Food Storage : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

My rough estimate is that one year of food for six people will take about four cubic metres, which (for you Americans) is roughly 108 cubic feet, of space.

My problem is, where do I store all this? There are a few options:

1) My garage. This is a two-car garage with a tiled roof (tiles can be smashed) that looks straight out onto the street. Many years ago, the roller-door keys were lost and we now therefore have no way of keeping the rollers closed. Since our house has a seven-eight foot brick wall around it and a heavy gate, looters will probably at least try the doors- and come across shitloads of food! This is not in the least desirable, and the worst thing is that there'll be no way to prevent it short of having an armed guard sitting in the garage at all times. The garage is also vulnerable to attack from the rear (there's a door that can't be locked, that is easily accessable to a thug who comes round through the neighbour's carport and climbs the wall) and from above, through the roof of the neighbour's carport which, due to terrain, can be reached easily from their garden.

2) Under the house. We have no basement, but there's a space under the house -about sixty-eighty centimetres high, not really all that much. The ground is soft dirt, I think. It goes further under the house, but I haven't explored it as thoroughly as I might have to because there's a passageway or something that leads further in. Getting stuff through that passage entrance could be a major nuisance, since it's only about two foot square. I'd hate to lug a ton of rice through that, one sack at a time. Under the house would be safe from intruders, and it would be nice and cool (I suppose.) However, there is a large frill-necked lizard living under there and possibly one or more rats that might be delighted about this new food supply being deposited in their home. (The obvious thing to do would be to kill all the rats first, which I could do.) And getting the stuff out would be a complete and utter bitch, too. And getting it IN there would not be pleasant- I'm looking at at least a week of hard, unpleasant work.

3) In the shed. We've got an old shed in the back garden, big enough to fit all the stuff but not much more. The shed is decrepit and old and has no lock, nothing at all. It's accessible, but I don't know how waterproof it is; a tree branch fell on it some years ago and the roof repairs were somewhat crude.

4) The loft. Our house has an open roof cavity with an interior space large enough that we were thinking of converting it to a small room. Add the amount of space that exists but is unusable for 'room' purposes because of the sloping tiled roof, and there's enough space for five years of supplies if I wanted it. Access is by a large skyhatch, about four feet by three, about ten-eleven feet (high ceiling) above the hallway. There's a roofing beam above the hatch that would serve nicely as a pulley. There are probably rats up there, but killing them would be extremely easy. The place gets enough natural light to see by, although I'd bring a torch up there anyway. Putting food up there would be easy, and getting it down again would be easy too. If thugs came by, they wouldn't be able to find the food even if they DID get into the house. And they wouldn't be able to get up there even if they knew there was food there. At least, it would be difficult for them to- I'm going to rely on a rope for getting myself up there and down, the same rope I use for pulley purposes. The problem with this space is that it might get hot, since y2k comes during the middle of summer here in Aussieland.

I've also thought of making a couple of separate supply dumps. Bury a metal chest containing a few kilos of rice in the garden, plant some grass over it. Just so that if raiders DO come, or police, we're not entirely screwed. Likewise, even if I don't put the bulk of my supplies under the house, I might put something there just to be on the safe side.


-- Leo (, March 22, 1999


Just a thought. Go to your local hardware store and by a cheep metal shed.. 108 ft3 is only 10*10*1, a small wall,

Put the shed in the shade of the house to keep it cool. Or.... Rent a storage space ($25/month in CA) and move the stuff to the living room when TSHTF, you won't be needing to entertain guests if it gets bad, and they will understand or ask you to give them a hand out!!!

Just a thought

-- helium (, March 22, 1999.

Would it be possible to spread it out about you home. Maybe put some in boxes, throw a cloth over it and you have instant tables. Same with buckets. Think Martha Stewart. How can you incorparate it into your home. I would rather have it in my house and near me, then risk having it stolen.

-- Linda A. (, March 22, 1999.

