Check your cabinets. How much food is there? And, out of the items, how many require minimal preparation? The average individual has less than a week’s worth of food inside his or her home. If a disaster were to hit, he or she would be unprepared for weeks without electricity and running water. To be ready such a scenario, having an emergency-preparedness plan, one that touches on food and water sources, is crucial for survival.
During times of emergency, ability to function off the grid is a given. For food, this means having a year’s supply of basics available in your home: items that won’t perish and need minimal preparation, with the exception of a bit of water and heat. Food storage typically begins with grains, beans, powdered milk, salt, sugar, and seeds, but because these items, regardless of quantity, allow for little variety, including an emergency food kit is a must.
Mountain House, Wise Foods, and Lindon Farms are popular brands of food kits, and although each uses a different packaging approach through cans or pouches in buckets, all contain essentially the same product: freeze dried foods that, once hydrated, allow you to incorporate fruits, vegetables, other sources of protein, and dairy into your diet. Offering up to a year’s amount for an individual, a food kit can last 25 years or more and allows you to subsist on roughly 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day.
Yet, food storage can’t be just anywhere. After all, you want your supply to last those 25 years. Because freeze-dried foods are affected by light and moisture, choose a place in your home that is dark, dry, and cool (consistently between 50°F to 60°F). Crawlspaces, closets, and dry basements have ideal conditions. Keep in mind, however, that chemicals leach out from plastics and cleaning supplies, so such items must not be stored in the same room as your emergency foods.
Opting for a kit with #10 cans? Already have a storage option for leftovers before the disaster hits. Rather than cook a full can or waste the remaining emergency food, equip yourself with airtight storage container, a freezer, or a commercial re-sealer.