What is Emergency Food?
Simply said, emergency food is food that is kept on hand in case of an emergency. In a world where tragedies can strike without warning, you and your family may find yourself cut off from your food supply. With this in mind, food must be stored in the pantry that does not require cooking or refrigeration (for emergencies that can possibly cut off power supply). Your everyday food, such as oats, beef, or canned beans, can be called emergency food; but, depending on their shelf life, these foods may need to be consumed at different times during an emergency. Food cultivated in your own backyard can also be used as emergency food. Crops grown by your own hands can not only feed you and your family, but also give a wonderful source of income in times of financial need.
The Importance of Having an Emergency Food Supply
There are various reasons why emergency food is necessary. It’s vital because in the event of disasters like floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, these can keep your family alive until aid arrives or the roads to the family’s food source are cleared. When calamity strikes, knowing that your family will be nourished even if they don’t have access to the grocery store, supermarket, or farm where they receive their food will put their minds at ease. It is critical to maintain a low level of tension and the ability to remain calm during an emergency in order to make informed decisions, particularly regarding the next steps to take.
During disasters or crises, emergency food is also necessary to maintain financial stability. In an emergency, keeping your pantry stocked is another method to save money. When a calamity strikes, individuals are prone to panic buying, which can lead to price increases and a reduction in supply. You are not only certain of your health, but you also have finances on hand to purchase other requirements if you have something set up for times like these. Even in dire financial situations, having emergency food on hand can help your family to divert finances to more pressing needs.
Following are the measures to take in order to begin a food storage plan for your family in the event of a catastrophic emergency.
- Take your time putting together your emergency food supplies so you don’t become overwhelmed. It may take a few months to purchase and store everything you need for your stockpile. That’s fine; the important thing is that you’re taking the essential measures to complete the task. Make a list of everything you want to include, and work your way through it by purchasing a little extra each time you go to the store.
- In the event of an emergency, think about what to add to your food store. Non-perishable, non-refrigerable foods are definitely the ones to include. Consider canned items, boxed foods that don’t require water or milk, and dry fruits. Take into account any dietary sensitivities your family members may have to ensure that everyone gets plenty to eat.
- Make a decision about where to keep the emergency food supplies. It’s better to keep it in a dark, cool place until it’s time to eat it so that nothing gets ruined. Keep it in a visible location where you can simply analyse it so you can keep track of your expiration dates. In an emergency, the place must also be protected from potential calamities, otherwise your food will be destroyed before you can enjoy it.
- As foods approach their expiration dates, replace them. To avoid wasting food and money, consume the foods before they expire. To avoid date confusion, store recent food purchases toward the back of your supply. To guarantee that dates are not missed, label the products with your own labels if necessary.
- Consider the supplies you’ll need to prepare the foods you’ve stored. If you lose electricity, you’ll almost certainly require a manual can opener. A tiny camp stove can also be useful for cooking items that are best served hot. Keep as much bottled water on hand as possible to keep yourself and your family hydrated. You can also use it to create meals, but only in little amounts.
If a tragedy strikes, having an emergency food supply for your family on hand can save your life. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and I don’t think anyone can deny that food is a critical essential in times of crisis. Above all, remember your family’s needs and tastes when putting together the stockpile so that everyone is happy.
Power Outages And Food
You won’t be able to keep food refrigerated or frozen for long if the power goes out. However, you’ll most likely have a lot of food in the fridge and freezer. Eat your refrigerated first, then your dried and canned goods—but only for as long as you can keep them at food-safe temperatures. To keep an eye on temps in your fridge and freezer, keep a non-electric thermometer handy.
The clock starts ticking as your fridge or freezer temperature rises above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, especially for perishable foods like milk and meat. Cook and eat raw meats before they spoil if you can heat them. As frozen meat and vegetables thaw, cook them, and consume them. To keep food cold for as long as possible, open your fridge and freezer as fast and infrequently as feasible. Having a mental picture of what’s in the fridge helps. Before you open the door, decide what you’re going to take out.
How To Get Started With Emergency Food Preparation
The first step in preparing an emergency food supply is to examine your home and neighborhood’s topography. If your home is located in a tornado alley, it is better to keep your emergency food supply in a secure basement room, but this is not the case for individuals who live in flood-prone locations. Those who live in flood-prone areas should store their emergency supplies as high as possible so that if the family is trapped on the roof due to flooding, their food is still accessible.
The demands of your family are the next factor to consider. Are there any babies who require special meals or medications? Are there any members of your family that are allergic to certain foods? A family’s emergency supplies must meet the demands of all family members. Are there any members of your family who have a strong predilection for certain foods? Aside from food security, it’s critical that your family remains cool and collected throughout disasters, and when they’re stressed, they normally prefer comfort food to anything else.
The next step in emergency preparedness is to assess what you already have. Typically, a week’s worth of groceries will leave some cans to store for these uses, and it’s essential to keep track of what you have so you can buy only what you need. On page 4, FEMA lists the goods that can be kept for emergency preparedness and how long they will last.
When stocking food, keep in mind the food containers and secure those that are either vulnerable to raiding pests or susceptible to damage in the event of a disaster. Foods wrapped in plastic should be stored in airtight containers, and canned goods should be inspected for deterioration. It’s also a good idea to keep emergency goods in cold, dry places so they can last longer.
