Emergency food storage is a must-have in long-term survival situations: freeze-dried or served from tins, a meal, especially with substantial shelf life, will fuel any survivalist. Vegetarian people can also find survival food appropriate for them. However, a severe threat may cause even them to eat meat to survive. This article will tell you all about survival food storage and the items every survivalist must have in the meal kit.
Start Your Emergency Food Storage System With The Help Of Long-Term Emergency Food Supplies
At first glance, survival food storage seems pretty easy: get yourself a cooler bag or a big chest freezer and stuff it with your provisions, from meatloaves and slices of cheese to veggies and other frozen meals. Do you think you are set now?
Well, no such luck…
Unless you’ve contributed to a very complex backup power network to take with, your freezer is not much worthier than an ordinary cardboard box. Because one should keep in mind that any fridge food’s shelf life is on the final countdown once the power is out.
Emergency Food Supply Deserves a Better Solution
That is the reason why today we invite you to discuss the following emergency food stockpile issues:
- Why You Should Never Lean Only On Your Freezer
- Best Ways To Start
- How To Use Food As A Bargaining Tool
- Basic Emergency Food Storage Tips And Hacks
- “Do It Yourself,” “Done For You” Concepts Or Both?
- Saving Money On Emergency Foods
- What You Should Buy
- How To Maintain Your Food Supply
- and much more.
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Why You Should Never Lean Only On Your Food Freezer
To give you an example, I’ve got an extra-large chest freezer in my basement, and I always keep it full of various delicious and nutritious meals and products. Sooner or later, those food supplies will end up at my dinner table. But many people just don’t.
Large chest freezers are a must convenience for a modern family, as it only takes minutes and almost no skills to thaw, cook, and enjoy any foods you store there. So, additional dishes, fish and meats, cheeses, desserts, and whatever may calmly wait for nig company visits and holiday family dinners.
As you can see, there are dozens of advantages in owning and using a big freezer though survival food storage is a totally different story.
Are there, in fact, any natural or human-caused disaster that may guarantee a trustworthy supply of grid power?
- Terrorist Nuclear Attacks? Not for sure.
- Natural disasters? Definitely not!
- EMP Attack? I doubt that.
- Civil Unrest and Riots? Not really.
Thus, the first freezer’s feature that serves as a disadvantage in an emergency is its grid-dependence.
When The Grid Goes Down, Your Fridge Simply Stops Freezing.
The case when you keep the freezer in your garage or barn, and it’s below 30 degrees outside, does not count for the foreseeable future. Even if you have an emergency solar generator at your disposal and may switch it on and off whenever you want, letting your food storage last for weeks, and what happens if the electricity is cut right in the middle of a heatwave?
Luck should never be on top of survivalists’ basic vocabulary. Not only in a movielike survival scenario but in any long-term cut-off, you’re simply going to lose all the frozen food storage for nothing.
In that case, the bread will usually last for a bit more than a week, cheeses won’t spoil overnight, but the meats and much other frozen stuff … will go off just within days. Even if you’ve got a big and hungry family with ten kids, there are few chances to cook and eat all of the meat supplies before they get spoiled.
Besides, the problem of common survival indecisiveness comes into play.
Once it has happened, any survivalist is stuck with questions like, will they turn on grid power within a few days? Then it’s best to keep the fridge closed and try to prevent as much cold air from escaping as possible. What if it is a weeks/months-long sort of a power grid failure scenario? Then the only solution is cooking and consuming as much of your meat supplies as possible right now.
Rotten meat will be another problem to face, as it is already stored unwisely and only going to get rancid more through days. It will attract unwanted attention from your neighbors, rodents, or even wild animals.
If we finally convinced you that even a huge stocked freezer is not a reliable emergency long-term food storage option, let’s switch to the next point.
How about your local grocery store in case of a sudden survival situation? You evidently cannot rely on the grocery store for your emergency food stockpile because, in a real emergency, it will surely empty in hours and will unlikely be restocked soon, not to mention the worst-case survival scenario.
We are not trying to assure you that if you still do not have food survival storage, it seems too late to start — as many of our compatriots, in our kitchen, we only have the amount of food lasting for some days at best… but we are up to some emergency food supplies hacks and principles.
