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Why You Need an Emergency Food Supply
An emergency food supply is essential for anyone no matter where they live or what their circumstances are. Having an emergency food supply can help you be prepared and comfortable in case of any unexpected emergency or disaster. It will provide you with important nutrients and sustenance in times where food may be scarce or hard to come by.
Let's discuss some of the main reasons why having an emergency food supply is important:
Types of Disasters That May Require an Emergency Food Supply
Emergency food supplies are designed to offer sustenance and nourishment in the event of a disaster. Disaster can strike at any time, and occur in any form – from natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes, to power outages caused by severe weather or fires. In order for families and individuals to be prepared for these sorts of disasters, an emergency food supply is necessary to help them survive until the crisis has ended.
Below are some types of disasters that may require an emergency food supply:
- Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or earthquakes;
- Power outages due to storms or fires;
- Economic crises or civil unrest;
- Biohazard events such as pandemics or contamination;
- Widespread loss of infrastructure including sanitation systems and transportation networks;
- Loss of utilities including electricity and water;
- Disruptions in the food supply due to drought or other environmental factors.
Having an emergency food supply is important not only because it can provide basic sustenance during a major disaster, but also because it can be a tangible source of comfort during times of distress. Having access to prepared meals without needing to worry about cooking increases safety and security while providing peace of mind. Most importantly, having an emergency food supply ensures that individuals and families remain properly nourished while waiting out a crisis situation.
Benefits of Having an Emergency Food Supply
Having an emergency food supply is essential for ensuring you have access to food in times of crisis, such as natural disasters. Such a food supply not only provides individuals and families with a sense of security, but also may be necessary to sustain life in an emergency situation.
A well-maintained and stocked emergency food supply can provide numerous benefits, including the following:
- It ensures you will always have something to eat no matter what circumstances arise.
- It can help provide healthy nutrition during difficult times when fresh food may not be available.
- You can rest assured knowing you always have access to basic items that you need like energy bars and canned foods which are both long lasting and nutritious.
- Canned goods are also non-perishable and can be safely stored for long periods of time in case of disruptions to regular shopping trips or unexpected shortages due to freeze or crop damage due to extreme weather conditions like hurricanes or floods.
- An emergency food supply also offers reassurance that no matter what happens, you will have access to at least some level of sustenance in difficult times when other resource options may be limited or nonexistent.
- Additionally an emergency food supply helps protect the environment by reducing waste from surplus and unused food products that would otherwise end up in landfills with the potential risks they pose to local habitats and ecosystems should they break down over time and release pollutants into waterways or other natural habitats nearby.
How to Create an Emergency Food Supply
Having an emergency food supply is an important part of being prepared for a disaster or other emergency events. An emergency food supply can provide you with a nutritiously balanced diet and help reduce stress when a potential event occurs.
In this article, we'll discuss the importance of having an emergency food supply and how to create one.
Identify Your Family’s Needs
Creating an emergency food supply is an essential part of ensuring the safety and well- being of your family and pets in a time of crisis. The first step in developing a strategy for this purpose is to identify exactly what your family will need to survive any type of situation.
Think about how much food it will take to meet the nutritional needs of each family member while maintaining a reasonable level of energy. Consider any possible dietary restrictions that need to be accommodated, and make sure you include the whatever supplements, vitamins or medications are needed on a daily basis. Furthermore, make sure you have enough pet food or other supplies so your animal companions can remain healthy too!
It may be helpful to begin by categorizing all the items that should be included in your emergency supply kit:
- Nonperishable items such as canned goods, dry cereal, granola bars and peanut butter;
- Portable items like nuts, jerky and dried fruits;
- Protein sources such as beans and lentils;
- Milk products like powdered milk or shelf-stable milk;
- Fruits like applesauce with no added sugars;
- Vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks;
- Cooking ingredients including salt, sugar and spices;
- Water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
Once you’ve identified all the components needed for emergency preparedness in terms of food supplies, you can create plans for where to store them and how long they will last before rotation becomes necessary.
Choose the Right Food Items
In order to create an emergency food supply for long-term storage, it’s important to choose the right food items to stockpile. The basic staples of any long-term food supply are rice, beans, wheat, corn, oats and dehydrated foods such as dried fruit and instant soup mixes. These items can be purchased in large quantities at a fraction of the cost of store-bought canned goods.
Additionally, it is wise to stock up on freeze-dried meals that can be combined with your existing ingredients and prepared quickly in times of need. Other inexpensive and nutritious items that can make a great addition to your emergency food supplies include:
- canned meats such as tuna or salmon
- powdered milk or honey
- salt or sugar for flavoring food
- granola bars or other snack foods such peanut butter crackers.
Also don’t forget to purchase PET bottles of water with expiration dates that are several years from now; fill them with tap water prior to storing them so that they do not collect dust or insects in storage!
