A while back I wrote an article called Where You Should Store Your Food and someone left a really good comment: “If you are hiding food in a post SHTF situation these places the writer mentions are all places where desperate people would look first.”
This is very true, but my article wasn’t about where you should hide your food. I was simply suggesting some possible storage places and reminding the reader to take temperature, humidity, and sunlight into account. The locations I suggested are fine for temporary disasters like hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes that knock out power for several days.
However, if you’re in a long-term disaster where supply lines are cut and food is scarce, there could be looters going from home to home taking people’s supplies. Even if that doesn’t happen, the government could confiscate your food under Executive Order 13603 which allows government agents to take peoples’ supplies during a national emergency. In case either of these things happen, you should find some good hiding places.
Doing this requires thinking outside the box. When you look around your home, don’t just look for places to hide your food, think about ways to turn everything you see into a hiding place. With the former, you’ll only see obvious places like drawers, cabinets, under beds, etc. But with the latter, you’ll notice less obvious places like lamps, speakers, pillows, etc. You might not find enough hiding places for all your food, but at least you’ll have some left over if the rest is taken.
Also keep in mind that unless you have a detailed system for rotating all your hidden food, you should only hide food with a shelf life of several years such as forever foods, canned food, dehydrated food, and freeze dried food. Make sure this food is stored in mylar bags and/or airtight containers because if your food gets contaminated, then you hid it for nothing.
Here are a few places to hide your food:
1. In your kitchen cabinets. I know what you’re thinking: “That’s not a good hiding place!” But I’m talking about the gap between two corner cabinets that most people never use. Build a shelf back there where it can’t be seen.
2. Under floor cabinets. This video shows how to create a secret hiding place beneath a kitchen or bathroom cabinet.
3. Inside solid-colored bottles. Thoroughly clean and rinse out bottles of bleach, body wash, hairspray, shampoo, etc. and stuff mylar bags of food in them. To do this, you might have to cut off the top of the bottle and superglue it back into place.
4. Inside solid-colored boxes. As with the last suggestion, empty out some boxes where most people would not expect to find food. For example, the original boxes for your appliances, electronics, kitty littler, laundry detergent, and so forth.
5. Inside old appliances and electronics. If you have an old TV you’re never going to use again, you could hollow it out and put supplies inside. After the SHTF no one is going to be interested in your old TV, especially if there’s no power. Look around for other obsolete devices you never use.
6. Inside a lamp. Of course, this depends on the type of lamp. But you might be able to fit food inside a hollow lamp or inside the base of the lamp.
7. Inside the wall. Here’s an example of how to make a hiding spot behind a piece of trim. You could create a similar hiding spot behind a painting.
8. Behind a vent. This could significantly block air flow so only do this in a room that you don’t use often or that you don’t mind being a little warmer.
9. Behind your headboard. Pull your bed out from the wall about a foot and stack buckets of food back there, then neatly cover it with a blanket. The idea is to make it look like you just have a large headboard with a decorative blanket on top.
10. Inside the box spring. People might search under your mattress, but most of them won’t think to look inside the box spring. You could fit several #10 cans and bags of food in there.
11. Inside decorative pillows. You might only be able to fit a bag or two in these, but unless someone picks it up they won’t realize there’s anything inside.
12. Under stair steps. Here are some basement steps that have been turned into secret storage spots.
13. Covert furniture. There are companies that specialize in furniture with secret compartments. This can be expensive, but if you can afford it check out CovertFurniture.com.
14. At the bottom of potted plants. Here’s an example of why the food you hide must be in airtight containers.
15. Inside a birdhouse. Unless looters are looking for bird seed, they probably won’t look twice at a birdhouse.
16. In a container buried in your backyard. Just be sure it’s weatherproof. I recommend sealed mylar bags in food grade buckets (you could even go one step further and put them inside a large ice chest or something). Bury them in your backyard and cover with leaves or plant some grass. Just don’t forget where you buried them. You might want to draw a map or tell someone you trust.
17. Under your garden. Fill some large PVC tubes with canned food and bury them under your garden. People will be too busy taking food from your garden to think about digging it up.
I could go on and on. Pretty much anything that is hollow or can be hollowed out is a potential hiding place. Be creative. For more interesting ideas, check out this Pinterest board. If I forgot something, please comment below as I’m always looking for new ideas.