Below is a summary of some of the striking findings from our 2012 poll of U.S. adults:
- 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
- 48 percent lack emergency supplies
- 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water’ at home
- 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
- 52 percent have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
- 42 percent do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
- 21 percent don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
- 37 percent do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
- 52 percent do not have copies of health insurance documents
October 26, 2012, Adelphi University CHI Poll: Emergency Preparedness in the United States
As the recent data shows, more than half of Americans do not have a nonperishable food and water supply lasting for at least three days — see the picture to find out more.
Basic Survival Food Storage Tips And Hacks
For everyone feeling it’s time to begin setting an emergency food supply, there are some primary rules, hacks, and tips to start with and always keep in mind:
- Products should not be perishable. Among them are freeze-dried meals, canned goods, dried foods in bulk, or dried meat products like pemmican. Not only may they last for months and years, if kept and sealed right, providing you with the necessary food supplies even for the worst-case situations, but they may offer quite a few various cooking options, as well. For this reason, if you are heading for a super-market this week, consider taking some of those products into your shopping cart — just in case.
- Think of buying and keeping processed food beforehand. Nutritionists generally say it is not very healthy, but it lasts longer than organic products outweigh any potential drawbacks. In a survival scenario, choosing between starvation (which almost always equals death) and processed foods will not probably be long and controversial. Bothering about enhancing health is wiser only when the crisis ends; bothering about surviving is the most reasonable thing to do when the crisis is the new normal.
- Seek and fit out a cool and dry place for your emergency food supplies. A dry basement would be good enough, though not the perfect one. Still, keep in mind that there will be no point in emergency food storage if you do not keep it dry, cool, and away from the vermin and harmful bacteria.
- Work out and note the daily amount of calories every family member needs. Then calculate the proper amount of food you need to satisfy your survival food needs (tip: when in a survival mode, the necessary amount of calories required to keep going is average twice bigger than when casually sitting in front of your PC reading an article like this).
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Another basic principle not to ignore is to include some variety in your menu and not forget about some comfort. If you think that variety and comfort are worthwhile and beneficial when choosing a restaurant on Friday evening, you are probably wrong: in a survival situation, variety will be more essential than one may think.
Imagine a long-term emergency: your relatives, kids, and everyone around is feeling low, frustrated, terrified, and unsure of the future; in this case, eating the same elementary things day by day would only aggravate this overall mental state.
On the contrary, including more products and tastes into the daily survivalists’ meals and having them in your emergency food supplies will cheer everyone up a bit, providing more or less proper nutrition with the minimum required variety of micro and macroelements and minerals – and that is a thing of utmost importance in a disaster mode. Convenience is crucial as well when adapting to the new norms dictated by such mode. So, if you have stored enough ready-made and easy to cook food in advance, you are among the best-prepared ones.
Canned foods, such as tuna, salmon, herring, meats, or beans, are highly suitable for that as you can simply open the can and eat it with no preparation required (so does a six-year-old kid, and this is a huge asset whatever the survival situation).
Best Ways To Start Building Your Emergency Food Supplies
Setting and fitting out an emergency food stockpile may be a challenging process, especially for those who live in a small house or an apartment — in that case, the first step would be figuring out the unique food storage ideas. If you are not among the lucky owners of a basement, a balcony, or a free room, at least try to seek some closet or unused cabinet space where you can potentially store emergency food. The alternative option is to seek and clean out the existing storage spaces, pantries, closets, etc. When getting rid of things, remember the golden storage rule that says: the items you do not use for a year or more are usually the items you do not need at all.
Once you are done with that, you will probably be surprised how much space you actually own to keep extra products and emergency food supplies. You do not need an extra bunker for that — it is mostly a matter of organizing, planning, and reasonably counting the space. Slowly but surely, we kindly advise you to start wiping free space for your just-in-case food storage now.
Parallel to this, it is wise to figure out and take down the minimum amount of nutritional needs required for each person, including daily calorie “dose” (calories per kilogram, including such factors, as age, gender, height, health, activity, and so on) and food preferences, combined with products indispensable for survival. Make sure to take down any specific alimentary or disease-related requirements for your close ones.
These points are crucial to keeping in mind, so we kindly advise you to take notes.
Create a file with all of this information (a physical copy is better here than a digital one) and store it with your food supplies. It is essential to understand exactly what each family member requires each day to survive and keep going, whether there are any special dietary needs, what are the products one is allergic to or simply does not like at all — believe us, it’s worth it when you begin organizing your emergency food stock.
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“Do It Yourself,” “Done For You” Concepts or Both?
