how much food to survive a pandemic for 90 days

It’s common sense. To self-isolate from a pandemic, you must have enough supplies at your home to survive the period.

It’s a life luxury to head over to the grocery store and get whatever we want. The problem is — we’ve become accustomed to that. And dependent on that. Therefore people don’t keep too much food in their homes any more (one of the reasons).

Well lets say that a pandemic comes to town. 2019-nCov anyone? Your best bet will be to self isolate from the public and other people. That means having enough food and supplies to “ride it out”. I’m not suggesting that it’s time to push the panic button yet, but I’m using this current event as an excuse to push the notion of preemptive food storage.

For how long? Hard to say. Not enough reliable data on this one yet. Though if you asked me, I would suggest thinking about the worst-case. Then you’ll probably be in better shape than most who think it will be here and gone in just a few weeks once it starts (good luck with that).

For the sake of a number, lets say 3 months.

Pandemic Survival | How Much Food Do I Need

It’s all about the calories. Balance and nutrition is important too. But lets focus on calories. Why? Because that’s the primary reality of having enough food to survive.

2,000 calories per day, per person. That’s a typical “good enough” number for most.

So how do you get a sense as to how many calories you might need (or already have) for food storage at home? It can be deceptive — in that you might think you have enough — but do you?

What if that pandemic does indeed begin to rage in your neighborhood region — and 3 weeks later you’re out of food. Meaning, you have to risk your life going out to the store to buy more (if there is more)…

Okay. Now that I’ve adequately mentioned doom-and-gloom, lets simply have a look.

I recently ran some numbers.

With the potential threat for coronavirus flaring up in the US, you might become logically concerned. “If it does”, will you be able to shelter in place for say, 3 months? I’m sure that many of you could. Speaking to the choir here… though maybe someone will read this and be helped.

Since I went through the exercise (gave Excel a good workout), I simply want to share the notion of realistically determining whether or not you you have enough food.

90 Day Pandemic Food Calorie Survival Plan

Not going to the grocery store will mean no fresh foods. But you can adapt. A few examples include the following:

  • powdered milk — we use Augson Farms (view on amzn)
  • make your own bread — use a bread oven — have enough flour & ingredients

The assumption here is that electricity remains up (which it should). So cooking, refrigeration, or anything else requiring electricity at home will be unaffected. It’s just that you’ll have to fend for yourself at home.

To give you an idea of what you might need for 90 day food survival, here are some meal plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. This is just one example to get you thinking…

I list 4 options each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just rotate. So each meal ingredient requirement would only be 22 days instead of 90. Then it’s just doing the math, counting calories, and putting together a shopping list.

The following meal plan averages about 2,000 calories per day:

Breakfast (~500 calories)

Calories include 1 glass of milk (~100 calories)

  1. (3) Pancakes w/syrup & butter (540 calories)
  2. (2) Oatmeal packets in milk (520 calories)
  3. (2) Toast with Butter & Jelly (500 calories)
  4. (1/3) can Spam (460 calories)

Lunch (~600 calories)

Calories include 1 glass of milk (~100 calories)

  1. Tuna sandwich, (1) 5oz can, w/2tbsp Mayo (600 calories)
  2. Chicken sandwich, (1/2 12-oz can) w/2tbsp Mayo (620 calories)
  3. Mac-n-Cheese, 1/2 box (650 calories)
  4. Peanut Butter sandwich w/3tbsp PB (585 calories)

Dinner (~700 calories)

Calories include 1 glass of milk (~100 calories)

  1. Pasta & Sauce, 1/4-lb & 1/3-pint sauce (620 calories)
  2. Rice & Beans w/canned-veggie, dry measure 1/2-cup rice & 1/4-cup beans (690 calories)
  3. Rice & Chicken w/canned-veggie, dry measure 1/2-cup & 1 (12 oz) can chicken (810 calories)
  4. Corned Beef Hash & Toast, 1/2 can w/2-slices toast (680 calories)

Canned vegetables with 2 of 4 meals above (rotate),

  • canned green beans (60 calories)
  • cans of carrots (70 calories)
  • canned whole corn (210 calories)

Snacks (~200 calories)

Peanuts, 1/4-cup (200 calories)

Grocery List for 90-day Meal Plan

Augason Farms dry-milk (3) #10 cans makes 270 cups (~17 gallons)
(view on amzn)

Pancake Mix (2) 32-oz boxes Aunt Jemima ‘Buttermilk Complete’ makes ~120 4″ cakes

Oatmeal packets Box of 45
(view on amzn)

Spam (8) 12-oz cans

Jelly (1) large 30-oz jar of your favorite

Butter (2) pounds for toast & bread-making

Flour (3) 5 pound bags for ~15 loaves of homemade bread

Canned Chicken (30) 12.5-oz cans

Canned Tuna (23) 5-oz cans

Mayo (3) 30-oz large jars

Mac-n-Cheese (12) boxes

Peanut Butter (1) 40-oz large jar

Pasta (5) pounds

Pasta sauce (6) pints

Rice (8) pounds

Dry Beans (2) pounds

Canned Corned Beef Hash (9) cans

Peanuts (7) 16-oz jars (pounds)

Canned Green Beans (12)

Cans of Carrots (12)

Canned Corn (12)

Conclusion

This is for 1 person. Adjust accordingly.

Note that any meats you have in the freezer are calories. Beef is about 1,000 calories per pound while chicken is about 500.

A 3 month food inventory really is not difficult. It’s just a matter of doing. The example above is just one of nearly infinite possibilities.

Just think about what you’ll need over that time period so that you won’t have to go to the grocery store.

No fresh milk. But the milk alternative I listed is pretty good. We use it all the time.

I didn’t mention it, but eggs will last a long time in the fridge. 1 – 2 months will likely not be an issue if you bought lots of them.

Cheese too. There are about 100 calories in a slice of American cheese. It will last a long time in the fridge. So you could buy pounds of it without issue. Grilled cheese sandwiches?? Yum…

Peanuts and peanut butter have LOTS of calories. Good for survival — bad for weight management. I like PB too much, so I don’t keep it too accessible!

One 1.4L bottle of California Extra Virgin olive oil (we use this) has 12,000 calories! Drizzle it on you pasta or whatever for more caloric intake. Plus it tastes good!

Okay, this article took me a lot of time in that I literally calculated all the calories for everything, reading can labels, looking up facts — to provide a sense of relativity. My head hurts. So I’ll end here. Perhaps time for a adult beverage (lots of calories in that too 😉 ) (use only in moderation!)

Continue reading:

How To Survive A Pandemic

Canned Meat For Preparedness

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