Squirreling for Survival: The Return of the Storm Shelter

My Maine friends will remember the basement in my parent’s old house. Lovingly nicknamed “The Storm Shelter,” it was a place of wonder. Wall to wall shelving held cans of tuna, boxes of powdered milk and bags of rice; An enormous body freezer was packed full of frozen juice, pizza bites and meat (including one long-forgotten chicken from 1988); And at one point I even discovered a bag of emergency clothes – bell bottomed pants and all!

To us kids, it was great when we wanted to pig out after school, but to my parents, it was common sense. Now that people are aware once again that we’re straining our natural resources, even home design sites are all aflutter with tips on “How To Start a Food Storage Plan on $10 A Week” (Just reading the comments section on that article made me weep for humanity). Of course, magazines like Backwoods Home have been covering the same story for over 20 years…

So now that Butch and I have a house of our own, we’ve been discussing where to squirrel away our extra cans of crushed tomatoes. While we have plenty of cabinet space in the kitchen, the Five Birch Perch is without a basement or attic. Butch plans on building a small garage this summer, but in the meantime we’re trying to get creative with our hoarding. Creative storage shouldn’t be a problem for me  – I once made a horizontal broom closet under a kitchen counter in one of my Brooklyn apartments – but now I have this overwhelming need for my decor to look “grown up”…aka not built out of milk crates.

I’m long overdue with posting photos of the Perch, so maybe once I do we’ll revisit the storage/storm shelter discussion. For now, I’d better just praise the lord and pass the ammunition!

Photo/illustration from thetreeofliberty.com


8 thoughts on “Squirreling for Survival: The Return of the Storm Shelter

  1. That’s called being prepared for the “big crunch”, and your dad is the expert. From water to walkie-talkies, he’s the man to consult! Of course one of the best things you can do is grow some of your own food, and then learn how to preserve it for those long winter months! You’re on your way to survival!!!!…………..mom

  2. Yup, we just got our seeds in the mail, so the garden is in the works…and yes, I think I definitely inherited some of my preparedness from Mr. “fall-out pills” Daddio!

  3. I came up with a storage solution in the kitchen in our old house. Interior wall, cut and remove the drywall to accommodate a bifold louvered door(s). Put shelves between the the 2 x 4’s. Perfect size for pint jars of pickles, dilly beans, jams, guns & ammo, etc.

  4. Yes! I remember the that closet…and the shallow canning closet you built across the hall. We really need to get creative – we were discussing making a built in storage unit under the stairs (but we want to redo the stairs to make them less steep, so that might need to wait…Also the laundry room area has high ceilings, so we could build up in there…

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