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What’s your biggest concern about surviving life after an EMP attack destroys our grid? Half gallon and quart jars are a great size for most foods, but you can use pint jars if you’re preserving food for just one person. Before you oven can baking mixes, you’ll want to make sure that they don’t contain shortening (will melt), oil, brown sugar, or any other ingredients that have moisture in them, or they will go rancid quickly. Please be advised that the Tattler reusable canning lids are not recommended for oven canning.
Once your jars of dried goods have cooled, and you’re sure they sealed, store them in a cool, dark, and dry location. For long term storage of pancake mix and instant oatmeal mix, leave out powdered milk and use milk or water when using. Note: Many people have written to me wondering why I would choose this canning technique over vacuum sealing. Comments about carrying glass containers around or living in earthquake prone areas provide great information for some scenarios. So if you don’t think that this technique will work for you in your area or situation, you are most likely correct! Can you tell me if the heat process for the grains destroys or changes the wheat germ (heart) or oils? I used to put my grains in the freezer for a few days to kill their eggs, but I like the fact that this method keeps the insects from getting in and laying new eggs. Would this work the same with freshly ground grains in a mix (as opposed to store bought flour? I do follow the same process for beans and as long as the beans and lentils have a similar cooking time, it is fine to mix them.
You can make mixes with powdered butter and powdered eggs, but once you open those cans and use the dried eggs and butter in mixes, the large cans will not last as long (just something to keep in mind). Years ago my grandmother would harvest walnuts and shell them and put them in canning jars and heat seal them. My father oven canned walnuts and over 15 year later they had a better flavor then the ones purchased from the store.
You should heat the nut meats in the oven for a few minutes, put them into jars with lids and rings , then water bath them for ten minutes. So it’s great to hear that you’ve had such staying power with your oven canned cornmeal! This is not the easiest way or maybe the best way build a shelter, but it worked well for me and my budget. I dug out (with my tractor) a twenty-foot wide swatch and twenty-foot back into the side of the mountain. Digging around the perimeter of my newly dug hole, where the “survival shelter” was to be built, I added a French drain.
I rented a concrete saw, and then cut a door way into the structure, leaving the bottom of the door four inches above the shelter floor.
Before back filling, I added pink foam for a little insulation on the back and sides with Liquid Nails. Before back filling the roof, it will have insulation, plastic material plus roofing material that will help keep water off the roof and direct it one foot or better past the sides of the shelter. With the door in place and the 4 x 4 lumber on, and the roof backfilled, now comes the front of the structure. Utilizing the septic manufacturer again, he pours these two foot by two foot by four-foot wide concrete reinforcement blocks that weigh one ton each. Of course by now, I have all the necessary survival food, gear and tools in place and ready to move in.
In my shelter in the basement I have a Coleman camping toilet what holds about 5 to 6 galls of human waste before it needs to be emptied.
This is the most ecological sound advice I have seen on handling human waste with the least amount of smell. It may be too late, but if you plan to plant ivy and stuff on top of the bunker, you should go to your local library or bookstore (or even on-line) and see if you can find a book to look at that discusses designing and building roofs for plants to grow on. It may be irrelevant considering the structure, but they have some pretty good discussions in them on how to line the roof to avoid run-off problems and that sort of thing. We lost 2 neighbors in the storm, killed because their homes were in the wrong place, at most certainly the wrong time.
The next days were difficult, we stayed with friends as they lived outside the affected zone. By the end of the month, we had to move out of our friends small apartment and ended up living in a different town.
Coming from a construction background, I’d say you did really well putting this together. If you live in regions where hills are very common, an underground (or partial) home makes quite a bit of sense. Malcolm Wells later in life specialized in underground architecture, a study of his books may provide some ideas you might like to implement.
Besides, this is a storm shelter and not a defensible bunker with alternative ingress and egress.
This is a storm shelter and the retaining walls should help with most door blocking debris problems. The design looks well thought out and using pre engineered precast concrete is no doubt the best solution all around.
