Building an emergency supply of food can be a daunting task for a newbie. Breaking down the job into manageable chunks can help ease the mental burden. There are four major categories that you will want to think about when you start purchasing:
Emergency Car Kit
Start small. Every family should have an emergency supply kit in each of their vehicles. Among your emergency supplies should be food that can keep you, and anyone else in your car, alive for 72 hours. When considering the foods that you might keep in this kit, think about your local climate. Are you going to need foods that need to withstand heat, freezing temperatures, or both? Consider putting your kit in an insulated container, such as a cooler, and storing in a place that will be out of direct sunlight. Your car kit food will need to be rotated every 6 months to avoid expiration.
Emergency Travel Bag
This kit is similar to your car kit, but geared more towards a situation in which you may be walking on foot, as in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency. This kit is one that will need to be stored in a backpack or other bag that can be easily carried. In purchasing food for this kit, remember that you may be carrying it for long distances, so buy food that is as lightweight as possible but that gives you the necessary calories to survive. You will also need water, which is provides a lot of weight as well. Energy food bars and freeze dried foods are great options for this particular food storage kit.
Home Food Storage
The average household keeps less than 2 weeks of food on hand in their homes, some families don’t even have that much. Authorities for natural disasters recommend having a 3-week supply of food stored in your home for everyone that lives there. Building up a supply that would last your family 3 weeks is actually super easy. When you are grocery shopping, pick up a few extras of the things that you normally eat. In no time at all, your family will have more than enough consumable food to last you through any disaster. The key to keeping this supply up is rotating. Be sure to eat the food that has been in your pantry the longest.
Long Term Food Storage
After tackling your short-term home supply, you will actually be well on your way to establishing an long term supply to support your family in the case of longer term crises or economic down turn. In this supply of food, you will want to focus not only on the everyday items that your family normally eats, but also bulk quantities of food that have a long shelf life and will be able to sustain your family long term should the need arise. These items often include grains, dried legumes, sugars, baking ingredients, and other items that you need to prepare meals with your food storage supply.
Take one step at a time, don’t try to do it all in a day. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish over a short period of time when you have emergency preparedness goals in mind.