Inventory Management for Survival Supplies

A successful prepper knows the importance of  managing their survival supplies and keeping everything organized.  Many businesses use an inventory management system to store their products because they know the importance of rotating products in a timely manner. Without having a proper organizational system, items will not be found, misplaced and expire past their shelf lives.

How To Organize Survival Supplies

 Short and long term food supplies should be placed in a safe and dry spot.  Many people who feel they do not have adequate space for a food supply make use of unused wall space and create shelving units to use as their storage area.  Another method is to use unused closets or rooms.  As long as the space is dry and large enough to store foods, it can be used.  Additional shelving units can be purchased to accommodate larger food supplies.

  • Take all items off the shelf and sort items into categories.  Sort items for needs such as baking supplies, breakfast cereals, canned goods, medical supplies, bartering/charity, etc.
  • Store items next to one another that are used together.  For example, keep baking needs such as flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, etc next to one another for easy access.
  • Place goods with the longest expiration date in the back and work forward to the closest expiration date.
  • Have a Inventory Management spreadsheet or listing system.  Keeping an inventory list of foods that have been purchased and adding to the list when more items have been purchased will provide a well rounded supply.  Categorize the inventory into sections such as items for baby, baking, water/beverages, cleaning, condiments, 72 hour bag, emergency supplies.  The Prepared LDS Family, has a thorough suggested inventory organizational method that would be helpful for those starting out. 
  • The food storage inventory should be checked every 6 months to make sure that food items are properly rotated and are used within their expiration date.

Managing Your Inventory

Many find that stored food is convenient to have in their home.  When they need a can of food, they go to their storage supplies and use it.  Storing food is a continual process of using, rotating and resupplying.  If a short term food supply is bought, the food must be used and more food purchased to resupply the storage shelf.  Additionally, if any food is canned or jarred at home, a storage area can also be used for these goods.

Guidelines for Food Storage:

Use within 6 months:

  • Powdered milk (in box)
  • Dried fruit (in metal container)
  • Dry, crisp crackers (in metal container)
  • Potatoes

Use Within 1 year:

  • Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
  • Caned fruit, fruit juices and vegetables
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers)
  • Vitamin C
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hard candy and canned nuts

May Be Stored Indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):

  • Wheat
  • Vegetable oils
  • Dried Corn
  • Baking powder
  • Soybeans
  • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa
  • Salt
  • Non carbonated soft drinks
  • White rice
  • Bouillon products
  • Dry pasta
  • Powdered milk (in nitrogen packed cans)
Source –

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 15th, 2010
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8 Responses to Inventory Management for Survival Supplies

  1. John says:

    I know of someone who keeps a written inventory of their storage food and supplies in a red notebook. It’s red so it can easily be found.

  2. Tess says:

    That’s a great point John.  Having the inventory in a easily identifiable book or manual would make it easy to find.  Additionally, I might add that having the information enclosed in a G.O.O.D Manual or emergency manual where all the important information can be found would also be a good idea to put your inventory list.   

    Thanks for the comment,

    Ready Nutrition

  3. SAM O says:

    How To Organize Survival Supplies
    Hmm no weapon of any sort,hope everyone that comes along like what you have to eat,because you won’t be keeping it for long.

  4. stephen says:

    Re: SamO. You sir are the type of moron who speaks long before thinking. Tess never said a thing about not having any firearms. This is a post about Food, medical, and hygiene supplies that have an EXPIRATION DATE. Trust me when I say Tess has the firearms necessary to take you out when you try coming to her families home for her stored goods and supplies. Stay off the good sites. Love you site Tess. Keep it up, thank you, God Bless you and yours. Be Safe

  5. Raymond says:

    Tess, If I may make another suggestion. For those people who keeps a written inventory of their storage food and supplies in a notebook, they also may want to keep a Digital Copy as well & keep it updated. I;m sure that there are Home Inventory Software available that can be purchased. Also, I’m not sure, but may some software like “Excel” could be adapted for Inventory Keepking. Just thought that I’d throw my “2 cents” in.

  6. Jaws says:

    This may be a dumb question but as far as non-carbonated drinks are some better than others to store for long periods of time? Gatorade,
    propel etc etc?
    Thank you for your replies in advance  

    • @ Jaws,

      Because I rotate the drinks we have stored, I have not seen a preference with my family. We usually store lots of bottled juices, some gatorade and lots of water.

      Hope this helps!


  7. Orgaprep says:

    Did anyone ever tried an electronic system to store the information about available supplies?

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