If you plan to organize your emergency food stockpile yourself, you should take time to make up a three-day supply at your start. This will make you capable of coming through most short-term problems like a cut-off due to a storm or some failure of a power system, and it will make it easier for your close ones to cope with the situation.
A three day supply is considered optimal for a newbie prepper. When you feel you have already mastered it, focus on a bigger mission of building up longer-term food storage, for example, a one-month long. One-month food storage will be sufficient for almost 99% of emergency cases, starting from taking refuge in the bunkers caused by a natural disaster to intentional terroristic attacks on the power grid.
After that, if you still do not feel fully tranquil and prepared, you may proceed to organize a one-year supply in several months or a year. Otherwise, you may want to acquire a consistent amount of freeze-dried foods or bulk specialty sealed foods from a survival food storage that is a much simpler method.
We personally recommend trying Valley Food Storage that offers lots of product storage options at varying prices. It would be a nice survival food company for any emergency storage, a wilderness picnic, during a short-term cut-off, long trekking, camping adventure, and much more.
Valley Food Storage simply lets you:
- get prepared sooner
- stay calm and easy
- not to worry about the quality of packaging and keeping your emergency food
- enjoy the variety of tastes and keep the food well-preserved for a very long time
A combination of two options – both DIY and Done For You seems to be an optimal solution, and we recommend including a Valley Food Storage in your monthly budget plan today. Hence you will always be ready to take an initial order of survival meals with you, and then you can stop at this point or continue arranging longer-term emergency supplies sometime after.
How to choose what to buy from Vally Food? — Here is the VIDEO of Valley Food Storage Walkthrough where you can see me choosing the necessary items to purchase from Valley Food Storage to fulfill my survival food storage. Besides, Valley Food Storage provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee to its series of products, so one can always rely on the brand’s quality or simply ask for the money back.
Still, as an all secure variant, we recommend targeting at least a one-year emergency food storage, which will be necessary for a total disaster. You could undoubtedly use your emergency food storage as a survival and bargaining tool in the event of an economic collapse. Besides, the one-year survival food kit is the ultimate lifeline if the war outbreaks on its own soil. Sooner or later, you will be able to use it to bargain with others in need of food supply.
We will tell you about bargaining later, though…
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Saving Money on Survival Food
As costs may be a serious concern, you could consequently plan to do it over time.
As the prices, including those for alimentation, increase day by day, you should figure out the emergency food supply as a long-term project and shop mindfully. Since hidden food inflation is not under explicit and strict control on the market, try buying at least some extra cans of fish, meat, or fruit each time you go shopping. After a few months, that will gradually shape a substantial emergency food stockpile.
Another tip: keep a page from the coupons-book, check them in newspapers, in stores, or browse them online. The “Coupon Fans” generally save a solid amount of their budget (from hundreds to thousands of dollars) at the supermarket by simply buying in bulk.
Keeping notes of the stores’ special sale dates or double coupon offers could be a beneficial hack for those on a tight budget. Instead of being wasted on spontaneous “hungry” purchases, your budget could be saved for more reasonable and long-term investments. Mind that dollar stores and pharmacies may sell products at reduced prices, too.
Consequently, one doesn’t need to empty your bank account to set an emergency food stock. It can be easily accomplished by applying the “a can per day” principle.
What Sorts Of Survival Food Should I Buy?
As for now, we have mentioned the budget and space-related issues. Let’s switch to the sorts of products and meals we need to actually buy. Now it’s time to keep an eye on your family and check out what meals they generally consume on weekdays on a routine basis.
Generally, starter kits should include long-lasting products, freeze-dried food, and meals that do not require cooking. Again, if any emergency outbreaks, finding non-perishable products close to the family’s daily menu is a very stabilizing factor that makes this transition less stressful. Firstly, get these longer-term emergency staples beforehand: these will prolong your survival, even if your ration is boring or even Spartan.
Secondly, other valuable products to add to your shopping cart are those with high energy value — peanut butter, dried fruit, mixed nuts and nut bars, trail mix, saltine crackers, and some others. SPAM deserves to be mentioned among the best meat solutions – this market’s long-player has helped many people survive through the Great Depression and World War II. We also recommend you to consider buying good-quality food buckets (for example, Legacy Premium Breakfast Bucket or Mountain House Adventure Meal), which usually contain over two hundred servings in reliable, long-lasting packages. Some brands boast an impressive variety of survival food items and make their products right in-house (Wise Food is located in a Salt Lake City facility).
