In a world full of uncertainties, emergencies, and disasters can strike at any time. As a prepper, you need to be prepared with the best emergency survival food that is not only easy to store but also has a long shelf life. In this guide, we will discuss various types of survival food storage options, meals, chemicals, and tips on building your emergency food supply.
Types of Emergency Survival Food
There are several types of emergency survival food available in the market, each with their own unique benefits. Let's take a look at some of them:
- Freeze-dried survival food: Freeze-dried foods have a long shelf-life, as they are dehydrated and stored in an airtight container. They retain most of their nutritional content and can be easily rehydrated by adding water.
- Canned goods: Cans can last for years and they don't require any refrigeration or cooking. However, they may be heavy to carry and bulky for storage purposes.
- MREs (Meals Ready to Eat): MREs are self-contained and ready-to-eat meals that were originally designed for military personnel. They come with a heater to warm up the food, which makes them convenient for situations where cooking facilities are unavailable.
- Dry goods: Dry goods like rice, beans, pasta, and flour can last for years when stored properly. They are budget-friendly and versatile, but they require proper cooking before consumption.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Survival Food
Selecting the right type of survival food not only depends on your personal preferences but also various factors that can affect its shelf life and usability in emergency situations. Some important factors to consider are:
- Shelf life: Opt for foods with a longer shelf life to ensure that they remain safe to eat during emergencies.
- Nutritional content: Choose foods high in vitamins, minerals, calories, and protein to provide you with the necessary energy and sustenance in a crisis situation.
- Storage conditions: Consider the storage space, temperature, and humidity levels when selecting your emergency food supply.
- Ease of preparation: In an emergency, you may not have access to electricity or gas for cooking. Foods that require minimal preparation or no cooking at all are ideal choices.
- Portability: If you need to evacuate, you should choose lightweight and compact foods that are easy to transport.
- Taste and variety: Eating the same type of food every day can lead to appetite fatigue. Selecting a wide variety of foods with different flavors will help you maintain a balanced diet while keeping your morale up.
Building Your Emergency Food Supply
Now that you know the types of survival food and the factors to consider when choosing them, it's time to start building your emergency food supply. Here are some tips to get started:
Create a Food Storage Plan
Begin by assessing your family's dietary needs, preferences, and any allergies or medical conditions. Calculate the number of calories and nutrients needed per person per day and use this information to create a personalized food storage plan. Include a mix of freeze-dried survival food, canned goods, MREs, and dry goods to ensure variety and better nutrition.
Start with a Two-Week Supply
While building your emergency food supply, it is advisable to start with a two-week stockpile and then gradually increase it to last for several months or even years. Having a smaller initial goal will help you stay motivated and committed to fulfilling your long-term preparedness plan.
Store Water as Well
In addition to food, storing water is crucial for emergency situations. Without clean drinking water, even the best emergency survival food will be of little use. Aim to store at least one gallon of water per person per day, with a minimum of a two-week supply.
Rotate Your Stock
Regularly inspect your survival food storage to check for any expired items and replace them with fresh ones. Develop a system to rotate your stock to ensure that you consume older items first to avoid wastage due to spoilage.
Maintaining Food Safety during Emergencies
During an emergency, ensuring the safety of your stored food is essential to prevent illnesses caused by spoiled or contaminated food. Keep these tips in mind:
- Store food in a cool, dry place: High temperatures can shorten the shelf life of your food, while moisture can promote mold growth. Find a suitable location that maintains a consistent temperature and is free from moisture.
- Use proper containers: Store your food in airtight containers to protect them from air, moisture, and pests.
- Avoid cross-contamination: When handling food, always wash your hands and use clean utensils to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Practice food safety when cooking: If you have access to cooking facilities during an emergency, follow basic food safety guidelines like washing hands and surfaces, cooking food at the right temperature, and refrigerating leftovers promptly.
In conclusion, a well-stocked emergency survival food supply is an essential part of any prepper's preparedness plan. Choose the right types of food storage options based on your family's needs, and maintain proper storage conditions to ensure their quality and safety in times of crisis. Stay vigilant, stay prepared, and stay safe.