Many people have a hard time getting started with food storage for one simple reason. They don’t know how to start.
Food Storage is not Rocket Science. All you have to do is ask yourself three questions:
- How many people do you want to feed?
- How long do you want to feed them?
- What do you want to feed them?
Let’s look at each of these things individually.
How many people do you want to feed? – This is simple. How many people are in your family? Do you take care of aging parents? Do you have any pets?
You know how many people are in your immediate family. But, if you have aging parents that live with you, you will need to plan for them also. Don’t forget to store reading glasses, hearing aids, and walking canes if necessary.
Babies have special needs, formula, diapers, powdered milk, medications. Diapers aren’t food, but you need to have a supply on had in case you could not get to the store.
Pets usually eat their own food, which is not the same as human food. But, you still need to plan to store some food for them in the event of a disaster.
How long do you want to feed them? – FEMA and DHS both recommend that you should have enough food and water to survive for three days on your own. The Red Cross recommends this as well, but goes on to say that you may want to consider stocking a two-week supply of food and water in your home.
What do you want to feed them? – there are lots of choices here. We can start with freeze dried foods, like Mountain House Foods. Dehydrated Foods such Nitro-Pak. Basic Staples such as wheat, flour, rice, beans, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and spices. You can also can your own home-grown food from your garden, or stock up on store-bought canned goods. Just buy extra each time you go to the grocery store.
When it comes to water, most emergency agencies recommend storing one gallon per day per person. However, when you consider that water is needed for cooking and hygiene purposes, you will probably want to store more. Remember that your cats and dogs need water to, so plan for them.
If you have livestock, then your food and water needs will be greater. Plan accordingly.
It may be said that there is a fourth question to consider. “How much do you want to spend?” However, that partly enters into the “what kind of food do you want to store” category. Remember to store what your family eats. Store what they are familiar with. Do not just store basic staples and think you will be fine. You’ll have a rude awakening.
Freeze Dried Foods are a safe bet because they are ready-made meals, already prepared. You just need to add hot water. Your family will enjoy any of the fine selection of Mountain House Freeze Dried Foods. They will be pleased.
Dehydrated Foods by Nitro-Pak are another option. If you like to cook and prepare meals for your family, then you might want to consider dehydrated foods. These foods require more water than freeze dried foods because water is needed for preparation and cleanup.
Basic Staples require more preparation than dehydrated foods and will also require more time as well. Staples are great for people who cook on a daily basis. Don’t forget to store spices.
These things are just suggestions. The main reason for this post was to show you that there are only three questions you need to ask yourself in order to get started with long term food storage. Ask yourself these questions and you’ll be fine.