In my last blog entry I spoke about the need for a basic emergency supply kit. Today, I would like to expound on the contents of the kit just a bit. The kit calls for at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food items. I'm sure you all know what is meant by non-perishable, but just in case, the photo on the left is an example of non-perishable food items; food that doesn't need to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer.
One thing to keep in mind when you're making sure you have enough non-perishable food items on hand is that you may not have access to water. It's a good idea to store food that you won't need to use water to make it. Also, you may not have access to your stove/oven. In that case you would need to have food that you would be able to eat without cooking or heating it up. That is, unless you have a grill or a fire pit that you can use to cook it!
Now, let's move forward to another hot prepper topic: long term food storage. Long term food storage takes the 3 day rule to a whole new level. The first item on the list for long term food storage is to have a place in your home that you can store the food; preferably a cool, dry location. Many people set up an area in their basements for this. In my house, we don't have a lot of room to store a lot. However, we have a small closet in the basement that we were able to add some shelves to and use for this purpose. If you don't have a basement, don't despair, there are many places throughout your house you can stash...er, I mean store, food. For example, if you don't have shelves available you can use plastic totes with lids on them. They are easily stackable and you can label them with the type of food inside; i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I've even got short totes of food stashed under my bed!
You may want to start off with buying a few extra food items when you are doing your normal grocery shopping. That way it won't seem like such an overwhelming crunch on the finances. Don't forget to include meats and proteins in your selections. There are quite a few varieties of canned meats available on your grocer's shelves. They may not taste as good as freshly cooked meats, but you will be thankful you have them should you ever have the need to eat them! Did you know you can now buy tuna, ham, spam, and other meats in small bags? I use them for putting into our MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) as they aren't as heavy or big as cans. But that's another topic for another day. But, they would take up less space along with your other stored items.
One thing that will help keep your stored food fresh is to rotate what you have in storage. Keep an eye on the expiration dates and if they are getting near, take them out of storage and use them in your daily meals. Simply replace them the next time you buy groceries. Keeping items with the nearest expiration dates toward the front rows will help you find them without having to dig through everything.
So, find a place to store your food and start stocking up slowly as you do your grocery shopping. It will definitely add up over time. Or, you can go all gung ho and go out and buy tons of food and start out with a bigger supply! Whatever works for you. The important thing is that you start preparing to provide what will be needed to keep your family alive in case of an emergency or disaster. Remember, you don't have to be rich to be a prepper. I'm sure not! Not even close, lol.
Even though food is of primary importance in prepping, water is the very most important item! So, don't forget to pick up a gallon or two of water (or a case of individual bottled water) when you are buying your food to store.
There are food options available other than just cans and boxes of macaroni and cheese (or similar items). I will talk more about those coming up in Part 3 of Prepping 101, Food Storage: long term. In the mean time, have a nice day and God bless!