What You Can and Cannot Store In a Hot Attic

OK, so you have an attic with plenty of space but temperatures inside of it frequently reach three digits during the summer. What are some of the things you can stockpile in your attic that won’t go bad?

Well, I want to start by telling you what you CANNOT store, and that is food (you have a full list of the best survival foods to hoard right here). Food needs a cool ,dry, dark place for it to last as long as possible and a hot attic is just not gonna cut it. You might be okay with the fact that food will last a shorter time period, but I strongly advise against storing food in your attic.

No matter how well you seal your Mylar bags, heat is still going to go through. That’s one thing. The other thing is that heat accelerates chemical reactions, which also means food degradation. In fact, a generally accepted rule of thumb states that for every 18F (or 10C), the reaction doubles in speed.

Although this is just a guideline, So if we consider a base temperature of, say, 50F (22C), when it climbs to 68F your foods start degrading twice as fast. As it goes higher to 86F, the reactions are accelerated 4 times. At 104F (or 40C), your food is going to spoil 8 times faster (or 2 to the power of 3).

Now, there aren’t that many studies on this, but there was this chart that I saw based on a study done by the U.S Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center, on MREs (meals ready to eat), that clearly showed the shelf life decreasing from 60 months for food stored at 50F to only 1 month when storage temperature was 120F.

At the end of the day, these are all clues that pretty much suggest we shouldn’t store food inside our attics if they get hot. With that in mind, let’s see some survival items we can store in our attics:

  • toilet paper (a perfect match since it’s bulky)
  • blankets
  • sheets
  • gardening tools
  • wood
  • soap, floss and other personal care products
  • clothes
  • cooking utensils
  • books
  • chainsaws
  • mosquito nets
  • your bug out vehicle if it’s one of the following
    • an inflatable boat
    • a (non-inflatable) canoe
    • an off-road go-kart
  • lots and lots of duct tape

When you think about it, this is all common sense  and I shouldn’t really be telling you what to store in your own attic. The reason I wrote this is to give you a heads up about keeping food up there. One last thing, if there’s a chance that a hurricane or a tornado could hit your house and rip off your roof, that particular portion of your stockpile could be pretty much wasted. Make sure you know your local weather patterns.

Further Reading

If you have the time, the following two PDFs (of almost 400 pages combined) might fill up your next weekend 🙂

http://ndfs.byu.edu/Portals/9/docs/research/long/Norseth,%20Amy.pdf

http://ndfs.byu.edu/Portals/9/docs/research/long/Lynn%20M%20Arrington%20Park.pdf

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About Dan F. Sullivan

My dad was military. My grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But I don't like taking orders. I'm taking matters into my own hands so I'm not just preparing, I'm going to a friggin' war to provide you the best of the best survival and preparedness content out there.

One comment

  1. Margaret Irene Moon

    I am 76 and a widow. I know it’s coming, so I want to be prepared. My house is only 4 rooms and still has a chimney to handle a wood stove. I am able to swing an ax and sew my own clothes (,I JUST NEED A TREDDLE MACHINE) so I have a head start on others. My entire yard is a vegetable garden and I can the food. I just don’t have much storage space so I am using my attic for whatever possible. any ideas?

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