In order to think "out of the box"- I'll give you some hints- you didn't say what type of construction your house is- I am ASS-U-Ming that you are cinderblock/stucco/concrete, only from your comment about the tiled roof, but here goes: Consider yourself a 6 inch high Lilliputian (SP?) and hike through your home, looking for anywhere that can stand lifting 6-8 inches- how about a simple plywood raised platform under the livingroom furniture (LOTS of canned food could be case lot stored- larger cans could go on their sides)- a simple shelf running around the top of the room could be "disguised" as a beam; more elaborate schemes could include a false front radiator cabinet standing out in plain view. Book shelves could also be utilized, if deep enough you could store/hide behide rows of dull titles- stay away from trashy titles- might appeal to looter mentality- although if there's nothing better to do than improve your mind why not read a few. Commercial companies sell racks that hold canned good that secure over the closet door- While you're at it- empty out that junk closet and give it to a good cause ..... hint... This is just a few (excuse the pun) off the wall suggestions- I would be more concerned with how to secure containers of volatile fuels- K- 1, white gas, whatever your pleasure. I have to do the job thing now- but I'll ponder your questions and may step in again- Chuck says "Hi guys!"

-- Chuck's wife (the night driver guy) (, March 22, 1999.

For God's sake, man, get the locks fixed at the very least! You could've arranged to have it done in the time you've been going on about your options here. And as far as rats are concerned, just killing them will do little good - others will come. You'll need *metal* cans to put you food in, no mattr where you decide to keep it. Don't fool yourself into thinking they won't get in. They will, and you'll lose a lot of food in the process.

-- sparks (, March 22, 1999.

I'm surprised my bride didn't catch it. 108 ft3 is not quite 4 cubic metres (hint 40"X40"X40"X4/1728 rounds to about 150) so you are talking about slightly less than a small (5 yd) dump truck load. If teh house happend to be frame construction, buy enough panelling to do a couple rooms, remove teh wall material and use the new 3.5" deep closets. Velcro on the back of the panneling and on the studs is enough.



-- Chuck, a night driver (, March 23, 1999.

Try getting a Jack Russell terrier to deal with the rat problem- they do a wonderful job. they're also noisy(bark at strangers) and cheap to feed. And they like nothing better than finding and killing rats......

-- anita (, March 23, 1999.

We have a concrete storage room (8'x24') under our front porch. The door is through the family room. Wonderfully cool all year long. We are planning to put up inexpensive paneling around the family room and over the doorway to hide it from intruders.

If you are up to doing some construction, build a room under your house with a hidden access in your floor.

Our kids can't afford construction, so they are hiding theirs under table cloths, under beds (raised 24"),etc. Works great!

-- linda (, March 23, 1999.

Have you thought of digging out your basement? Cut an opening through the floor of a closet and start work from there.

Be sure to stay back four feet (one meter) from your foundation walls to prevent any shifting of the house and foundation. Dig your new basement as deep and as large as you feel is needed, within the "four foot rule".

I've seen one example of this done by a father and two sons which was eight feet deep and measured at least eight feet by eight feet, and they weren't done with it. They planned to enlarge it to twelve by twelve to provide both storage and a hiding place. I'm willing to bet that expanding their cellar will be an ongoing project until there is no more possible room to expand. Concreting the walls and floor would be the next likely move.

They camoflaged the entrance by attaching a rug to the flooring which covered the entrance. A pair of shoes were also attached on top of the rug add to the disguise. The flooring was installed on hinges and had a locking mechanism added so that the entry could be locked close from the inside if the family had to take refuge in their new cellar.

Consider that you're going to have buckets full of dirt to dispose of. I suggest that you have concurrent garden work going to so that your fresh earth can be explained away. In fact if anyone asks why you're carrying buckets of dirt out of the house, you can say you've had them inside overnight to "work in soil additives". Have something available to show them to cover your story.

The temperature advantage of storing you foodstuffs underground will be worth the effort. And if you need to "go to ground" and hide, a cellar will be worth your efforts.


-- Wildweasel (, March 28, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