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Monday, April 12, 2010

Preparing emergency food supplies

The food currently stored in your refrigerator and in your pantry has a relatively short shelf-life. This type of food will not keep you going very long in the event of a sustained crisis. To be properly prepared, you need to store food specially formulated for survival situations.

As a minimum you should aim to store enough food to meet the needs of your entire family for a week. Again, as with water, if you can reasonably build up a supply to keep you going over a longer period, then do so.

The cost of preparing a large stock of food is inevitably quite high. Consider buying a little each week and building it up over time.

Start looking for storage space

Finding enough storage space can be a problem especially when you want to stock enough supplies for several people.  Examine each room of your house. Chances are you'll find empty spaces that you had never considered useful but that will be perfect for storing your survival stocks (for example under beds).

The different types of food you should store

Canned Goods

Ready-to-eat soups, meats, vegetables and fruit. Stock a minimum of 3 cans per person per day.

Survival Food Bars

One bar will provide you with more than the normal daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. Survival food bars are very high in protein which will help you cope with stress. A typical bar contains 400 kcal. They have a long storage life (often 5 years) and can be stored without deteriorating even in very cold or very warm environments.

Meals-Ready-To-Eat (MREs)

Meals-Ready-to-Eat are army-style rations, sealed in triple-layered foil or plastic packs. They have a long storage life (usually 5 to 7 years) if stored in a cool environment (storing MREs at normal room temperature will cause the taste and nutritional values to deteriorate).

Meals-Ready-to-Eat don’t require the addition of water (except to the drink base) and they don't need any cooking or preparation.

Camping Pouch Products

Camping pouch products are either freeze dried or dehydrated. They are packaged in an aluminized foil pouch and have a shelf life of about 2 years when stored at room temperature. Many of these products don't require any cooking and only involve adding hot (or cold) water.

Long Shelf-life Food Supplies

This is the type of food you will want to store to prepare for a long term survival situation. This food is either freeze dried or dehydrated, packaged in double-enameled cans and has an expected shelf life of 10 to 15 years.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Keep in mind that dehydrated and freeze dried survival food need the addition of water.

Keep your food up to date. If some products are approaching the end of their shelf-life, then replace them with new ones.

Don’t forget that you'll need a can-opener!

Don’t forget to also store food for your pets!

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