Today, I decided I need to address emergency food storage because I know many people are not prepared for the unexpected. Here’s the deal, if you have watched the news or saw pictures on social media, you can see that NO ONE is going to help you right away after a disaster. I was pleased to see people helping people into boats, carrying animals through flooded water, what a blessing that was to see. But, let’s be real here, if you are not evacuated and you have not lost your home, what do you have in your house right this minute that you could feed your family? Water is critical as well. I heard from a young woman the other day that she didn’t know where to start with emergency food storage, how much water to store, or anything else, for that matter. I get it. I grew up with a single mom who taught me to cook from scratch and make bread just to save money. She always had a full pantry, or at least at the time I thought it was a full pantry.
I’m going to share a few basics with you today because I don’t want any of you to have to stand in line at grocery stores only to find the shelves are empty after an unforeseen emergency. Plus, I don’t want you to have to pay $20.00 for a case of water. I want you to store water and some emergency food storage, so you don’t have to leave your home for a week or two if it’s a major disaster. I would love it if you are prepared for a month, three months, or more. I’m not saying get it all at once, just can a week or a case of water per week, whatever your budget can spare.
If you think the government will deliver food and water, forget that. I heard complaints about major rescue groups after many disasters. I have also heard wonderful things done for each other, but not in all areas of the city or counties after the recent hurricanes. This is why we must be self-reliant. I better add one more thing here, keep your gas tanks 3/4 full, I’m begging you. I don’t want you to be in your car waiting in line at the service stations only to find that the gas pumps are empty when you get closer to the front of the line.
Yes, this happened even before the last hurricane, please keep your eye on the gas level in all your cars. It’s easy for me, I only have one car. If you are wondering if I store gasoline at my home, no I do not. Now, this is a very basic list, but it’s very easy to achieve without a lot of money. You don’t have to buy it all at once, but please start and get your neighbors to start stashing a little emergency food storage. Remember, you don’t have to buy #10 cans of every food item. Buy what you can afford.
Emergency Food Storage
Many government agencies say that the water needed is one gallon per person per day. My minimum is 4-gallons per person per day. If you have 5 in the family that is either 5-gallons or 20 gallons per day. If water is contaminated don’t count on that water heater, just think about all the water that’s been contaminated over just this last year in several states.
You need water for this, but I would also add some hot chocolate mix, who doesn’t love hot chocolate, right? It’s great for cereal and making mac and cheese.
Thanks to Rita for reminding to add lemonade and Kool-aid packets. Yes, it needs sugar, but who doesn’t love a glass of lemonade, right? I need to look at my Kool-Aid stash. I love hearing from readers! Thanks to Diane, she reminded me to get sugar-free drink powders and tea bags. They are great hot or cold!!
Buy the pancake mix where you just add water. Stir and make a great breakfast. I love the Krusteuz brand from Costco. I can make it from scratch, but it depends on how many people I will need to be feed after a disaster. Hungry people…..
It’s almost embarrassing when I fill a shopping cart at a local grocery store every six months with large bags overflowing the basket. Do I get weird looks, yep? I just smile and know I won’t be back for six more months.
Cans of Soup/Stew/Ravioli
Here’s the deal, I do not eat cans of food every day, but I need reassurance I can use a can opener if I need to feed those on my street who have not prepared for the unexpected.
Macaroni and Cheese
Who doesn’t love a little mac and cheese? Yes, you can make it without the butter, just use milk.
Cans of Canned Meats
Tuna, chicken, roast beef, etc. I grew up on cans of corned beef and pickle sandwiches. I haven’t had one since I got married.
If you buy the small jars you won’t waste as much if we have zero electricity to keep it cold.
If you have a few boxes of crackers we can pretend we are at Costco serving samples, right? Spread a little meat and mayo on some of those crackers!
Cans of Vegetables
I can eat green beans, corn, and beets right out of the can. Peas, not a good idea for me, too mushy.
Cans of Fruits
Fruits are pretty easy to choose, take the family down the grocery aisles and choose fruit cocktail, Mandarin oranges, peaches, etc.
Cans of Beans
Choose your favorite ones like refried beans, beans you can make a pot of soup with, any kind of bean works for me.
Rice fills the belly and is fairly cheap.
I feel in my heart I have to remind people to spread the word to get people prepared, we must be able to take care of ourselves. The government will not always be there when you need help, there are too many people to help. You can sleep at night even if you just fill a large plastic bucket with items you could grab and take with you if you had to evacuate. Mine would have to have wheels, I overpack, just giving you the heads-up here. Thanks again for being prepared, your family will thank you, I promise. May God bless all of you!