Can I Store My Emergency Prepper Supplies In An Attic Or Loft?
This is a common question often asked by those of us who have very limited storage space available for our emergency supplies. After all, when you first think of using your attic or loft as a storage solution it makes perfect sense. Why would you not make use of this handy space above your property. However, you may have noticed the title of this article is Good or Bad – Using Attic Space For Prepper Supplies and there’s a good reason for this.
Before you start planning to store some or all of our supplies in the attic please read on. There is more to this than meets the eye. In the remainder of this article, I’m going to talk about some recommendations, pros, and cons you need to be aware of before deciding to do this.
In An Ideal World Don’t Store Supplies In Your Attic or Loft
Storing supplies in an attic or loft is generally considered a bad Idea among preppers. The main reasons for this is as follows:
Storing Food and Water
Water is heavy to store and could put the structure of your attic floor under considerable strain. There is also the matter of potential leaks, you really don’t want water seeping down above your head.
Storing food in your attic puts it at the mercy of temperature fluctuations as the seasons change. Fluctuating between cold in the winter to hot and humid in the summer. Whilst it may be possible to protect foods from humidity by sealing foods in Mylar bags and food safe airtight buckets. It will still not protect them from the heat.
For example, if you store food supplies in an attic that has a temperature of 90° F (32.2° C), you can expect the shelf life of that food to be approximately half of what it would be if you store it at a temperature of between 70-75° F (21 – 23° C)
Temperature Guidelines For Long Term Food Storage:
The maximum temperature food should be stored at is 75°F (23.8° C)
The Ideal optimal storage temperature for stored foods is 40-60°F (4.4° C – 15.55° C)
In all cases, you should refer to each manufacturers storage recommendations but as you can see from the information above storing your food in the attic is not an ideal solution.
Storing Non Food Items
When it comes to storing nonfood related prepping supplies and equipment there’s mixed opinion among preppers. Firstly you should never store anything in an attic that could catch fire or explode as a result of extreme temperatures. For example gas canisters or batteries.
Whilst it is certainly possible to store a number of nonperishable items in your attic. I would still only do this if you have no other possible alternative. My main reason for this would be in the example of a disaster scenario like a hurricane or tornado. You’re putting your supplies at risk in this scenario if your roof was to be blown off.
Better Storage Options
An ideal storage space would be a basement or cellar where temperatures are much more manageable and the structure is more solid and less susceptible to extreme conditions. If you don’t have a basement or cellar you could try splitting your supplies around the home. You could place them in cupboards, under the bed, behind your sofa, in a spare room and so on. This is not always ideal in a small living space or family environment though.
If you have a garage or outbuilding you could utilize this space, be careful to keep items off the floor to keep them safe from flooding. Remember though, in any unheated or non-air-conditioned outbuildings, temperature fluctuation will still be a factor. Also be mindful of rodents, vermin, and thieves if you are storing outside.
When You Have No Other Possible Alternative
Not everyone is in the position of having lots of storage options. some of us live in apartments, flats, and small family homes that are limited on storage space.
Deciding On Using Attic Space For Prepper Supplies
If you have explored all of the possibilities above and you have no other alternative than using attic space for prepper supplies bear in mind the following:
Make some Improvements
Whilst not ideal especially if you’re on a budget you could try to reduce the effects of temperature fluctuation. You could try insulating it making sure you still allow airflow into space. Installing a thermostatic heater to combat extreme cold could help. For example, an electric tubular bar that acts as radiator connected to a thermostat that kicks in at a set temperature. You could also install a small air conditioning unit to combat any rising temperatures again setting the thermostat to cut out when optimal temperature is achieved.
If you have no other alternative, storing a small amount of water (a few bottles) is possible as long as you are aware of and monitor the temperature issue.
For reasons already explained above you should avoid storing food in the attic. If you have no choice but to do this make sure it is sealed in Mylar Bags in airtight containers do your best to shield it from the temperature fluctuations. Monitor the temperature situation regularly.
Items of clothing can be stored in the attic because they are nonperishable. Just be mindful of what I said earlier about losing the roof due to hurricanes.
As above basic survival tools and kits are nonperishable and can be stored in the attic.
Camping equipment excluding flammable items are fine to store in the attic. (update: more clarification on storage of specific camping items can be found in the reader comments section below)
Personal Hygiene Supplies
The most common items preppers will store in attics are personal hygiene items, like toilet paper, don’t store flammable items like aerosols.
Using Attic Space For Prepper Supplies Summary
Using Attic Space For Prepper Supplies is not the best solution for long term storage of your food supplies. It could also put your nonperishable items at risk in some situations. If you have no other option you can make use of this space but make sure you keep an eye on your supplies. Installing a thermometer and humidity sensor in the attic will help you to monitor the temperature situation.