NOTE: This is by no means a complete food survival guide, it is only meant to give you a starting point, to give you options you might want to explore or research on your own.
While we believe nothing will ever happen such as a major break down of society it never hurts to be prepared, even just to survive a natural disaster or storm in comfort. It also helps to have a secure feeling that things will be alright, it’s much easier to sleep at night.
According to statistics, most families have a very limited supply of food on hand, on average a supply of only 3 days. Another thing to think about is that if your electricity is out for an extended period of time, you have will have no refrigeration and freezers only stay cold for approximately 48 hours. With that being said, it’s important to think about foods that can be stored without refrigeration.
It goes without saying that no matter how good your shelter is, if you do not have food, you will not survive for long. There are many opinions as to how much food one should store or stock, from 30 days to years. Most expert suggest that family should store a minimum of a 30 day supply of food and water. The idea is a 30 day supply is the determined amount to survive most any situation.
It’s important to remember, that if a major event happens, places like grocery stores will be cleaned out quickly, experts say within 3 days at most. If trucks can not drive the roads, or do not have the gas, there will be no food supplies coming in.
Canned goods have a long shelf life, usually a year or more, the same goes for boxed foods, such as mac and cheese. Even if you simply purchased a couple extra items each time you shop, to put in storage, in a short time you could have a healthy emergency food supply, if the need ever arises.
If you do any canning, such as canning your yearly garden bounty, you likely already have a good supply of preparedness food in your home. This food storage type is perfect for prepper’s because of it’s long shelf life. It can also be a healthier solution because there are no chemicals in it, you know what your eating.
Many people do not realize that home canning is not limited to only vegetables. Done properly, you can put up foods containing meat, such as beef and chicken. Other items that can be canned are mushrooms. While these items are not traditional food types when we think of home canning, it can be done.
Make sure to consult proper canning procedures before canning foods such as meats.
As I’ve already mentioned, there may come a day when you can not go to the grocery store, so you may have to grow your own food. Preparedness seeds are packages, usually in a plastic bucket that contain a variety of seeds in one container, like a garden or a harvest in a bucket.
Two dry food types that should be a staple of any preparation plan are rices and beans. You could survive well and for a long time on just these two foods. Also the fact that they do not “expire” for a long time. Make sure to keep these goods in plastic containers so they stay dry and to keep rodents out.
Flour is another dry staple that should be a part of any emergency food supply storage. It is also a item that could be used to create other food items, such as breads or muffins. Again, keep these items in air-tight containers.
Most food items have a limited shelf life so it’s important to rotate your supplies. As you bring in fresh items, place them at the back of your storage and bring the older items to the front and consume before they spoil or are past their expiration date.
There are food supplies that are designed to have shelf lives of 10 to 20 years and more. Items such as freezed dried and MRE (Meals Read To Eat), can be purchased to build a long term supply of food. While they may not be all that tasty, they are a food. One advantage these packages also have is that often come as complete meals, entree, side and even dessert. These also usually come in bucket so they are easy to store or stack and they are sealed well. They are more than just food, they are ready-to-go meals.
On Going Food Supplies
With a fishing pole and basic fishing equipment, you can provide for yourself or your family practically forever. Most people live close enough to bodies of water that could supply an almost never ending supply of fish.
While they can be messy and noisy, raising chickens can be a great source of ongoing food to provide for your family, and they are quite easy to care for. Of course the most important food chickens can provide you are eggs, which are high in protein and an be used in many ways.
Besides eggs and meat, chickens are also quick to reproduce, adding to your future food supply. Let hen’s sit on some of your eggs and you could have baby chicks before you know it. New stock is also helpful because hens do stop laying after a certain age.
Although not every one agree’s with it, rabbits are another easy “food” to raise, normally referred to as meat rabbits. They are simple to raise in cages and mature within 8 weeks, it can be quick food. Rabbits are also a very lean and healthy meat.
Even though it seems like a joke, rabbits are very quick to multiply. We’ve had doe’s who have 10 offspring at a time. If need be, the fur could also be used for clothing, or blankets to keep warm.
Along with food humans need water to survive. The common prepper’s choice are bottled water packs, such as 24 packs you find in the store. They are easy to store, stack, they are sealed and do not “go bad”, they are also low cost items. Large water barrels are also available to store larger amounts of water, such as 55-gallon barrels.
On the subject of water, it can be useful to have rain barrels that catch rain water. It would not be something you would want to drink, but it could be used to flush toilets or water a garden and if you did need to drink it you could always boil it first.
Even though things may be fine now, some day, you may need to take care of yourself, so it doesn’t hurt to prepare ahead, rather than wishing you had. A side benefit of preparing is you also build self-reliance and accomplishment in yourself, which can feel empowering.
There was a time not long ago that families had to grow or raise or grow their own food, sadly, we’ve moved away from that ideal and have come to rely to heavily on some one else taking care of our food, which puts us in a very vulnerable position. You can take care of yourself and your family if you want to.