Whether you live in the City or on a 200 acre farm the idea of planning for Emergencies has really come to head when you consider how many people in recent disasters have been finding no help or even added hardship from Government Resources.
Food preparedness is one part of your overall emergency plan but it is very important for short term and long term survival.
When you plan to store food there are a few things that many of us overlook this short list will address a few common problems that people run into but only by planning and experiencing then re-planning for the next time can you really understand what you will need and what you don’t have.
The most important thing to think about is having enough water and how you manage your water supply. Normally I keep extra 1 gallon jugs of water in my secondary refrigerator and change the water every 2 to 3 months. This is enough water for me and my family to last for about a week if the water is only used for drinking.
Drinking water should never be used for washing and any water that is potable or drinkable in your home should be reserved for only drinking.
If you need the water for cooking you should use it in ways that will reduce your use of water. If you are going to cook pasta then save the water for use in a soup or for rehydrating beans or simply for drinking. Pasta water may be a little nasty but if you put some tea in it you probably wont even notice. Boiling should be at a simmer and not rapid boil that will cause steam to evaporate your water. Thinking about your drinking water while you use it should always be with the thought that this first gallon of water is as important as if it was your last because eventually you will get down to your last gallon of water.
Also remember if you can reserve containers it may be possible for you to drive and get water at a government or school building to resupply your drinking water but you should not count on this as a method of preparedness.
Not Storing Needed Food Processing Goods
If you store items that need to be cooked and are not meals ready to eat or canned goods that can be eaten as is then you must consider everything you will need to prepare the food you will eat.
With your power likely out you will need a good portable stove that runs off of Gas or fuel. I like Dual Fuel stoves that can run off of White Gas or Unleaded Gasoline. I also have a Dual Fuel Lantern that will run off of Gasoline. In a pinch it will be easier to obtain Gasoline then Propane but for people that fuel their furnaces with Propane there may be ways that you can have a refill station installed allowing you to cook off of your stove and refill canisters for your lanterns.
Remember most or many new stoves in the past 10 years have pilots that will not light if your electricity is not on. Your Natural Gas Fireplace will be the same and you won’t be able to light it once the power is out.
You also want to make sure that you stock products needed to prepare food such as baking soda, baking powder, yeast, salt, sugar. Many people store flour or other items that require additional basics and find that they are useless when they are needed in an emergency situation.
Having Variety in your Food Supply
Although you can live off of water and dried beans for .. well for months I guess .. you probably will dread eating the same thing over and over. By planning out some different meals and practicing how you can use different products to introduce variety into your meal plan you will enjoy your meals.
It is also important to plan for people with special dietary needs.
If you have someone in your home that can not have sugar or sodium it is important that you stock foods that fit their needs.
Another way to do this may be by supplementing your food to reduce the overall sodium and sugar content. Salted Beans can be used in a stew that contains noodles, rice and other fillers to increase the overall amount of food to a point where the percentage of salt is cut in half or less.
Vegetarians will need products without meat and people with allergies to food will also need alternatives stored so they do not get sick while eating to survive.