If an emergency or disaster occurs, don’t expect any help over the next 72 hours, which means you need to be totally independent and self-supportive for three entire days. It’s also likely you’ll be missing electricity and/or gas, which means no refrigeration or cooking is available. Therefore, it’s crucial that you’re adequately prepared by storing non-perishable, high-energy, no-prep food in such cases until you can receive help and get back on your feet.
After a crisis, stress is usually running fairly high, so be mentally prepared for it. Extra physical labor and lack of sleep may also take quite a toll on you, which is why high energy food is so important. Also, eating will psychologically boost your morale as well as relieve a bit of your stress. Check out these five simple steps for building a good food supply for your family in case an emergency or disaster ever strikes.
1. Take Inventory
You probably already have a good amount of food most of the time, especially if you’re a large family. Chances are your cupboards have enough food in them right this minute to last at least a week or longer. Take inventory to determine exactly how many days of food you actually have. Dried foods and canned foods will last several weeks and months. Once you lose electricity, your refrigerated food will start going bad rather quickly. In the event your home is flooded, all your dry food will be destroyed.
2. Create Space for Food Storage
Establish a certain part of your home dedicated just for emergency food storage. A dark, corner in the basement is the perfect spot to store emergency food supplies since it’s cool, dry, and dark. Be sure all your foods are properly packed and sealed in plastic tubs in order to prevent damage from rodents and insects.
3. Start Building a Food List
Wouldn’t it be great to just take a pill that has all the necessary nutrients and calories just like a complete meal? Until scientists invent it, you’ll need to make some smart food choices for now. The ideal emergency food needs to be high in calories and nutrition, little to no preparation, easy to carry, tastes great, and has a long shelf life. Don’t be worried about those extra calories if you’re trying to lose weight; in emergency situations you’ll probably burn tons of calories from extra stress, activity, and insomnia.
Here are some great food supply choices to consider eating in a crisis situation:
• Energy/Food Bars
Convenient energy bars have high calorie content as well as convenience. Choose food bars that surpass the RDA for vitamins and minerals. These foods typically have a minimum of 5 years on the shelf and provide around 1200 calories per day. You may also like to keep some trail bars or granola bars on hand as well.
• Comfort Foods
Make sure to store some of you and your family’s favorite snacks and foods in your emergency food storage specifically for the purpose of keeping up everyone’s morale. Eating tasteless, bland foods after a few days will get old fast. Some great comfort foods include fruit bars, hard candy, chocolate, instant oatmeal, and instant pudding. Don’t forget to keep fresh water on hand as well.
4. Rotate Your Food Supply
Before you place any item into your food storage supply, be sure to first mark it with the date so you’ll know how long it’s been stored. Keep rotating your food supply: newer items in the back and older items in the front in order to prevent food waste and save money.
5. Follow these Food Tips
For best results and to ensure your emergency food supply is a success, consider the following food storage tips:
• Don’t forget to keep a can opener, scissors, and a knife in your storage area along with your food.
• Try out a variety of foods before you start stockpiling them.
• Store a box of ZipLoc quart and gallon bags. Use them to store opened food.
• Replace food items before their shelf life expires.
• Keep a bottle of vitamin supplements in your storage area to ensure your family is getting all the nutrition they need.
Keep in mind to find a trusted food supplier when shopping for your food items to store. Because long-term food supplies are packaged in solid materials like metal cans, you can’t see the product without opening it first. Try to buy quality food products for best results.