Don't Forget the Can Opener!

We received an email from Food Insurance™ customer Emma, and thought we’d share a few words of her wisdom with you (don’t worry, we asked Emma if it was okay to share first).


Dear Food Insurance,

I started writing a response to a post on your blog, but it started to get way too long, so I’m emailing it to you instead.  I hope the information is helpful.


Cans are so hard to open without the right tools, so if you’re going to invest in a long-term food supply, it just makes sense to be prepared with the means to open them. This is why every food storage supply should be stocked with a good can opener.

For emergency situations, you will want to have a very sturdy can opener. Do not buy a fancy electronic can opener. They take up tons of room on your counter, and they are a bad choice because they won’t work if your electricity goes out.

Most modern can openers have a rotating cutting wheel, and a serrated wheel. The serrated wheel rotates the can, while the cutting wheel slices through the metal on the top outer edge of the can.

If you have ever tried to use a can opener that wouldn’t work, then you know how frustrating it can be. When some can openers are worn out, you may try twisting the handle, but the serrated wheel doesn’t catch on the can, and consequently doesn’t have the strength to continue cutting all the way around the edge. In these situations, the can may be opened by clamping the opener down, creating a small slit in the lid with the cutting wheel. Continue to create these slits, overlapping each other, all the way around the rim of the can. This is a good way to open a can if you have nothing else available, but it will quickly cause hand fatigue if it is done often.

The best idea is to keep a good can opener with your canned food storage. These are relatively cheap, and a very important part of your food storage if you have any cans in your food storage. If you are in an emergency-type situation, the last thing you want to do is waste all of your energy getting your cans open. So be prepared, and have a can opener ready at all times!




Emma, thank you for all of the great tips!

-The Food Insurance™ Team


3 Replies to “Don't Forget the Can Opener!”

  1. Replying to the “Don’t forget the can opener”.

    As a retired service member, I would suggest getting what we call a “P-38”. This is a finger powered can opener that can open “any” can, that has a lip on it. These little babies used to be included in all “K” rations from Vietnam, and in the 80’s, from the “T” rations. I still have mine from the Army and still hangs around my neck, as it has a hole made in it for putting it on my 365 bead necklace with my dog tags. If you can find one, keep it near and dear, it’s a can opener that will outlast its’ user, and many more. All of the cans included with Food Insurance, that are in cans, can be opened by this little device.

    Perhaps someone outside of the U.S. Army needs to make these little wonders for use with the Food Insurance products.

  2. Also to respond to “Don’t forget the can opener”.

    Do not forget your trust old buck knife #110. I mentioned before about the trusty P-38 Army issued finger powered can opener, but do not forget a trusty old buck knife. Simple intrude the knife into the can, and where the metal is gagged, is where you will now place the tip of that jack knife to cut the next downward stoke for the next cut. You will use it as the fulcrum point for a downward stoke into the can’s lid. Repeat and rinse all the way around the can to open it. This used to be taught in Army basic training but I doubt it is anymore.

  3. How much room does this food storage require. I have two adults(wife and me) to feed three meals a day and am considering purchasing the six month plan. I live in a very small 700 sq. ft home. I have only a small place about 6X6X8 feet in the cool corner of my garage. Would that much food go into a space this size. I’m not good at spacial reasoning. I admit that.


    That is a great question. The link below leads to a graphical representation of how much space the 6-month, 3 meal a day plan would require.

    Based on your description, it looks like you should have plenty of room for the meal plan you have identified.

    If you have any additional questions, please contact us at, or 1-866-946-8366.

    -Food Insurance

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