Sunday, August 10, 2008

Prepping 101 - Part One - Short Term Food Storage

Having food is a good thing. In an emergency or crisis situation a few days or even a week’s supply of food can make a real difference in the quality of your life. Foods that are easy to prepare and taste good will get you through the first few days or even a week after a disaster, either natural or man-made. You will have confidence knowing that you don’t have to wait for assistance from a government entity or a non-profit relief agency.

Having extra food is an even better thing. Will you be involved in a natural or man-made disaster or emergency situation? There is always a possibility that it may never happen, but why take a chance when having extra food stored requires a minimum of effort and very little of your resources. A food storage plan for a few days or a week doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. You can always increase your food preparedness by adding extra food to your storage for a longer period of time at a later date.

Canned food and dry goods, along with dehydrated foods are usually the best types of food to keep on hand for an emergency or a disaster situation. Most canned foods can be eaten or prepared without cooking or the need for additional water. In fact, many canned items have a lot of water already in them and can be used to supplement your emergency water supplies. A large number of dry foods items can be eaten as is (jerky, dried fruit, cereals, granola bars, etc.) and require no cooking or preparation time.

You will need to store enough food items for you and your family. The average person will need at a minimum 2000 to 2400 calories per day. So check the calories listed on the extra food items you have stored and make sure they are sufficient to cover the minimum calories needed. You will also need to figure out the quantity of food you and your family members will eat in 72 hours or a week (number of meals x number of days x number of family members). You will also need spices to add variety to your food supplies (sugar, salt, pepper, etc.). A supply of vitamins will also be needed to supplement your diet.

You can store your extra food supplies in any type of “food grade” container or simply leave them in their original packages (especially in the case of canned items). Ensure that any container you use has a tight fitting lid. Label the containers as food storage with the appropriate date and place them in an area of your home that is most likely to remain intact during a disaster and will not be subject to excess heat or humidity. Remember to also place or store your extra food items where you can easily access them if or when the need arises.

Most fresh foods (bread items, vegetables and fruit) will not last more than a week so make sure that you rotate these types of food items on a regular basis. You will need to rotate your food supplies in your storage containers as well. Make sure you clearly label your food storage containers with the appropriate name and date. Many canned foods have an expiration date on the can itself. When rotating the older food items with the newer food items, you can still use the older food items for your regular meals at home.

Another very important consideration is to store extra food items that you or your family will eat. The saying to remember here is: Store what you eat and eat what you store. It does you absolutely no good to have food items stored that your family will not eat.

Less than 10% of people have taken any positive action towards being prepared.
Most people want to be prepared but need something simple and easy to obtain and that doesn't require a lot of time and maintenance on their part. When contemplating food storage as part of your preparedness efforts, make sure that it is healthy, good tasting and economical. Make it a part of your daily routine and it will be easier to accomplish and create less of a demand on your time.

By simply purchasing additional food items during your regular trip to the grocery store, you can build a short term food storage program that will put you ahead of the game if a disaster strikes. The canned foods, dry goods, and bottled water as many government agencies, preparedness and survival websites recommend will automatically be there when needed and can be easily stored in your home. This can usually be done in a couple of hours or less (your regular shopping trips) and you can determine your own budget for expenditures on extra food that will meet you and your family’s needs.

Don’t forget to include a supply of “comfort” food in your short term storage food. Cookies, chips, or crackers, etc. can help alleviate the stress of an emergency situation. A little extra time and effort on your part is really all that is required.

Short term food preparedness should be:

1.) Food that is simple and easy to prepare even in a disaster and that requires little or no cooking and doesn’t require a lot of water.

2.) Food with a variety that tastes good, that will satisfy your appetite and items that you and your family will eat.

3.) Food that is easily stored and can be transported easily if you need to evacuate due to an emergency or a disaster.

There are additional items you will need such as cooking utensils, manual can openers, the ability to make a fire and cook, dishes, and water. These are topics for later.

A simple short term food storage program is an absolute necessity. With a little effort on your part you can be better prepared than the average person. Being prepared for a disaster or emergency is simpler and easier than you think.

Here are some excellent sites with additional information on food storage:

Bear Ridge Project

Food Storage...A Necessary Adventure

*edit* Corrected Title Spelling - OOPS!

Staying above the water line!



Staying Alive said...

A really excellent post, RW. I did not know that only 10% of the populace had any food reserves. These people are a joke! Do they think that Chinamart and plastic money are forever? I need the multivitamins in my stores also. What a dumb thing to not have. But that is what we are all here for, trying to learn as much as we can before the big test.

Stay in school!


riverwalker said...

Lots of people forget vitamins to supplement their diet. Eating a simpler fair can lead to vitamin defiecencies that are easy to correct. Three or four bottles of a multi-vitamin will last a long time and are easily stored. I love rice, beans and cornbread but they will need to be supplemeted with vitamins.

True. A large percentage of people are not prepared at all. That's the real tragedy.

Thanks for the comment. Will e-mail you later about TPN.


Anonymous said...


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

That's a good one!


Marie said...

Thanks for the link. This is an excellent post--I appreciate the details that you include. I knew that not that many people were interested in being prepared for an emergency, but the number of 10% is a very sad little number. One can but hope that more will get prepared after reading posts like this.

riverwalker said...

To: marie
Until the mainstream media changes the way they portray preparedness we will continue to see small numbers of people being prepared. Some people don't have a clue until the disaster hits home.

Anonymous said...

Just moved in with family and they look at me like I am crazy with cases of water and large plastic containers stored with can food and goodies. I got a seperate area in the garage to keep my supply but I am thinking like I should move it indoors?

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 4:18

The water storage in the garage is not much of a problem other than it will need to be rotated more frequently. The canned goods won't do well if summer temperatures get very high. I don't know the average temps in your area but unless you are a pretty good ways up North you will need to move the food indoors or arrange separate storage in a cooler and less humid environment, such as a separate storage building with an A/C unit. The danger of pest infection will be less also.


Related Posts with Thumbnails