Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Food Storage - Why and Some of the How

I thought I would chat a little about food storage today, specifically why one might want to store food, secondly how to get started and list a couple of resources to get started with.

First of all there are probably as many reasons to have food storage as there are people living in your city but in reality the only reasons you need are the ones who sit at your table each night. After all it's because we want our families to be safe and comfortable when an unusual event occurs and happens to come our way. We usually can't anticipate when we will need to be more self reliant, we can't always depend on someone else or some government entity to come and save us in our time of need.

For example, everyone talks about Katrina, one of the biggest Hurricanes to hit the United States. This massive hurricane was being watched by the whole world for several days before it even made land fall. Two days before it hit they were predicting how strong the winds would be, where it would hit and for people to prepare for the worst. Even with warnings being shouted from the roof tops we couldn't prepare in time. People were not evacuated efficiently. Shelters where not adequate, food was not to be had and water was everywhere but nary a drop to drink. And worst of all many people refused to leave.

In the wake of a disaster such as this we always feel like we have dodged a bullet but was it enough of a warning to motivate us to action? Apparently not. Literally MILLIONS of people  are no more prepared for trouble than they were before that disaster. Will the gubamint be able to help everyone when the next disaster hits and do you want to depend on them getting the buses to you?

What about the people who suffered in the latest cold snap, the worst winter weather in more than 50 or 60 years. Will anyone be more prepared next year? Will anyone have made a plan for next year to have a little more firewood, will there be water stored in the basement to boil rice or soup with; who knows the pipes might freeze and break.

Well if you feel you would like to be prepared for even a small disaster you might be asking yourself where do I begin and what do I really need. If you can plan for what you really need you can save money by not getting things you don't need. Here are some great places to start your search.

1. The American Red Cross has an emergency preparedness site:

2. The LDS Church has some good tips for shorter term storage as well as for very long term items, methods and locations to purchase.

3. How about a Survival Blog

If you search a little you will find so many resources you won't believe it. You will soon realise there is a giant movement you may have never even heard of.

After browsing some of these you might still feel overwhelmed so lets break it down a little.

Start off with three days of water per person. How much is that? Well don't just think about water to drink, although that is the most critical, you also need to have water to cook with and even clean utensils with. So I would say 1 to 2 gallons per day. Check out what the Red Cross recommends. There are many people who own water filtration devices. I would recommend something that filters bacteria and protozoa like giardia.

Try to have extra cans of beans, stew, soups. Canned fruits are great for their nutritional value and the liquid they contain. There are some great dehydrated soups out there that are actually pretty low cost and a small bag will make a gallon of soup. Once you start to think in this manner you will start to notice items in the store you have never even looked at before.

I've personally used Emergency Essentials for my food storage. I trust them, the prices are very competitive and their service is top notch.

You can either buy or build your own medical kit. Find a kit that can take care of most small cuts and scrapes as well as something that can stop severe bleeding and perhaps a sewing kit for stitching up a deep wound. Additionally, you will need something to sterilize your hands and the wound.

If its summer time and you are putting together some clothing to have on hand don't forget to pack away some warm clothing, extra socks and gloves. Think about something to keep the rain and snow off of you as well.

You can of course go nuts in all of these categories but one of the the most expensive single items will be a good tent. Be careful and consider what you think might be required. Do you think you might need a tent for a week or a month? What about a year? The tent you have in mind might not be able to handle more than a season of use due to the lack of UV resistance.

Cooking and Heating:
If you might need to heat that tent then what will you do, will you have to build fires or will you have hundreds of gallons of propane? There are some awesome but not cheap tents that will support a wood burning stove which can be used for cooking and heating. I would go to some major outdoor stores like Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops.

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