Level 1 Prepping & Preparedness
Storing an amount of extra water and food to be prepared for 1-week is smart and cheap preparedness insurance for many of the “most likely to happen” disruptions that you may encounter one day.
You may be surprised that the majority of Americans apparently do not have a solid 1-week supply of food at home, and most certainly don’t have a 1-week supply of stored water either.
The assumption is that the faucet will always deliver clean drinking water and the grocery store will always be open and accessible. Unfortunately this normalcy bias has helped keep the notion of preparedness out of the mainstream consciousness.
While having a supply of food and water to last 1-2 weeks will not cover all hypothetical disruptions, it will set you off in the right direction to be prepared for many of today’s typical disruptive events within “Prepping Level 1” and hopefully eventually moving you towards “Prepping Level 2”.
Here’s what you might consider doing regarding water and food:
WATER FOR 1-2 WEEKS
It is a near medical certainty that you will not survive without any water much beyond 3-days. That said, water is plentiful for most of us and not much of a thought is given towards securing some extra. It’s always available at your faucet tap, right?
How or why might your water supply be disrupted?
Contamination of the water supply. We hear about this every year somewhere in the country. I recall quite a number of times hearing on the news how residents of one town or another (or entire local regions) have been told not to drink the water, or to boil it first due to some type of contamination.
Construction accidents may rip into a water main and contaminate the water.
Flooding can cause infrastructure damage and contamination.
There are other scenarios too which could temporarily interrupt your source of safe water.
How soon before the local grocery stores are sold out of water during “an event”?
How Much Water To Store For Just 1-week Preparedness
You may find it interesting to discover how much water that we consume each day when you consider drinking, washing hands and hygiene, cooking, washing dishes, flushing the toilet, laundry, and showering…
Since this segment is focused only on minor disruptions lasting from just a day, days, up to possibly 1-week, I’m going to stay on the light side for “Prepping and Preparedness 1”.
Water for drinking: 0.5 gallon per day per person.
The typical plastic bottled water contains about 16-ounces (2-cups). So about 4 per day, or 28 for 1-week. A typical case of bottled water has 24 bottles, so just call it a case per person for 1-week.
Water for other stuff: Optional. Since we’re in level-1 preparedness, the presumption is that the disruption is relatively short lived and not severe. If you choose to store extra, you might consider the following water jugs and fill them up with tap water:
7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, BPA-free
(view on amzn)
Easy to handle 3.5 gallon stack-able water bricks from Water Brick.
Note: If you’re on a well and the power goes out, unless you have a generator capable of running your well pump you’re water supply will remain in the ground (except for what’s left in your well pump pressure tank until it runs out)…
FOOD FOR 1 WEEK, THEN 2 WEEKS
This is an easy discussion. Just buy more of it. Having 1-week of extra food in the house (per person!) is ridiculously easy. You just need to do it.
How to know how much food will last 1-week?
It’s all about calories. A general guideline is to have 2,000 calories of food per day per person. So when you’re buying this extra food you will need to look at the package, can, etc.. to determine how many calories are in there.
(calories per serving) x (number of servings in the container/package)
I’m saying this just so that you won’t short yourself by overlooking the calories. Some of you can simply “eyeball it” and be close enough to figure a week’s worth of legitimate solid food storage. Just saying..
Common-sense regarding basic 1-week food storage:
Avoid food that requires a freezer. When the power goes out, so will your freezer.
For the purpose of emergency food storage, avoid food types that require lots of boiling water (pastas, etc..) because the electricity may be out (will your stove work?) and water will become a commodity not to be wasted until its over.
Variety is a good thing. Instead of all the same food, buy a variety of foods.
Canned foods are pretty ideal for this short-term purpose. Have a manual can opener?
Get the foods that you like to eat.
Keep it simple. For 1-week storage just go out and buy a case of water per person in the household, and go out and buy some more food! Remember to restock if you consume it!
[ Read: Preparedness Level 1 – 4 Series Overview ]