November 1st, 2010
A trick I learned a long time ago in another life as a librarian was how to store documents. Some are on high-acid paper, some are on animal-based products (e.g., writings and maps on skin or hide), etc. This same procedure also worked well for storing, long term, weapons and ammunition when I was in the service.
First thing needed is an air-tight container. Second thing is nitrogen gas (which you can get from a local gas dealer or from a welding supply house.) In your air-tight container, make a hole up high and a hole down low, just large enough to introduce a small hose. Nitrogen is heavier than air so if you introduce nitrogen slowly into the upper hole it will force air out of the lower hole. To determine that you are full of nitrogen in your container, put a candle in front of the lower hole – when it goes out, the container is full of nitrogen. Seal both holes, the top one first. I use a clay that dries super hard. You can get the clay at the hobby shop (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc).
This will work on any size container but is probably best used on containers less than 6 ft. long by 2 ft. in circumference, or width by 2 ft. high, or similar dimensions. I have heard of (never seen) entire rooms done this way in electrical and computer production facilities to ward off oxidization.
You can store foodstuffs, medical supplies, guns, ammo, clothing, etc., etc. No oxygen, no oxidization (rust), no rot, etc.
Additionally, I put silicone dehydrator packets in with whatever I’m storing. No matter what you do there is likely to be some humidity inside the container. These packets will soak that humidity up.
I hope this little tip is helpful.
Thanks for the excellent information and sharing it with our readers! If our readers are looking for a source of desiccants, you can purchase in low quantities from online websites such as https://www.silicagelpackets.com/ or if you want to buy in bulk or get a couple of folks in on a larger purchase, https://www.uline.com/ is an excellent resource. Uline also carries the thick Mylar bags that are recommended when considering the underground storage cache for valuables.
Thanks for writing, Mike!
I am a military veteran with wife (pregnant) and two children. Being aware of world events, the national picture and the troubled national/global economy (thanks to fiat currency and fractional banking), it sent me into a drive to get prepared. As a result of my ability to foresee events and predict responses, as a former government cog, I’ve been preparing for years and we have several preparative plans for many events. One thing I want to share with your readers is to think of as many contingencies as you can and let your planning be flexible enough bend to the developing situation. In this week’s letter, your readers were reminded that they have to rely on others, because you can’t do it alone and I echo that, but band yourself with others that are prepared or have needed skills to offer (assets) and you should trust these people.
If your readers can learn anything from the example of recent events, such as Katrina and the BP Oil Fiasco is that you don’t know what is going to happen, but you will know that everyone will panic and chaos will shortly ensue. Having a plan will allow you to execute something with confidence and purpose and that will keep the chaos away from your mind. Many people can think about the supply issues of a problem—do I have food, shelter and water? However, many people neglect to make a plan for the psychological planning—dealing with mental stress and preparing your family for responding to the things you know will happen. Keeping your cool during a crisis can well mean the difference between getting out of the problem or becoming part of it, even when you have adequate supplies. So planning is the first step and many of your readers have that down. Practicing for crisis is step two, how fast can your family prepare to move with necessary supplies if needed. Inventory your supplies and be conservative about estimating the amount of time you can survive a crisis. See where you can improve your plan. Then know in the back of your head, that your plan will fall apart when faced with a crisis, but you will still be better prepared, because you practiced being flexible in a crisis.
B in Indiana
You’re right—being prepared isn’t just a matter of having a physical cache of supplies but of being psychologically ready for any eventuality. I find that many veterans are just like you—thinking toward the future, putting plans in place, and making contingency plans for any and all emergencies. Your advice is sound.
Thanks for writing!
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