Emergency food, also known as survival food, will become necessary for a variety of different reasons. Most people like to think that a major catastrophe has to take place before you will need to "stock up." Let's examine that line of thinking for a moment. With the exception of hurricanes, major weather events such as tornadoes, blizzards, floods and severe thunderstorms give us a very short window of time in order to prepare. Long term electrical outages can also leave you scrambling for survival food.
The time to think about a supply of survival food is now. Once a disaster hits, it is too late. The first decision that has to be made is: How long are we going to have to survive on this food? Only you can answer this. A good goal to shoot for is two weeks. This is a conservative time frame to shoot for. Even the most severe weather event should be cleaned up and things should be going back to normal in two weeks.
The first thing to consider when you are beginning to prepare is the place where you are going to store your emergency provisions.
Your emergency food supply needs to be kept in a cool, dry, easily accessible and orderly place in the house. My last house had a room in the basement where coal was stored years ago. It was a cool, damp, dusty place. I had to clean it up and provide proper ventilation before it could be used. The next step was to build some sturdy shelves and install a dehumidifier. Then I had the perfect place to store my emergency food supply.
All I had to do was to build a few shelves, and I had the perfect place to store my emergency food supply.
Here is a list that will help to get you started on your emergency food supply:
- Water: You will need lots of water. It is very likely that the water supply will be contaminated for a while. The problem with storing water is that it takes up lots of space and is heavy. Store as much water as your available storage space will allow. remember that the human body should have about a gallon of water a day.
- Canned goods: Canned goods are a great method of storing food for long periods of time. You will need a diverse selection that will include tuna, fruits, and vegetables. One thing that is essential is a can opener. Most homes come with an electrical can opener, but you will also need a mechanical one in case you have no electrical power.
- Dried meat: There are many different kinds of beef jerky on the market nowadays. I enjoy drying out my own meat. Remember, you must inspect your dried meat on a regular basis. Eventually, it will go bad. It is best to keep it in a dry environment. I once discovered that I had several pounds of venison jerky with mold on it because my basement became too humid.
- Nuts or granola bars: These are both great sources of protein that don't take up much space.
- Kool Aid or Gatorade: Powdered drinks such as Gatorade can help to replace electrolytes. Nutrition can become an issue if you need to supply all of your food from your cache for more than a week. Powdered drinks don't take up much space and they can add flavor to your water.
Of course, there is much more to a survival plan than what I have outlined here. This is just a small part of an emergency preparedness plan that will give you some emergency or survival food should you encounter some severe weather. The most important part of surviving a disaster is to prepare for it before it happens.