Our ever-changing world is becoming a more and more hostile climate for growing plants and feeding animals for food. Between natural disasters and food shortages, the possibilities for starvation or dehydration within the next 50-to-100 years are imminent, though one thing remains certain: food storage will save your life. Those who have prepped for a while know that, although it’s wise to be ready for a monetary collapse or the breakdown of civilization, the likeliest use of their preparations will happen during ordinary “bad times.” Natural or manmade catastrophes and economic difficulties are the times when you’re going to dig into your stockpiles—and find out how prepared you actually are.
Hurricane Katrina and even Hurricane Sandy taught us the importance of having not only a few staples—but an arsenal of non-perishable emergency food and water saved up in our homes. Canned goods, water and boxed items saved the lives of people who trapped in their homes or apartments for up to a few weeks.
Though tornadoes tend to strike mostly in the Mid-West, they are popping up more and more in other regions of the country too. A stock of food and water will save lives in those minutes or hours waiting out a tornado.
The country has been rocked by some pretty crazy weather over the past few years, blizzards and earthquakes have become a problem. People can be stuck for days or weeks at a time, without electricity or food and water, depending on their proximity to the nearest store. People in rural areas should stock non-perishables in their cellars and cool, dry places. Even in cities, people can go days without power, so residents should make sure they have enough food on hand to survive until the stores open again.
Astrological events, like solar flares, could keep citizens in their homes for up to days or weeks at a time. Nuclear wars would also force people to retreat to basements or sealed bunkers for weeks or months at a time. An electromagnetic pulse could bring down entire city electricity grids or set off nuclear weapons that would render areas unsafe to live in for weeks, months or years. Having enough food and clean drinking water would mean the difference between life or death for your family.
The Ebola outbreak in Africa has worried not just Americans—doctors who were treating Ebola patients returned to home countries all over the world, only to find they had symptoms of the disease. Since the disease is spread by contact to bodily fluids, it can be caught in the blink of an eye. In the case of a major disease pandemic, having a stockpile of food in a shelter would save lives.
Possible economic collapse could drive up food prices and make even the most mundane items nearly impossible to purchase. Water, canned goods and non-perishables like crackers, trail mix and cookies will extend a person’s lifespan exponentially during a crisis like this.
Civil war is also another possibility to keep people from getting access to food. A civil uprising or riots could create a dangerous climate outside the home. Citizens with a shelter or other structure to keep out angry rioters or soldiers will need plenty of food to stay alive while waiting out the violence.
With meat sources dwindling and genetically modified foods destroying our strains of plants, food storage is more important than ever. A food storage seems imminent within the next 50 years, and families who have a solid storage of food have a likelier chance of surviving a food shortage in the near future.
Keeping a stock of food to last for a few years will greatly enhance the possibility that you and your family members would survive a natural disaster, food shortage or civil war. Citizens should aggressively build up an arsenal of canned and boxed goods; clean, filtered water and enough vitamins to survive anything mother earth—or our fellow man—throws at us.
A Real Food Plan
Immediate – The power has been out for several hours. Not just for you, the power is out for several miles in every direction. You do not want to open your refrigerator or freezer. Your food in the refrigerator will only last around 4 hours with the power out as long as nobody is opening it up. Food in your full freezer can last up to 48 hours if it remains closed. Replacing this food can be an unnecessary expense.
After a couple hours, you will want to hook up a generator to your refrigerator if you have one. If your refrigerator is running you will be able to open and close your refrigerator as normal. If you do not have a generator, you may need to cook a lot of your food or something because you might not have much time before the temperatures start to rise in your refrigerator and freezer. This is not ideal, but at least you can salvage some of your food. You can also put some food in coolers if you can get some ice from somewhere.
So what do you eat? Think of food that does not require electricity. If you have a gas burner, or a camping stove, you can cook some of your canned foods that require cooking. You can also eat granola bars, fruits and vegetables that are not in the refrigerator, or pull out those MREs that you have had laying around. It might also be a good idea to have some boxed dinners in your pantry that do not require anything refrigerated that you can cook. For breakfast, maybe some just add water pancake mix.
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Short Term – After the first day, you will be needing to make sure that you can get some gas for your generator. This might be difficult since gas stations use electricity to pump the gas as well as to charge you for the fuel. If you can’t find a gas station you are going to need to start using the food in your refrigerator and freezer before your generator runs out of gas.
Hopefully you have stored food before now. Three weeks would be an absolute minimum of food in your storage. If the power is out longer than three weeks and that is all you have stored, you will be in big trouble. Six months to a year or more of food storage is much safer in my opinion. You can’t go wrong having too much canned and boxed foods in your pantry as long as you cycle through them. Consider writing expiration dates on them so you can quickly see what needs to be used. This will help to keep you from being stuck with a lot of expired foods.
If the power is out, most grocery stores will be closed. They will not have a way to charge you for your food, monitor their inventory, or even keep their lights on. Their food will be spoiling as well. Stores just do not have a plan for long term power failures. Eventually they will be forced to sell their food without power, but until then, you may have trouble finding food if the power is out.
Long Term – If the power has been out for over a month, it is a good chance it will be out for a long while. Your food stores can only last so long and you cannot count on getting your food resupplied as readily as before. Even your freeze dried food that is expected to last 25 years is only going to help you if you have enough to feed you and your family.
Something you can do now to be ready for this is to grow a garden. If you have food growing, you will have plenty of food when the crop is ready. Also consider investing in canning supplies. If you can your food, as it grows, it can be good for another couple years. I guarantee that the quality of the food you grow is much better than anything you can buy already canned.
You can also raise a few animals and learn how to get milk, eggs, and meat from them. Some communities allow for some chickens, rabbits, and other animals in your backyard. Find out what the local ordinances are for your area.
Do what you can to make sure that you have plenty to eat in any kind of a catastrophic situation. They happen all the time. There is just a matter of time before they happen to you. Store food and stay fed.