What to Always Keep in Your Pantry
Even if it’s not hurricane or tornado season, these non-perishable food items (or close to it) have long expiration dates, allowing you to store them for extended periods of time. To keep things fresh, make a list of everything in your stockpile and check expiration dates every six to twelve months. Also, keep a can opener on hand at all times; all that food will be useless if you can’t open it.
Purchase a three-pack of Teddie All Natural Super Chunky peanut butter in 26-ounce jars to get the most bang for your buck. The all-natural, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly peanut butter is perfect for a variety of groups, and at only.26 cents per ounce, it’s also a budget-friendly option.
Crackers are a great alternative to bread and work well in sandwiches. Whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers have a shorter shelf life than plain crackers due to their higher fat content (see the box for expiration dates), but the extra fiber makes up for it when you’re hungry. To keep your crackers fresh, consider vacuum-packing them.
Purchase a family-sized bag of 100 percent whole-grain Wheat Thins for a great value. The toasted crackers add a little additional nutrition and are also free of high-fructose corn syrup.
Trail Mixes and Nuts
Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthy and convenient for eating in the event of a storm, tornado, or another disaster. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which keep the nuts fresh by preventing them from oxidizing
Individually packaged multigrain cereals are best because they don’t go stale after being opened.
Power bars and Granola bars
These portable snacks are healthy and filling, and they usually last at least six months. They’re also a good source of carbs. Andress explains, “You may obtain greater energy from carbohydrates without eating a lot of food.”
The Nature Valley Variety Pack includes 12 individually wrapped bars in the flavors of peanut butter, oats ‘n dark chocolate, and oats ‘n honey. With 16 grams of whole grain per serving, these bars will keep people satisfied for a long time.
These healthy snacks include potassium and dietary fibre in the absence of fresh fruit. Swanson explains, “Dried fruits contain a large number of nutrients and calories.”
Pick up a selection box of Crispy Fruit to receive all of that nutritional goodness. There are freeze-dried packs of apples, Asian pears, and tangerines inside. Each pack contains only fruit, with no added preservatives, sweeteners, or additives.
Canned meats supply necessary protein and last for at least two years in the cupboard. According to Diane Van, manager of the USDA meat and poultry hotline, vacuum-packed pouches have a lower shelf life but will survive at least six months.
Furthermore, if you don’t have a can opener, vacuum-packed packs may be useful. Furthermore, if you don’t have a can opener, vacuum-packed packs may be useful. Purchase a 12-pack of Safe Catch Wild Tuna for your pantry, which has the lowest mercury content of any brand on the market, making it a safer choice for children and pregnant women.
When fresh produce isn’t available, canned types can deliver important nutrients, making them an excellent hurricane or natural disaster food option. Order a case of Libby’s mixed veggie cans to receive as many of those beneficial vitamins and minerals as possible. Peas, carrots, maize, lima beans, and green beans are all included in each can, ensuring a well-balanced lunch straight from the jar.
Pasta Sauces and Pasta
Although pasta is a high-carb, gluten-containing item, it is satisfying, and dry spaghetti and bottled sauce can remain for months in the cupboard. If someone in your family has a gluten intolerance, seek for gluten-free or chickpea-based pasta (or another alternative).
Try to keep at least a three-day supply on hand—one gallon per person each day is required. According to Andress, “a normally active individual should drink at least a half-gallon of water each day.” “The other half gallon will be used for cooking and washing.”
Purchase a case of water with important minerals added to guarantee that everyone stays hydrated. The electrolytes in Essentia’s bottled water help with hydration and improve the taste.
When fresh milk isn’t an option, have this alternative on hand as a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Choose a NOW Foods organic, resealable choice. Its product is flash-pasteurized for a better flavor and may be stored in a cold, dry area for several months once opened.
Sugar, Salt, Pepper
You might be cooking if you have access to a propane or charcoal stove. Seasonings and sweeteners in a basic supply will improve the flavor of your food, both fresh and packed.
Supplements can help you replenish nutrients you wouldn’t get from a typical diet. Vitamins, on the other hand, don’t have to be dull. Instead, treat yourself to a SmartyPants fruity gummy. The gummy contains a full day’s worth of vitamins, as well as omega 3s and folate, to ensure complete coverage.
More Food Advice for an Emergency
How do you know what is and isn’t safe to eat from the refrigerator if the power goes out? Do not consume food that has been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for longer than four hours. Frozen meals are safe as long as they have ice crystals or are chilly to the touch. To speed up the thawing process, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
You might be able to cook or heat your food even if you don’t have access to electricity. If you have access to the outdoors, a charcoal grill or gas stove (which cannot be used indoors due to inadequate ventilation) is a potential choice. Keep a can of Sterno on hand if you’re stuck inside: It’s essentially heated in a can, and it works by warming little amounts of food in cookware without using energy.
Remember to stock up on those critical things if your household has specific needs, such as taking medication on a daily basis or having a tiny child. Keep a spare supply of infant formula and baby food jars on hand, as well as a backup supply of your medications.
If you live in a flood-prone location, buy all of your pantry items in cans rather than jars, as they are less likely to be contaminated by flood waters.