Store Your Food Properly
It is important to store your emergency food supply properly in order to ensure the longevity and safety of your food. Proper food storage is essential for maintaining the quality of dried goods so that you will have a safe, nutritious and plentiful food supply for any emergency situation.
One key factor to consider when storing foods is temperature control. You should aim to keep your emergency food supply in an area with a temperature no higher than 75°F (24°C). Warmer temperatures can make the ingredients spoil faster or even become unsafe to consume. For long-term storage, it is best to keep your emergency food supply in an area that has consistent cool temperatures, such as a basement or cellar. Ideally, you should opt for a location that stays at below 55°F (13°C) year-round.
It’s also important to recognize the importance of light exposure in maintaining good quality of your stored foods. Make sure canned items are stored away from direct light sources such as windows and bright lights, as prolonged exposure can cause deterioration in taste and nutrition over time. Additionally, make sure dry goods such as grains are stored in airtight containers to preserve their freshness and shelf life. Whenever possible, opt for opaque containers like ceramic pots or covered glass mason jars – this will help more efficiently block out light from entering the container where fragile items might be stored inside.
What to Include in an Emergency Food Supply
Building an emergency food supply is an important part of being prepared in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. An emergency food supply should include a variety of items that can provide nutrition and energy. The items selected should also be non-perishable, easily stored, and have a long shelf life.
Let's take a look at what should be included in an emergency food supply:
Non-perishable foods are essential for an emergency food supply. As the name implies, these items do not spoil or require refrigeration, so they make an excellent choice for stocking up on supplies before a disaster strikes. In general, look for canned and dehydrated goods that will last for many months.
Canned items can include vegetables, fruits, meats such as tuna and chicken, soups, stews, peanut butter and jelly. These should have expiration dates that are several years away from purchase date. Dehydrated food items such as rice and beans need to be stored in air-tight containers to avoid spoilage due to moisture or pests.
Other non-perishable food items include:
- Dried fruit such as raisins or mango slices;
- Trail mix;
- Hard candy;
- Power bars (check expiry dates);
- Nuts and seeds;
- Flour, sugar and other baking necessities;
- Powdered milk which can be used in the preparation of various recipes such as pancakes or muffins.
It is recommended to pack bottled water along with your emergency foods to help prevent dehydration.
The most common type of canned food found in a basic emergency food supply list would be items such as canned meats, fruits, and vegetables. Having shelf-stable canned goods in your stockpile will not only help provide diversity and variety to your meals if -or when- needed, but they are also the best option for people who don’t have access to refrigeration. Canned goods can be stored for several years in a cool, dark place (like a basement or garage) without having to worry about spoilage or loss of nutrient value.
In order to make sure you never run out while avoiding waste at the same time, be sure when stocking up on canned goods that you include an assortment including:
- Canned meats like tuna, chicken and ham
- Beans like black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.
- Vegetables such as green beans, corn and carrots
- Fruits such as peaches and pears
- Soup mixes
- Tomato sauce
- Condiments such as ketchup and mustard
Dry foods, such as canned goods, grains and pastas can form the bulk of your emergency food supply. Canned foods are available in a variety of flavors and choices, from vegetables to soups and stews to meats and fish. Grains also store well for long periods of time. Choose whole wheat pasta for added nutrition, non-fat dried milk for a versatile food base, as well as grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice and barley.
Other items to include in your emergency food supply that store easily include granola bars, trail mix and nut butters. Be sure to rotate perishable items every six months so they don’t expire.
Tips for Creating an Emergency Food Supply
Having an emergency food supply is essential to being prepared for unforeseen events like natural disasters or emergencies. By planning ahead, you can make sure that you and your family have access to the food and other supplies that you need in the event of a disaster.
Let's discuss some tips for creating an emergency food supply:
Consider Dietary Restrictions
When preparing an emergency food supply, it is important to consider any dietary restrictions that the individuals in your home may have. Dietary restrictions, such as allergies and sensitivities, can significantly limit the foods available to you during a crisis and knowing these beforehand can help you make the best selections for your emergency food supplies. Researching and purchasing items that are tailored for certain sensitivities will help ensure that all members of your household have something to eat when needed.
Additionally, consider buying non-perishable staples like rice, beans, or nuts that can be easily cooked or substituted into meals for added nutrition and variety.
Rotate Your Stock
It is important to rotate your food supplies, such as canned and boxed goods, on a regular basis. Rotating your stock helps ensure that all food items in your emergency supply stay fresh. Make sure to store canned goods away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Many foods have best-by dates so you can determine when they need to be eaten or thrown out and replaced.
Food that is stored during an emergency should be part of an overall strategy for remaining healthy and well-nourished. It should be checked often for expiration dates and rotated regularly, with expired goods disposed of properly or donated to a food bank whenever possible. When preparing canned or jarred foods for storage, make sure to choose low-salt varieties if possible, or find out what the sodium content of each item is before purchasing it for storage.