In praise of: Home Milling.
My last two trips to Kroger (a multi-state big corporation grocery chain in the Midwest USA) showed that the flour aisle, at least wheat flour, was sold out. Today I verified that the yeast was sold out too.
But about 11 years ago, I started long-term storage of wheat berries. "Berries" meaning the whole kernal, not ground, not milled. Kind of a rainy-day thing.
At some point I realized I needed to start rotating it (using it up before it went bad) so I bought a hand crank "cracker/flaker" with three roller bars on it, to crack the grain. And I bought a Vitamix, a very powerful blender that can make flour out of wheat berries. But, I "crack" the berries first in the other machine anyway, so as not to over-heat the flour in the blender. (Also have a hand crank stone mill, Wondermill Jr. Deluxe.)
Now, the benefit here is that the wheat berries last much longer than flour. White flour lasts a couple years because there is no bran or germ to go rancid. Once milled, whole meal flour lasts 6 to 12 months, Whole berries last even longer becasue the grain is naturally sealed or locked up by the unbroken bran layer.
wheat berries can keep 2 years just in the double layer paper bag they came in, and maybe 5 years in a sealed airtight container just opened occasionally, and 20 years if "hermetically sealed" and have an "oxygen absorber" packet inside to remove the oxygen. Times vary by the original condition of the grain (moisture level, blackpoint, broken kernals, etc), variety (hard stores better/longer than soft), storage conditions, oxygen removal, and what your expectations are, etc.
I opened a couple of my hermetically sealed containers, and I think about 9 years is the limit for continued good taste and baking performance. But anything beyond that, I would just label "edible", and would expect a slow decrease in baking performance over time.
As illustrated by recent events and the silly panic buying, you "need to stock up" on such things _before_ you "need" the items, before the emergency presents itself.
Remember, it takes two years for growers to respond to major changes in demand, so as to 1) meet demand, and 2) restock the distribution/supply pipeline, warehouses, and strategic grain reserves. (Two years, because when the pipeline/warehouses runs out the first time, the season is already over, the supply was "fixed", and you don't know how much "would have" been sold had there been more. It takes another growing season and resupply of the system to see how the demand goes from then on, even if growers add more acres into productivity.
East Africa and the middle east is currently undergoing a locust plague. several countires are losing nearly all their crops. World grain reserves will have to be tapped.
"Home storage" is a form of strategic reserve. Using up home storage in emergencies, removes the demand on commercial distribution so that more of the current/latest harvest can go to famine/plague areas.
I have already offered some friends flour if they need it and can't find it at stores.
Dave good point. Though at one time I bought berries for an online store that specializes in what you are talking about, and got prepper catalogs in the mail for a while, and they can be a little over the edge.
Actually, to me, the best thing is the flavor of home ground wheat, Danny is a fan of red, I use white because it does not have the strong flavor of the red wheat, and is closer in flavor to "normal" bread, but just better, fuller.
You need to start looking for an electric mill designed for milling wheat, once you have that you will be buying your grains in 25 and 50 pound bags and storing them in buckets with gamma lids.