In the United States, most people do not think about needing to keep food on hand. We pick up grocery store items when we need them. Out of stock items annoy us.
Many people across the country have learned that there are instances when having a stash of food is necessary for survival. A supply of stored food may just mean the difference between life and death.
- Natural Disasters – If you have ever been in a region that deals with hurricanes or blizzards, you know what it is like to see the empty shelves at the grocery store. People panic, they want to make sure they have food in the event they cannot get food for several days. Additionally, there are disasters you cannot plan on. For example, earthquakes, tornados, and mudslides. People panic because they have not properly prepared. Taking the time to set aside some non-perishable food, you can stave off the challenges of these natural disasters.
- Evacuation – There are many reasons why you may be evacuated from your home. In a mass evacuation like what happens ahead of major hurricanes, you cannot count on neighboring communities to have enough food and supplies to accommodate the influx of evacuees. Keeping an emergency kit with 72 hours’ worth of food and water is critical during these times.
- Unable To Leave Home – There are times when you may not be able to leave home. You may be sick or snowed in, so you will need to ensure you have enough food on hand to sustain you until you can get out again.
- Drop Or Loss Of Income – While everyone likes to think they are immune from a layoff or a drop in wages, the truth is everyone is at risk. If you do encounter a significant drop or loss of income, it can be scary. It can leave you wondering how you are going to feed your family. Having a supply of food on hand is a great way to help reduce the stress during these very difficult times.
- Interruption To Supply Chain – Natural disasters are not the only thing that can cause an interruption in the supply chain. Global events, worker strikes, transport company bankruptcies, and other challenges can all delay or prevent food from being delivered on time. If there is a disruption to the supply chain, this can cause local and regional panic. Furthermore, this could affect the availability of grocery supplies.
Options for Preparation
There are two primary options for developing your storage of food. Budget, time, and the number of people for whom you need to prepare food will influence which option is best for you.
Option 1: Prepackaged Food Storage – You can easily purchase prepackaged meals, similar to what would take on a camping or hiking trip. You can buy them individually or in a bulk bucket for easy storage. Prepackaged meals can last for up to 10 years, depending on the brand. So there is little need to rotate your inventory or worry about it expiring.
Option 2: DIY Food Storage – You can also buy bulk food, and ration it out in simple recipes. The best foods for this kind of preparation include rice, dry beans, lentils, nuts and granola. You can also buy or make your own dehydrated food like jerky and dried fruit.
To store it, you will want to use a vacuum seal solution, such as foodsaver bags. This ensures your ingredients last longer. Creating smaller bags ensures you can easily grab a few days supply in the event you are evacuated.
No one wants to think about emergencies or the stress that comes along with them. However, taking some time and investing a little money into proper preparedness helps reduce that stress when these events occur.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley