Emergency Food Storage 101
Here’s a quick ‘basics’ for emergency food storage ‘101’. Usually the first thing a newbie prepper does is to start building food storage.
Building an emergency supply of food storage is one of the easiest things to do because food is readily available (at this time) and you have a wide variety of foods and prices to pick and choose from – based on how much you want to spend.
When choosing what you will add to your food storage, consider that there are several purposes (use-scenarios) where and how it may be used, as follows:
Food Storage for your 72-hour Car Kit
Within your 72-hour emergency kit (kept in your vehicle), a major consideration is to have enough food to survive 72-hours for each person who may likely be in the car at any one time.
Consider foods that are less likely to spoil or melt while kept in a warm vehicle during the summer, while also being similarly conscious of freezing temperatures during the winter. I have found an effective way to somewhat normalize the temperature of your stored food is to keep it in a insulated ‘cooler’, out of the direct sun (on the floor in the back seat covered with a light colored blanket or in the trunk).
Rotate and consume your car kit food every 6 months so as not to waste due to premature spoilage (from shortened shelf life in the heat)
Count the calories of the foods you are considering. Avoid low calorie foods. Focus on calorie-dense foods. Plan on 2,000 calories per day. Personally, for my car kit, I keep a variety of items including canned foods such as beef stew, canned chicken and beef. Don’t forget the can-opener, and remember that you can eat food right out of the can without cooking it. I also keep some MRE’s, peanut butter, Food Bars, and a few other items.
Food Storage for your Bug Out Bag
I consider a ‘bug out bag’ (BOB) to be a kit other than a 72-hour kit kept in the vehicle. It’s a ‘get-out-of-dodge’ bag that might be kept at the ready at home or at work, and may be more tailored towards a scenario of more walking while on your way to your destination.
It’s similar to a 72-hour kit for the car, but dissimilar too. There probably are more ‘things’ in one’s bug out bag, and perhaps designed towards longer survival needs than just 72 hours. But that’s just how I look at it…
Since it is very likely that you will be carrying your bug out bag, the food should be as light weight as reasonably possible while still providing the calories you will need. The water you will be carrying is heavy enough – so don’t add unnecessary weight with heavy canned foods, etc.
For your bug out bag, consider high calorie Food Bars of various varieties. I like them because they provide a good cross section of sugars, protein, and nutrients. And they are light weight. MRE’s. Freeze-Dried foods (will require hydration with water though). The key is to examine the number of calories versus it’s weight, while maintaining some decent nutritional value.
Food Storage for your Home (everyday consumption)
I dare say that most sheeple have only a week (maybe two) of consumable food in their homes – while many other sheeple have far less than that! Unfortunately these sheeple suffer from a condition called ‘normalcy bias’ and they assume that there will always be food available because there always has been food available.
For everyday food storage and for overcoming most ‘typical’ disaster scenarios, having at least 3 weeks of food (for everyone in the household) should be enough. I’m not recommending to ‘only’ have 3 weeks of food – I’m just saying.
The fact that it’s so easy to build up a 3 week food storage, is one good reason to store even more. A 3 month food storage supply is not that difficult to achieve while focusing on the foods that you normally eat.
One thing to remember is to rotate your food storage. Eat the oldest food first. Rotate. I use the method of ‘take from the right’, and ‘take from the front’ as described towards the end of this article: Food Storage 101, Rotate and Date
Long Term Food Storage for your home
After you have established a comfortable food storage of 3 weeks to 3 months, then you can begin to focus on the really long term food storage.
Long term food storage typically consists of not only more regular food consumables, but also bulk storage of dry goods and other foods fit for the long term.
Things like bulk dry goods; grains like rice, wheat, flour, corn meal, pasta, etc.; legumes like beans, peas, lentils, lima, soy, etc.; sugars like honey, white sugar, molasses, jams, etc.; other foods like fat and oils, dry milk; cooking essentials like baking powder, baking soda, yeast, salt, etc.; and other diversified food groups (e.g. dehydrated, canned, freeze-dried, etc.).
Modern Survival Blog has lots of articles relating to food storage, so search around the site for more advice and opinion. Here’s one article containing a food storage calculator for 1 year of bulk foods, which may provide some insight for long term food storage.
Building a supply of long term food storage will cap off your overall food storage plan, providing you with food insurance and preparedness for life.
Once you have reached your goal, you will be amazed at the sense of self-reliance that comes along with it. Use that positive energy ‘force’ to continue into other areas while striving for independence, preparedness and self-sufficiency.
Now go do it!