Securing your survival stockpile at home is only the first step when it comes to prepping supplies before SHTF. With a little creativity, you can also hide a cache of supplies throughout your home and even beyond your property. (h/t to BeansBulletsBandagesAndYou.com)
Protect your cache from threats
Don’t stop after you’ve found a good hiding place for your food cache. Protect your supplies from various threats to ensure that the items will still be there when you need them most.
There are two major threats to caches: deterioration and theft. While the latter can be prevented by sturdy locks and clever hiding places, specific measures need to be taken in order to avoid your supplies from deteriorating due to the passage of time or other factors.
Prevent deterioration by using the right container for your supplies
Prevent the deterioration of supplies in your cache by considering how you’re exposing the items to likely threats.
- Avoid poorly made buildings that can get destroyed when SHTF, leaving you with no access to your supplies.
- Don’t store a cache anywhere near a flood plain to avoid water damage and store your supplies in waterproof containers.
- If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, don’t leave a cache where trees or buildings could fall on your supplies.
- If you reside in a wildfire zone, use high-quality fireproof storage.
- Keep out bugs and rodents by storing small items like electronics in ammo cans and larger items in five-gallon buckets. (Related: The 6 best ways to store emergency supplies in a small space.)
- In a low-humidity environment, it is best to use desiccant packages and air-tight sealing.
- When stockpiling air-sensitive items, consider vacuum sealing or air exclusion by using dry ice.
- Secure a smaller cache using PVC tubes with the ends glued shut.
- Invest in hard cases that are airtight, chemical resistant, corrosion-proof, dust-proof, and watertight.
- Use 55-gallon drum barrels for larger items or food supplies.
Deter thieves with strong locks
The best way to protect your cache from thieves is by using a sturdy lock. While this method isn’t 100 percent tamper-proof because locks can still be picked, a strong enough lock can frustrate a burglar enough to leave your supplies alone.
If your property is spacious enough, lock your supplies in a shipping container. A container won’t just keep out a thief; it can also keep out pests.
Hide extra keys to your shipping container. If you lose one set, you can use the backup to access your supplies after SHTF.
To secure important documents, use a fireproof lockbox.
It’s also a good idea to secure your firearms in a gun safe that’s bolted to your walls. For maximum security, the bolts should only be accessible from inside the safe.
Deter thieves with inconspicuous containers or hiding places
Thieves are generally impatient, especially when they’re short on time. They will target things that are expensive or specialty items that they think can sell for a high price.
If your cache is well-hidden or plain-looking, burglars may ignore it. Consider setting up an in-ground cache and parking an old car over it. Make sure you can quickly and easily move the car if you need to access your supplies.
Never hide keys to your cache in common hiding spots like under a doormat or under a potted plant. Secure keys in unusual spots that only you or someone you trust can access.
Cache duplicates of essential survival supplies
Secure duplicate sets of important items all over your property. If a natural disaster like a tornado destroys your house and your pantry full of survival supplies, you can head to your cache of backup items.
Plan ahead and secure your caches before SHTF. Hide these replacements where they have a greater chance of surviving anything that may cut off your access to the first set of supplies. Doing this ensures that you can still access your preps even if you find yourself needing them while you’re not at your main storage site.