Friday, August 15, 2008

Prepping 101 - Part One - Long Term Food Storage

When starting a long term food storage program, it is best to start with a basic supply of the needed items and increase the quantities as your budget permits. Shortages of basic items in your long term supplies may cause other food stocks to be of little use in the preparation of meals for you and your family. A proper balance is needed to insure your health and well-being, especially in the stressful conditions created by an emergency or crisis situation.

The best survival foods for your long-term preparedness stocks:

1) Wheat – Hard Red Wheat is the best variety for long term storage
2) Rice – Brown / White
3) Beans (dry) – try to stock a variety of different kinds
4) Powdered Milk – try to find it in the most durable container possible
5) Flour (All Purpose) – if you don’t have a grinder or it breaks / fails
6) Corn (dry) / Corn Meal – once again, if you don’t have a grinder
7) Canned Meats – ham, beef, Spam
8) Canned Fish – tuna, salmon, sardines, etc.
9) Canned Fruits / Juices
10) Canned Vegetables – beans, corn, beets, etc.
11) Shortening / Cooking Oil – include stocks of vegetable or olive oil
12) Honey / Jams & Jellies (either store bought or home canned)
13) Sugar / Sugar Substitutes (for those with diabetic conditions)
14) Salt (Iodized) / Sea Salt (additional mineral content) / Salt Substitutes
15) Various Spices – pepper, paprika, etc. / Various Vitamin Supplements
16) Vinegar / Pickling Salt (for home canning purposes) / Seeds – for a garden
17) Ramen-type soups (dehydrated) – inexpensive, easily prepared
18) Dried Fruits (banana chips, raisins, etc.)
19) Dried Vegetables (dried parsley flakes, dehydrated onions, etc.)
20) Baking Soda / Baking Powder / Corn Starch – for misc. cooking needs

Make sure that when starting a long term food storage plan that you include all the above items in your basic food storage plans to help maintain a healthy and well balanced diet.

Remember, if you or your family members won’t eat it, then don’t stock it! Save your money and use it to purchase those items that you know will be consumed or used by the members of your family. Store what you eat and eat what you store!

You will also need to insure that you have sufficient amounts of water stored to enable you to prepare meals from these items. Water supplies may be contaminated or unavailable in an emergency situation. A minimum of one gallon (two is even better) per person per day and an additional gallon of water per person per day for sanitation purposes will be the minimum required. This needs to include purification and filtration methods to insure water quality.

Make sure you also stock those needed items for those in your family with special needs due to medical conditions. People with diabetes, certain food allergies, or conditions that require low salt or no salt diets will be at an even greater risk of health or diet complications should you fail to include this important aspect in your plans.

You will also need to allocate the necessary storage space for these food items that will allow you to:

1.) Have ready access to your food supplies in an emergency.

2.) Enable you to rotate your food supplies as needed in order to maintain food quality.

3.) Stored in safe “Food Grade” containers and/or packaging.

4.) Offer varied bulk storage that will offer portability and be easy to transport if required.

5.) Allows you to control the major factors affecting long term food storage:

A.) Temperature – temperature extremes (heat / cold) are to be avoided
B.) Humidity – excess moisture is a danger to your food stocks
C.) Air – using oxygen absorbers, etc. to eliminate this problem
D.) Pests – rodents, insects, etc.

Don’t forget that you will also need the necessary pots, pans, and utensils. Don't forget to include a can opener! This will be an absolute necessity. Cans can be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, to open without one. A supply of disposal plates, bowls, napkins, and eating utensils is also a good idea, especially if water for cleaning and washing is in short supply and doing so will help to maintain your drinking water supplies and water supplies for other sanitation needs.

A means of cooking and heating your meals will also be needed. This includes the ability to make a fire and the necessary fuel for that fire and the necessary equipment (gas or charcoal grill, etc. and the necessary fuel - charcoal, propane, etc.).

There are numerous aspects of all the previously mentioned items that could be gone into more and greater detail. This is by no means all inclusive but will help to get you started.

Two excellent sites for additional information are:

Bear Ridge Project (be sure to check out his Budget Survival Series)

Food Storage...A Necessary Adventure (be sure to check out the article on the importance of rotation in your food storage)

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Be careful with canned foods. They will freeze and the product is ruined.

Anonymous said...

Look for "gift in a jar" recipes on the internet. Package up your stockpile into your own MRE's and seal them up in food saver bags. Soups, stews, deserts, beverages - the recipes are all out there.

riverwalker said...

To: survivalist news

Temperature is always an important consideration. Extreme heat or cold can damage food stores.

To: anonymous

Great tip!


Marie said...

Thanks again for the link. Didn't have time to comment yesterday, but your post on the radio/flashlight reminded me that I need to check my emergency equipment--to make sure I remember where I stored it, and to see if it is in working order.
Especially appreciate the recipe for the electrolyte beverage--I had no idea you could make it yourself, and it could be priceless in a bad situation.
Great post--I would add that in my understanding, white rice will store much longer than brown rice, although I don't know the exact numbers. Thanks for all the information, and I'm glad to see that TPN is prospering!

Riverwalker said...

To: marie

Thanks for the great comments. Glad you like the recipe.
BTW, you can substitute the "lite" variety of salt for the regular salt in the recipe.


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John Adam said...

How do you prepare for a natural disaster?
where to buy cheap survival gear

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