I’ve known the Planks for more than 30 years and have spent many days out at that house.
How would you like to compile your emergency or survival food supply cache that will last for over 30 years?
No special long term  storage equipment, so special freezers or refrigeration or anything like that.
Second: The moisture is removed from the food by using sublimation (changing it from solid ice to vapor) – Usually with the utilization of a vacuum chamber.
Third: Now that the moisture is removed, the food is locked into moisture- and air-proof bags and stored away.
All you need to do to prepare the food to eat is to add boiling water – this rehydrates the food to its original state.
You can freeze dry using your own freezer instead of a vacuum chamber, but it takes a little longer. Of course, there are machine dryers for home use – however, they are significantly more expensive than the procedures mentioned above to dehydrate the items you want to store. It is highly recommended that you use a vacuum sealer like Food Saver to protect your cache. It’s not such a hard process, although it might take a little practice on some products to get it done right. When using the dry ice method, do I need to vacuum seal the food prior to packing in dry ice? Was wondering if you used a dehydrator first which would remove most of the moisture, then use dry ice to flash freeze it, while in a container where the oxygen has been removed, then store in vacuum sealed bags. To answer a few of the questions above, you want to vacuum seal the food after it is freeze dried so that you are not trapping the moisture in the bag.
Michael, my wife and I have been trying to find a good way to preserve the leftover food we grow from our garden.

How about drilling a hole in the side of an old freezer, then placing food to be freeze dried in an old chilled pressure cooker. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. But it’s no fun opening a box of pancake mix to find meal worms making a meal of your precious food (unless you like the extra protein). You can also use ? pint or smaller jars to oven can small amounts of spices, baking powder, etc. Some of these foods may be stored in an airtight container short term (6 weeks at room temp is typical) but will not make good long term storage foods for your prepping pantry. This is one food preservation technique were I will re-use my metal canning lids from previously canned goods. Do not use this method for canning wet foods such as fruits, vegetables, or meats unless they have been thoroughly dehydrated.
The seal will prevent moisture from getting into the jars, but moist air will rust metal canning lids and bands. For foods that will last the longest in storage, oven can wheat berries, white rice, whole oats, barley, and rye. Making your own will save a ton of money and allow you to stock up on food preps that much faster.
To add shortening to above mix, cut 2 cups shortening into dry ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks at room temperature, or up to 6 months in freezer.
Make extra to seal in mason jars with the oven canning technique and you’ll be on your way to a well stocked pantry in no time.
I am offering this information as one more method that might allow you to stock up for emergencies or survive in certain conditions.
You’ll find some pastas have sharp points or edges and will punch holes in the sealer bag. I love the half gallon sized jars I use them for raw milk in the fridge, oven canning grains that I use in larger amounts, and for keeping dried goods in my pantry. I have a lot of food in storage, but recently had a battle with grain moths, fortunately just in my cabinets and not in my storage area. I grew up in the tropics where it was normal to add rice to plain sugar as it absorbed the humidity so the sugar did not clump. I wonder though, for areas of high humidity, would dipping the top of the jar in wax would solve the rusting problem? I always wash my jars with hot, soapy water then dry them completely, but I don’t sterilize them for oven canning. My question is could I use powdered eggs and powdered butter (both I current have in #10 can food storage) and make all these mixes just add water?? According to the directions I have read (but I haven’t done this, yet) you need to preheat the shelled nuts on a tray in your oven just long enough to heat through, but not to brown them. I am curious, why go through all the hassle of ‘canning’ the dry goods, when I can just pour it directly into the jar and close lid tightly? On April 27th alone, there were 208 tornadoes with four being EF5’s tearing across hundreds of miles of the countryside, killing hundreds of people and destroying hundreds of millions of dollars in property across six states. I left the bottom of the hole about eighteen inches above the valley ground level, that is in front of the hole. A French drain is basically a shallow trench with 6” septic drainage pipe, with holes on the top that allows the water to flow down and out. With a few pencil sketches of my shelter, he was able to add extra reinforcement steel where needed and vent holes for incoming and outgoing air.
