November 21, 2010 - 1:30 ET
In the age of the 24 hour supermarket, food storage may seem like a
crazy concept. But economic forces are converging in such a way that
skyrocketing food prices no longer seem like a possibility, more and
more they appear to be an impending certainty. While Glenn could be
wrong about inflation, thereís no harm in being prepared. Donít be the
person holding up a sign looking for help, be the person with a life
raft. Look at the information on food storage and decide whatís best for
you and your family.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- No refrigeration, plan for emergency assuming no electricity.
- Be nutritious, there may be some more physical activity required (ie. Blizzard requires more shoveling)
- Keep calorie count
- Recommend you start with 2 week supply of food
- Good no-cook food items
- Energy bars / breakfast bars
- Peanut butter
- Tuna packages
- Canned pasta
- Dried fruit / canned fruit
- Dry milk
- Instant coffee
- V-8 juice
- Plan around the way you already eat.
- Build around 3 categories of food
- Grocery store goods: often inexpensive, and itís all familiar stuff. (i.e. mac & cheese)
- Freeze dried foods: lightweight and donít take up much room. more expensive up front, but priced out per serving, itís budget friendly.
- Bulk dry food: rice, beans, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, cornmeal, wheat, dried milk, etc. It will be the backbone of your food storage and last up to 20-30 years.
- Donít stock up on it unless you know you like it.
- Look at ingredients. You donít want something high in sodium or preservatives
- Pay attention to shelf life. Take a look at package, can. Soup doesnít need water and can store this for a few years. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes Ė 1 yr max
- Easiest way to store is by using cleaned out 2 liter soda bottles.
You can easily clean out with hot water, drop of soap. Rinse
thoroughly. That type of plastic is safe for storage.
- Recommend 2 liter soda bottle / per person / per day. For consumption and washing.
- If a situation where water is an issue, be sure to have stash of paper plates & freeze dried meals.
- If you can heat water, then at least you can enjoy a hot meal (i.e. mac & cheese, pasta, soup)
- 5 main enemies to storing food
- Temperature: ideal is 40 degrees - 72 degrees. For every 18 degrees above 72, food will lose itsí nutritional value by half
- Humidity: Store food off the floor and away from outside walls
- Pests: Keep food in air-tight containers clean up food particles on the shelves or floor
- Oxygen: Use oxygen absorbers, rotate food, vacuum packing food to reduce oxidation
- Light: Keep your pantry area dark. If food is in clear containers, keep them in labeled boxes with lids.
- Look for places where can you declutter (I have water bottles stored under my kidsí beds)
- You can store food in bin under a bed, clear out space in closet and designate a shelf.
- I recommend pieces of furniture that can double as storage. (i.e. Bench that opens up with a storage component Ė especially good for small homes)
- Store in a place that you wonít be dipping into constantly.
- Items like toilet paper, can be bulky but it can be stored in
garage, attic, shed, etc. moisture will affect it but temperature
- Non-food items, purposefully 1-2 weeks supply
- Go through entire day and jot down every non-item used. Soap, shampoo, contact solution, etc. buy extras of those.
- Keep easily organized in buckets (i.e. dental, laundry, etc.)
- Give serious consideration to how your family will cope when power is down. Communication, entertainment, What would we do to take care of pets? Keep things cool in the home, etc?
Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation
When it comes to emergencies thereís items that are necessities and thereís items that are luxuries. Generally speaking you want to tackle the necessities first and then add additional items to increase the comfort level of the situation.
Here are 9 essentials you should have during a sheltering in place scenario, (keep in mind that you may be required to shelter in place somewhere besides your own home):
1. Water - Plan on 1 Gallon per person, per day for drinking and sanitation. Our water storage category includes items like Datrex Water Pouches and 5-Gallon Water Containers that can help you with your water needs.
2. Food - A supply of 3-5 days per person. For a lot of people the first couple of days can be supplemented by whatís already in the house. However, to insure that you always have your emergency food supply ready to go I recommend one of our 3-21 Day Food Supplies.
3. Clothes - In your 72-Hour Kit you want to be sure you have an extra pair of clothes and shoes for each person in your group/family.
4. Medications - Itís a good practice to collect 3-5 days worth of any prescription medications that youíre taking. Also be sure to note expiration dates so that you can rotate them appropriately.
5. Flashlight - When it comes to flashlights, donít go cheap. There are good flashlights out their that are very affordable. Hereís some great options: Ultra-Bright 3-LED Dynamo Flashlight, 12-LED StreamLine Flashlight, or the ULTIMATE Dynamo Solar Powered Survival Radio.
6. Can Opener - This is another item that you want to be sure is high quality. Thereís nothing worse than a can opener that wonít open cans.
7. Radio - The ideal option for a radio is one that has multiple options for powering the radio including, batteries, hand-crank, AC/DC, and/or
solar. The ULTIMATE Dynamo Solar Powered Survival Radio is a great option for this.
8. Hygiene Kit - Start with just the basics, soap, toilet paper and a toothbrush is enough to get most people by for 3-5 days.
9. First Aid Kit - Again, from a starting point perspective make sure that your first-aid kit at lest includes, antiseptic, gloves, bandages and your non-prescription medicine such as aspirin or Tylenol.
Put these 9 essential items in place and youíve got a good foundation for a sheltering in place emergency kit!