Are you one of the fancy gourmets in your daily life? – then, a beef stroganoff (in its survival version, of course) and noodles will go since Mountain House already provides the connoisseurs like you with long-lasting yet delicious meals.
Moreover, the salt usually works as a great preserving factor, allowing these products to last for years, even if they stale a bit or become not as crispy as they used to be. The peanut butter and trail mix are famous for solid amounts of protein and generally high nutritional value, given that meat will be over or be spoilt soon unless you master the art of hunting.
There are many freeze-dried survival food kits worth investing your money in, for instance, Valley Food Storage, Legacy Emergency Food, Mountain House, Augason Farms, or Peak Refuel series, to name just a few.
Keeping Your Emergency Food Supply
The primary tip here is to check out and replace your stored survival meals regularly to avoid exceeding the expiration date. In case it happened, do not throw it in a bin, as canned food is still good long after its labeled expiration date (for instance, one-year shelf life canned tuna may be safely used at least several months after), so you should better keep it for some extra cases. Apart from oats, rice, or sugar, many bucket food items are considered to last up to 25 years (or even more!) if kept properly in a cool, dry, and dark place. Nevertheless, the “first in, first out” food rotation principle will definitely help to arrange your food supplies, be it buckets or tin cans.
Here’s a video explaining this principle in more detail to help you figure out mastering and applying it to emergency food stock rotation.
To optimize your rotation strategy, we offer you buying a can storage rack — it will save you from wasting your money on extra food because you will be efficiently managing your stockpiled foods depending on its shelf life, necessity, best before the date so on. To put it shorter, such a rack will help you not forget about some ancient out-of-date cans on the bottom of your stock basement.
There are surely more additional methods of keeping products for years ahead. Still, your starting point is becoming a reasonable customer and a wise planner, to count the family’s calorie need per day and fill in the food kits gradually and systematically when going to the grocery stores.
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How To Use Food As A Bargaining Tool
As mentioned above, bargaining has always been the inherent feature of any disaster throughout human history. Usually, when a massive disaster happens, many people (all of them having nothing to lose) divide into two types: the first turn to thieving and violence to strive for survival. The second (a much less amount) starts bargaining for goods and good. When society is no more than an abstract concept, wealth and status do not matter anymore; surviving and meals do, though, having consistent food stocks gives you not only an extra bargaining tool but a massive extra chance of survival. Thus, you can trade food in exchange for safety, other goods, or even the necessary information.
Even if you do not have a bunker full of food stocks and your emergency supplies fit in backpackers’ pantry, It may still be the saving tool, and it is of vital force that you care about such storage backpacks in advance. When you come across other people, trading meals for any other supplies may last you longer or even save you as it will be the only recognized currency of value in case of disaster outbreaks.
Although the things we discussed today are just the primary steps in providing your family’s safety and security, owning an emergency food plan is more than a matter of self-reliance. It’s the ultimate increase in your survival chances. When a catastrophe strikes, it is evident that this will be a “no-excuses” situation: everyone will be caring for themselves, and no one will be able to rely on the government. And what is a tragedy for a certain person may become just another statistic to be mentioned by the government or regretted by fellow survivors.
Regard bugging out safe and sound as your ultimate mission.
Keep in mind: to Prepare is already half a survival deal. To Adapt and Overcome is another one.
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How much emergency food supplies to purchase?
To start with, purchase at least a three-day food supply per person, the exact nutritional value depending on the age, gender, weight, and other specific requirements. The more advanced level would be stocking a one-month (and further — a year-long) food supply.
How to store your emergency supply?
What to look for in a survival food company?
Seek reasonable prices, 100% satisfaction/money-back guarantee, good-quality packaging and long shelf life, personally convenient (and free, if possible) shipping options for big orders; check out the coupon policies, current offers, and other bargains on the company’s website or use the company’s customer service directly. In plus, it is always useful to read consumers’ reviews anywhere on the Internet.
What About MREs?
Although MRE (Ready-to-Eat meal) is considered a perfect solution for short-term storage for disaster and emergency scenarios (as you can go without a stove or fire to boil water and do not have to take a can opener), such meals still have their drawbacks in terms of nutritional value: MREs don’t taste that good, contain an insufficient amount of fiber, but enormous amounts of fat (in case you do not know, they served for soldiers requiring instant energy on the battlefields during wars), too much salt, and in plus a lot of water to maintain proper digestion.