The dirt on top of the roof will be approximately four foot deep on the back side and two foot on the front side to keep the slope of the ridge the way it was.
This will keep the echoes down inside plus keep from getting a knot on the head when I stand up! So we don’t get a tornado…we don’t have a mass extinction event…now I have a great root cellar and a fort for my 5-year-old to play in. One, an older man, used to sit on his front porch all day in a rocking chair and wave to every car that passed.
They had electricity and water and the stores near their house were not only standing, but were open. Since we are law school students, we were able to find summer work at a law firm down in Montgomery. I don’t believe the outside lock poses a problem as it could bolt through and thus be designed to release from the inside if some villains placed a lock on the outside. Whether you are camping or backpacking due to a natural disaster or crisis, you must be prepared for survival. After you have frozen your food – place it in a vacuum chamber with a pump level below 133 X 10-3. Enclosing your food in dry ice (CO2 in a solid state) can create a near zero humidity environment and perform the process by efficiently drawing out the moisture. First, cut the food into small pieces and then lay them out on a perforated tray inside your freezer.
Although some folks have been successful using zip lock bags, it is so hard to really get all of the air out. Remember that only the water sublimates (is removed) so acids and chemicals inherent in foodstuffs will remain.
I have been looking at the possibility of freeze drying food for some time, this gives me the prod that I meed to get my butt in gear. You can stock up on survival foods specially prepared to last for years, but it can get pretty pricey. As the jars cool, the lids will seal, preventing moisture or bugs from getting in and ruining your food. It’s also fine to oven can baking mixes that contain sugar or powdered milk, but they should not be oven canned on their own. Since you aren’t canning perishable foods, such as meats and veggies, you may re-use the metal lids as long as they are in good condition, are not bent, and all of the rubber is intact. Be sure to label jars with the contents and date that they were canned so you can use the oldest foods first. It’s great having a generous supply of these foods on hand, but you’ll want a hand powered grain mill to grind them if you want to make flour.
But using a vacuum sealer requires electricity…a resource that you are unlikely to have in the case of a real shtf scenario.
You may not be able to prepare for everything…but it sure helps to have many different techniques of food preservation at your disposal! We put that stuff in a zip-lok bag not completely sealed (in order to evacuate the inside), put that in a sealer bag and seal. Oven canning will degrade nutrients that are not heat stable, but then so does cooking those nutrients when you use them. And for coconut flour, I’m not sure what the storage limitations are, so I would test with a small batch and maybe read up on the effect of heat on it before canning up a lot of it. Because you are not canning wet ingredients, like jam or applesauce, you do not need to sterilize the jars. He placed a four-inch vent hole at the bottom left front corner for incoming air and one at the top right front corner for outgoing air.
The steel door hole cut, would be 1 inch bigger all the way around then the hole cut into the concrete structure.

Of course these 4 x 4 posts will be nailed, screwed and glued together as this holding wall is built.
Back filling the space above the roof and behind the structure will take nearly 83 cubic yards of dirt.
I choose the same wood, 4 inch by 4 inch PT posts that will stack upright and go six feet out from the structure.
For the floor I like the industrial rubber floor mats, as the dirt falls below the mat through the holes. I still smell the gas, hear the people calling out from their homes and feel the strain in my back where I pulled a muscle helping lift that pole.
We have tornadoes here in MI; one went by our house 30 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s flat here with a high water table so underground shelters are not very practical, you could even be forced out by water or drown.
You can protect your family by stocking up your survival food cache without having to pay an arm or a leg.
It was used to get foodstuffs to the front lines during the war so that the soldiers could eat good, nutritional foods. This will cause the sublimation process to occur quickly and you can prepare more food in less time. For the best protection, purchasing one of these vacuum sealers will help you to maintain the value of your stored foods.
