Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Processing Food For Storage

I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing

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OrchidBetty:
Hi, I'm new to prepping and went into overdrive getting ready for hurricane season. I have two questions:

1.) I got a hand-me-down Rival Seal-a-meal vacuum sealer, model VS100. I'm in love with it. However, it started burning holes in two spots while sealing bags. I couldn't find that much info online but I assumed it needed new Teflon tape. It wasn't easy to replace but I got a new strip of teflon HOWEVER there seems to be a wrinkle in the heat coil that is causing the problem. It's no longer burning holes but there is definitely a bubble in the same place as the old tape.   Anyone else have this problem? Is it fixable or do I junk this unit?

2.) I live in a humid & salty area. I have a storage problem and have to keep my supplies outside. I have been sealing nearly all of my emergency supplies in the hopes of keeping out moisture, bugs, and slowing down (salt) corrosion. I also have the food in a (dry) cooler, in the hopes that the cooler will create more of a barrier from the heat (in vain?)  What would be best -- cutting a hole in the factory food package and then vacuuming the air out or vacuum sealing the outer package but leaving the factory sealing alone? The package would be puffy but it will be puffy from the manufactures air (if that makes sense).

Thanks!   

Morning Sunshine:
a lot of times the air in the factory bag acts as a cushion against crushing.  Personally, I would leave the factory bag as is.  An extra barrier doesn't hurt either.

I do not use my vacuum sealer much any more.  But I live in the high mountain desert of northern Utah.  Dry as a bone.  And, I think more to the point, with 5 kids we don't have a lot of time before food is gone rotated through.  ;D

Chemsoldier:
Dont be afraid to explore other storage options.  While you can and should store a healthy supply at home, you could also consider some off site storage. Friends, climate controlled you-store it, family, encouraging your church to stock up for disasters that you could potentially tap into, etc.

I would also challenge that hurricane disruption duration food preps can be stored in the home/apartment with enough creativity.

Also outdoor storage could work well enough if you are willing to have a relatively high turnover rate (for long term storage). Instead of 3 years or whatnot, give it to charity or eat it every 18 months.

LvsChant:
I don't personally have any experience with the Rival seal-a-meal unit. Mine is a FoodSaver. I've had it for many years and it still works like a champ... it may be that you should investigate getting a new one, depending on how expensive it might be to replace parts on yours. Mine cost less than $80 several years ago, but I don't think the price has gone up very much...

I like my Foodsaver because I bought the adapters that allow me to store in glass canning jars... because of that, I rarely store things in bags anymore.

OrchidBetty:
I live in Hawaii and everything is ridiculously expensive -- rent, storage space, food. Wages are not in line with the cost of living. Depending on what happens, it could realistically be weeks before assistance arrives. In addition, given the nature of my job, I will be expected to report to work in a major event so I need to ensure my kids are secure/comfortable as much as possible. Moving is not an option so I have to work with what I have. 

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