An Emergency Food Supply Is Essential For Survival

Regardless of where you live, in a city or a rural area, there may come a time when a disaster or emergency will upset conditions so much that it could be difficult to obtain food

How Much Food Will You Need?

Most government agencies recommend that you have at least a three-day supply of food in the house.

Rescue and cleanup begin quickly after a disaster, and it is relatively uncommon for the crisis to continue for an extended period. However, a glance at the debacle in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami damage in Japan, and even the recent hurricane in Vermont tells us that the more emergency food we have on hand, the better. If possible, try to gather a one year's supply of food for your family.

Some companies prepare freeze-dried or dehydrated food that will provide nutritiously, tasty meals specifically for times of emergency. While these stores are somewhat expensive, they will give you your food supply quickly. You can also accumulate an emergency food supply over time by buying a few extra items every time you go to the grocery or ordering smaller food kits online. It will take a bit longer to assemble your supplies, but in time, you will have a well-stocked pantry.

Bear in mind that foods from the grocery store will not have as long a shelf life as foods prepared specifically as emergency rations. The latter often have a useful period of up to 25 years, while food from the grocery will only retain its maximum nutrition for 2 or 3 years.

Storing Your Emergency Food Supply

Not only is it needful to assemble an adequate emergency food supply, but you must also store it properly. The biggest criteria for keeping your emergency foods in top condition are to keep them cold and dry.

Food that has a shelf life of 25 years will easily last that length of time if kept at 55 F. However, if the food is stored in a place where the temperature is 90, the food will be good for only two years. The best place to store emergency food would be either in a basement or a root cellar, where temperatures are relatively low and stable. Fluctuating temperatures are likewise ruinous for stored food.

If rodents are a problem, make sure to store the food in metal containers - new, galvanized garbage cans with lids will do, or you can buy metal food-grade storage buckets.

Button Your Lips

An emergency food supply will only do you any good if you have the opportunity to use it when you need it. When you are assembling your supply and after it has been tucked away, say nothing to anyone about it. Children should likewise be instructed not to mention the amount, either.

Even the most civilized and friendly neighbor can become desperate during an emergency, and generally when people need food, they will do anything they can to get it.