Preparedness blog

How to Build a Cold Storage Room

By Emily Hutchison
More from this author

Now, that you've got a stockpile of food and gear for an emergency you might be wondering where you're going to put all of it. Building a cold storage room in your basement or spare room is a great idea to keep everything organized. This will free up cupboard space in your kitchen. Keeping food in a cool dark space will lengthen its shelf life. A cold storage room could also double as a storm shelter in the event of an emergency.

Finding a Location 

Many older homes have a root cellar. A root cellar is typically an unfinished part of the basement that may or may not have access to the main house. They are cold and dark. This is an ideal place to build a cold storage room. Food will stay fresh longer to stored in a cool dark place. Houses that were built recently usually have unfinished basements to add rooms at a later date. You can take this opportunity to finish a corner of the basement as your storage room. A closet will be just fine if you in an apartment. Smaller homes don't have a lot of extra square footage, but if you have space in the backyard you could build your own underground root cellar. Just make sure the space is well insulated and preferably isn't heated like the rest of the house.

When picking a location, think about the size of the items you need to store. How much food storage does your family need for say 12 months? Do you garden? You'll want a place to store fresh fruits and vegetables. Do you can? You'll want shelves large enough for the jars you use. Do you live in a tornado area? You might want to make the room large enough for a bed and some games just in case you need to use it as a twister shelter.


You'll need to have some shelves to keep everything neat and organized. There are several commercially available that range in price. Target has utility shelves for $50. The shelves are adjustable depending on the height of the items that need to be stored.

Building your own shelves might be more cost-effective than buying new shelves. Measure your space and plan where the shelves will go. You'll need some 2x4's and some OSB boards. Your local hardware store should be able to cut them down to size for you. It might be easiest to build the shelves directly in the cold storage room. Think about what you want to store and make the shelves accordingly. Will the shelves to wide enough for your large cans? Will the shelves be strong enough for your 50 lbs bags of wheat? Will they be tall enough for your tote bins with candles and toilet paper? If you live in an earthquake zone, it might be a good idea to add a bar on the front of the shelves to prevent items from falling forward.

7 years ago
5 years ago at 2:21 AM
Thanks for sharing such amazing information. Jam Jam Group is one of the leading industries offering the best cold storage in Hyderabad with a total Cold Storage capacity of 40,000 tons spread over 6 locations.
Antoon Huntjens
4 years ago at 11:01 AM
I built a log cabin on a basement. I want to build a storage room away from my home...I'm thinking of building a log room insulated well on a cement slab or dirt floor well insulated with an air conditioner to control the temperature. Will this work?