Frequently Asked Questions

Family Home Storage



What is the most important thing I can do regarding family home storage?

Get started!  If you have already begun, faithfully continue your efforts. As Bishop H. David Burton taught: “This new program is within everyone’s grasp. The first step is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.”

What’s new or different in the new pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage?

It teaches simple basics of home storage and encourages participation. It offers hope by showing that it is possible for all Church members to prepare for adversity by starting modestly and doing what they can according to their individual circumstances. The pamphlet helps eliminate the perceived complexity of home storage.

What’s the difference between the three-month and longer-term supply items?

Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods. Longer-term supply items are basic food items like grains and beans that have very low moisture content (about 10% or less), can be stored for long periods of time (20–30 years), and would sustain life if nothing else were available to eat. A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply.

The website and the family home storage pamphlet state that longer-term storage items can last 30 years or longer.  Isn’t that a much longer period of time than previously thought?

Yes. Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought, according to recent scientific studies. The studies, which are the first of their kind, increase the estimated shelf life for many products to 30 years or more (see chart for new estimates of shelf life). Previous estimates of longevity were based on “best-if-used-by” recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.

While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.

FoodNew "Life-Sustaining" Shelf-Life Estimates (in Years)
Wheat30+
White rice30+
Corn30+
Sugar30+
Pinto beans30 
Rolled oats30
Pasta30 
Potato flakes30
Apple slices30
Non-fat powdered milk20
Dehydrated carrots20

Why was the pamphlet produced?

To teach the simple principles of home storage and encourage participation. It offers hope by showing that it is possible for most Church members to prepare for adversity, starting modestly by storing a few items of food, filling a few leak-proof containers with water, and saving a few coins each week. The pamphlet helps eliminate the perceived complexity of home storage.

Where do I start?

Start by adding a few storable items that you typically eat, storing some water that is safe to drink, and saving some money, if only a few coins each week. Then, over time, expand these initial efforts—as individual circumstances allow and where permitted—by storing a longer-term supply of basics such as grains, beans, and other staples.

How quickly should I obtain my food storage?

It is not prudent to go to extremes or go into debt to establish your home storage all at once. Gradually build reserves over time as financial resources and space permit.

How often should I rotate stored products?

Continually use and replenish the food in your three-month supply to avoid spoilage. You may wish to rotate into your regular meals elements of your longer-term food supply. Such items can, however, if properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place, last 30 or more years. See the Home and Family section of the Church’s website, LDS.org, for more information about home storage rotation and packaging.

What about 72-hour kits?

Church members are encouraged to prepare for adversity by building a basic supply of food, water, money, and, over time, longer-term supply items. Beyond this, Church members may choose to store additional items that could be of use during times of distress.