter
resistant and tinted film on all of the windows of her place, to
protect what we have prepared. Since we live in Arizona, the window
tint will help us to avoid extra cooling costs. Also, we are close to
Phoenix, so we have seen what it is like to live in a third world
country by traveling to certain neighborhoods here. I have done
extensive traveling as well and even was fortunate enough to travel to
Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay for three weeks a couple of years ago. I
must admit, I was looking into buying a small finca in the area of San
Rafael. Anyhow, I would like to share with you my idea for storing dry
goods so they keep for as long as possible.... I am an outdoor
backpacking and rafting guide, so I don't make a lot of money and was
looking for an alternative to the expensive containers sold online and
in prepping stores. I decided to purchase a few "Homer" buckets from
Home Depot. They are the orange 5 gal buckets that they sell in every
store. In addition, I purchased lids to seal the buckets, but I
realized that without a gasket inside the lip of the lid, I really was
not achieving the air lock that I needed. So I looked around the store
to see what I could rig up. I made my way to the plumbing aisle and
found the pipe insulation that they use to keep copper pipes from
freezing. It is a spongey material that comes in 3-4 foot sections and
you just slide it over the pipe. I cut thin strips down the length of
the insulation so that I had a bunch of long, thin pieces. Then I
tucked them inside the lip of the buckets with my scissors and
overlapped it just a bit at the ends. It worked like a charm. Soon I
went out and bought more buckets and was able to fill and stack them
in our pantry thereby saving space and accomplishing what I was
looking to do. What's more, I only spent 10 dollars for each 3 buckets
I used, saving a lot of money in the process! I know there are a lot
of other preppers out there that may find this information useful so I
thought I would pass it along to you to see if you would post it.
Also, I was wondering if you have any tips on installing the shatter
resistant window film vs. having it done by a service. Is it easy??
How well does it work for large windows? What if you have to use more
than one piece per window and have to have a seam in the middle? Will
that defeat the effectiveness of the resistance? Thanks again for all
of the time you have spent relating your vast knowledge both in your
blog and in your book! I hope it is finally paying off for you! I have
your book on my Christmas giving list for the rest of my family and a
few friends as well! Keep up the good work!

A "Ferfal" Fan!!!

Hi Jono,
Sounds like you’re well prepared and have a very cool job. :-)
Did you check if those are food grade plastic?

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) is usually food grade (unless used before for storing chemicals and such) but better to check to be sure. Best way to be 100% sure is to call the manufacturer.
Also, the trick for long term storage is to remove the oxygen. For that you’ll need sealed Mylar bags and 2 or 3 oxygen absorbers (depending on volume). The bucket mostly provides physical protection to the Mylar bag.
You can sometimes get food grade buckets for free at donut and pastry shops, or fast food places. Try icecream buckets too.
The containers are used for everything from sugar frosting to pickles among other things. Just ask around and I’m sure you’ll find plenty.

Also, I was wondering if you have any tips on installing the shatter
resistant window film vs. having it done by a service. Is it easy??
How well does it work for large windows? What if you have to use more
than one piece per window and have to have a seam in the middle? Will
that defeat the effectiveness of the resistance?

I did it a couple times on car windows.

1)Buy thick, quality material (mostly because of the glue quality) The cheap stuff will unglue on the corners.
2)The glass must be perfectly clean. Even a small particle of sand leaves a bubble 10x bigger. I used alcohol and waited until it dried.
3)Be very neat and tidy.
4)Its not rocket science but people that have experience will do a better job. Maybe try with your car, but I’d get help for the house if I can afford it. Otherwise, just buy quality film and be as tidy as you can.
The sheets are rather large, depends on what kind of windows you have. You need a single sheet for best integrity, avoid seams.



Jono said...

Hi again!
Thanks for the quick reply. I just checked anf the buckets are HD/PE so that should be OK. I also left the dry goods in their original packaging when I filled them. A single bucket can hold 25 Lbs of rice in its original bag without dumping it in. I also forgot to mention that I sterilized each bucket before using them with a dilute bleach solution and rinsed them thoroughly.
Thanks also for the tips on the window film! I think we may just leave the large windows to a professional and do the smaller ones ourselves to save money. Doing them ourselves is about 1/8 the cost of having a professional do the work! I am also planning to install our security doors this week. I have heard it is very easy and will save a bunch of money doing it ourselves as well!
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Buckets can be any material (lead, steel, tin, etc) AS LONG AS YOU put the material to be stored into food safe wrapping. Mylar, bag it came in, ZipLock, etc. as you are not eating the container.

FerFal is correct - best to remove Oxygen from the container/foods with an oxygen absorber (hot hands package) - thus killing the bugs, or flush the bucket with Nitrogen (small bottle and tube to displace the O2). Otherwise freeze the rice/flour for a few days to kill the bugs then store in food safe containers.

My buckets are a mix of ex-food and black/red/white non-food safe, with cheap lids (1.29/ea) from somewhere that already had a round rubber seal. The lids were designed to be used once (snap on, then pull off connecting plastic to lift the tabs to open) but are re-usable anyway.

Good idea on the pipe insulation/lid !
Rick in North Georgia

Anonymous said...

Installing security doors/window covers is really a question of how to attach them strongly into the structure of the building. Use really long screws to get good connections to the 2x4 construction. Perhaps make it a real construction effort and open the wall and put in more framing for the doors. The usual forced entry is to attach security door via chain to car and drive off - pulling cheap screws out of thin wood...

The only defense to that is to install concrete or steel window surround and bars that do not go all the way across the window, but would be bent if pulled hard. Think lattice web with no welding.

There is a web site out there that sells a spring loaded bar to install across the inside center of the door - that you can build yourself for less - think middle ages and castle gates. AKA steel doors without windows with drop down bar behind. REQUIRE USE of cameras / peep holes for visibility.

2x4 construction of the building makes the doors only slightly stronger than the walls. With just vinyl siding, vapor barrier, insulation, wall board, and paint - think 2 minutes with a battery powered saw... to enter via the wall. Here the standard South American/European concrete construction helps. I have concrete/hardy plank siding which would slow them down another minute.

IF BUILDING YOUR OWN - think Austrian / German / European farm building. Buildings around a large courtyard with limited outside doors/windows on the 1st floor. The kind of place that took the French army at Waterloo hours to capture (Hougoumont).

rick in North Georgia

Anonymous said...

where is ferfal?

decorative window film said...

I have experience of using decorative window film and they are doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

These window films are simply great.

glass window film.

Anonymous said...

Or, you could go to any bakery or deli and get 5 gallon buckets with gasketed lids for free....

I worked at a bakery for nearly a decade, and they threw away 5 gallon pickle and icing buckets by the dozens. I started putting them in my truck instead of the trash, cleaning them out, and reselling them for $2 each.

Anonymous said...

I might also mention that Gamma Lids are a very easy way to secure your buckets from critters, air and moisture after opening your mylar bags for use.

If you ever need your food, simply dump it out of the bag into your food-grade bucket and then you can seal it fully as you use the contents.

Keep up the good work, Ferfal!