I haven’t kept any of my oven canned goods long enough to test this, but some sites report that oven canned dry goods will last for 20 to 30 years. Drop by spoonfuls on to cookie sheets and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes. Oven canning may be done with the use of a wood cook stove that has an oven feature, requiring no electricity. The zip-lok gives an extra layer of protection for your sealer bag OR,you can use two sealer bags,zip-loks are easier. Of course, the longer you store your dried goods, the more likely they will lose some of their nutritional value. The real issue with oven canning is to kill any bugs or their eggs, not to prevent botulism from growing, as you can have in wet foods. To also help aid in water drainage, I cut a shovel wide trench above the structure area, so water coming from the ridge above is diverted away. The halves pieced together with a V groove and some thick rubber sticky material that acted as a seal all the way around. Once the door is in place I will place 4 inch by 4 inch PT posts stacked upright behind the door, on the roof, so the dirt has a place to stop. By the deadline of this article, I really don’t know if this structure will be complete, due to rain, snow and the cold, but I will entail the rest of my plans, like I just did. These wood retaining walls will be on each side of the door, attached to the door and will hold dirt that will be covering up the front of the structure.
When I drive home now, under much less shade than before since there are no trees in my once wooded neighborhood, I sometimes forget what happened and hold up my hand, waving to an empty lot with one tomato plant waving back. We were fine; our fields were filled with pieces of house, insulation and debris from others not so lucky. You may have something up your sleeve for defense of your bunker and that’s not our business and as should stay that way. Prior to using freeze drying, the foods shipped to the soldiers would spoil without refrigeration on its way to them. It will take about a week for the full process of sublimation to happen (getting all the moisture out of the food). So let’s get started on this simple and easy method of prepping your dried goods for long term storage.
If the jars didn’t seal, you can either use that food up first or use a new lid and reprocess.
Powdered milk and baking mixes that contain powdered milk should be used within a year for best results. It doesn’t take long to do and you’ll love the peace of mind that comes with stocking up for the future! Oven canning is also a method of dry food preservation that doesn’t require the purchase of equipment that may be out of the budget for folks who are prepping on a dime. Not that we are going to try it, but adding dirt to the roof does add weight so this was a bit reassuring. After these blocks snug up against my 4 by 4 wood retaining walls alongside the doors, I will back fill that area with dirt. A layer of dry ice, a layer of food, another layer of dry ice is the optimum way to place it inside the container. To test the food, remove a piece from the freezer and allow it to thaw – if it turns black, it is not yet fully sublimated.
Place in your PRESSURE CANNER and process at 5 pounds of pressure at elevations 1000 feet (or less) or 10 pounds of pressure for elevations over 1000. I then added about 8 inches of rock over the drain and in the area where the shelter was to be placed. Before I cut the door way, I put two coats of Dam Tight and three coats of rubber roofing material on four sides and the roof top. This will give me a 2 foot thick concrete barrier with 4 feet of dirt in front of my structure. Those of us without a saw would latch on to a couple of people with a saw and we could clear a full grown tree out of the street in about 45 minutes.
Now place the container into your freezer in order to keep the dry ice solid as long as you can. If it doesn’t turn black, you are ready for placing it into air-proof, moisture-proof bags and storing it away. But we had nothing but beer and champagne in the fridge and no food that didn’t require a microwave to eat. When this is complete I will grow grass and ivy on the roof area to help keep the soil in place and blend and bushes in the front to hide it. We packed as much as we could carry including our dogs and cats and our shotguns, some water bottles we happened to have and toiletries and walked out of the neighborhood.
My wife went ahead, cleaned the broken windows out of our truck, and by days end we had helped 2 people move their belongings out of their totally destroyed homes. At this point, your food should be completely freeze dried and ready for long term storage. Over the course of the next week, we volunteered with different groups, took food from one place to another, cut and cleared more trees and cooked food.
As stated before, place it into a moisture-proof and air-proof container to preserve in your survival cache. The sight of 2-3 thousand people similarly situated, walking like refugees while cops and firemen looked on helplessly was terrifying. Through it all, the volunteers were many and were supported heroically by the organized groups like Red Cross, churches, etc.

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