Planning for emergency situations can feel challenging, but many simple tricks will allow for better self sustainability and self reliance. The following DIY projects range from very simple to more complex, but are all viable choices that can be fun to do and can add to your preparedness.
1. Waxing cheese - dairy products can be one of the most difficult for long-term food storage, but encasing nearly any type of cheese in food based solid wax can give it a greater storage life for times of need.
2. Salt curing - meats are another food that can pose problems with long-term food storage, but it can also be important for individuals to have animal proteins in their diet. Packing and curing ham and even some fish can also provide foods for emergency situations.
3. Start canning - this process is highly effective for the long-term food storage of fruits and vegetables, and can provide fresher nutrients at all times. Engaging in canning not only builds up long-term food stores, but it also allows for gardeners to make the most of their harvest.
4. Making sourdough - although there are many processes for creating this type of leavening, one of the easiest involves creating a base stock of yeasters and maintaining them over time. This can also become vital to long-term food storage, since naturally leavened bread can be made with a variety of stored ingredients.
5. Making vinegar - this is actually a very similar process to making sourdough culture, but the result is a solution that can be used in everything from cooking to cleaning. Large amounts of vinegar can also become important with emergency wound care, so this simple project holds much value.
6. Build a greenhouse - advancing into some of the more complex projects, greenhouse building can be a good introduction. Experimentation with different forms from geodesic domes to cold frames can lead to the best fit for needs. With this project addition, however, people can also have fresh foods for more of the year.
7. Build a potato box - this easy to make structure can be added to any garden and can yield a massive amount of tubers in a very confined space. This can be good for suburban preppers, although anyone can benefit from a good crop of potatoes that also keep well in basic cold storage.
8. Create a wind powered water pump - with parts that can easily be found at any reclamation service or abandoned lot, people can build a working wind powered pump. This ensures that homes on well water will still have tap access even in a power outage.
9. Express your own cooking oil - fresh oil is always an important part of long-term food storage, especially as rancidity and oxidation is such an issue for these substances. Learning how to use juicers, grinders, and macerators to make fresh oils can be a healthy way to maintain lifestyles.
10. Build an outdoor oven - as a slightly larger but very rewarding project, people can build simple, safe, and effective stove and oven structures in the yard. This provides a viable cooking space for times without power, and can also be important for melting snow into usable water.