Can we be a little blunt?
It’s time we talked about the giant elephant in this food storage room….the thing no one likes to think about.
There we said it. PHEW! Catastrophic events can happen at any moment, and most happen with NO warning…which is why they can be a little scary to talk about.
Unfortunately, 85% of the people in the United States aren’t prepared to care for themselves after a disaster because they believe FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) will be there to take care of them.
It’s a troubling thought, isn’t it?
So why don’t more people prepare?
But the good news? This won’t be you! You will be one of the 9% that is prepared! Surprisingly, planning your food for a catastrophic event is the easy part of food storage! In fact, it’s so easy that you could have your emergency food (the food you pack in your 72-hour kit) done in under 5 minutes for as little as $8 a person.
So…what will it be like?
We’re so glad you asked! Honestly, this is a very important question, because when you understand what it will truly be like you can prepare much better. During an emergency situation you will be finding family, recovering belongings, assessing damage, taking care of injuries, helping friends and neighbors, etc.
Scenario #1: You Need to Evacuate
This means you may have to leave immediately, possibly on foot, taking just what you can grab on your way out the door. Your 72-hour kit, AKA grab-and-go bag, will contain things like a change of clothes, hygiene and first aid supplies, and a flashlight. It shouldn’t contain a three-course meal or a stove and dishes. (You’re not having dinner with the Queen, you’re S-U-R-V-I-V-I-N-G) You don’t want that precious space and poundage in your backpack being used up by cans of food! Which is why we aren’t fans of canned tuna or chili in your 72-hour kit.!)
So…what do I store?
You’ll want food that is quick and easy to eat but gives you energy, don’t require water or cooking, stores for a long time (5+ years), and can be stored at varying temperatures, including extreme heat and cold. As an added bonus, it should taste good (so you and your kids will want to eat it). Realistically, when you are under a lot of emotional stress the last thing your body wants is a big meal to digest. Your main reason for eating will be energy and survival. The perfect solution to this dilemma is survival bars. They are compact (about the size of a paperback novel), weight under 2 pounds, provide energy, protein and vitamins, and are made for eating on the go. They are also non-thirst provoking, safely store at very low and very high temperatures, have a 5-year shelf life, cost around $10 for a three-day supply, and provide 1200 calories per day.
Scenario #2: Sheltering at Home
If it is safe to stay in your home, you will still be in shock as your whole world is turned upside-down. You may be dealing with no electricity or gas (so you may be piping hot or freezing cold depending on the season and your location), and you’ll be busy helping to clean up the destruction, which includes digging through and cleaning up the debris, rescuing the trapped, and treating injuries. You’ll need easy meals that don’t require heat for eating because you’ll be BUSY helping others around you and you may have no traditional ways of heating it.
So…what do I store?
Simply put, 2 weeks of “heat & eat” meals. Heat & Eat meals are important to fill your belly and provide energy as you work your way through the physical and mental stresses that will surround you during the next few weeks. These can be any foods that are shelf stable and fall into the “open; add water (if necessary); heat and heat” category. These types of food can be eaten cold, right out o the can or box if necessary, and require very little energy or brain power to make. They make it easy to conserve your water and fuel for more important things, all while refueling your boy and soul to tie you that little extra to cope with the chaos around you. People feel and deal with life better when they have eaten one filling meal per day with family or friends.
Surprisingly, planning your food for a catastrophic event is the easy part of food storage! In fact, it’s so easy that you could have your emergency food (the food you pack in your 72-hour kit) done in under 5 minutes for as little as $8 a person. And your two week “heat and eat” supply is as easy as a trip to your pantry (you probably already have a few of these items, right?) and a short grocery store visit away. It’s just like Lao Tzu said, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.” This is your first step and lucky for you, it’s an easy first step.