Emergency Preparedness Supplies that Disappear First

Anytime there is a major event, be it a disaster, extreme weather, or a terrorist attack, there are common things that tend to disappear from the store shelves first. This is really a short list of things you should always have on hand.

Here is the list:

  1. Water: bottled water flies off the store shelves. It’s different now. You can go to the grocery store and find shelves filled with shrink-wrapped cases of bottled water. The next time a major event happens in the U.S., watch the news reports. You will always see footage of people buying cases of bottled water.
  2. Food: how many times do we need to stress this point? Without adequate food and water, you are not going to last very long. Yes, people can survive for a few weeks without food, but do you really want to? You need to have all types of long term storage foods on hand.
  3. Batteries: packages of batteries are another hot item with people stocking up before the storm. It seems like you can never have enough of these.
  4. Prescription Medications: The majority of Americans are on at least one form of prescription medication. So, before a disaster, people are driven to have some on hand.
  5. Over-the-Counter Medications: These are popular too. Acetaminophen, Cold and Flu medications, etc. Being ill during a disaster is a disaster in itself. It will be hard to look out for those you love if you are not 100%.
  6. Spices: These may not fly off the shelf, but in my mind it is an important item. Food is going to taste very bland if you have no spices, especially salt. Salt is perhaps the most important spice there is. I prefer to think that salt and pepper are both important. However, salt has always been important throughout history.
  7. First Aid Supplies: A common occurence in every type of disaster is injury. Make sure you always have First Aid supplies on hand.
  8. Water Filtration: Whatever water supply you are on, be it municipal or well water, you need to have two types of of water filtration. An at-home type that sits on the counter or under the sink, and a portable water filtration system you can have on-the-go. Very important.
  9. Flashlights, Candles, Matches: Flashlights are great for short periods of use, but you also need to store candles. Often you can find candles on sale at a department store or an outlet store. Stock up on these, along with plenty of matches. You need to be able to see at night.
  10. Emergency Radio: Battery-powered or wind-up radios may not disappear from the stores fast, but I am adding it to the list to make the point that you need to know what is going on, even when the power is off.

Just know that these items will disappear from the store shelves the quickest. Make sure you have a supply of each of these things on hand at all times. You’re life will be so much easier when whatever happens, happens.

Monster Shelves for your Bulk Food Storage Items

You have your long term food storage program going, and now you’re in the process of organizing all your items. The smaller items are easy to store. Grocery store 12 ounce cans, #10 cans of freeze-dried food, and home-canned jars of food all fit nicely on the average pantry shelves. No problem, right?

Well, what about those 3, 5, and 6 gallon buckets of bulk food items such as wheat, beans, pasta, flour, sugar, etc. They can weigh 40 to 50 pounds each and no standard shelves will support more than one or two at a time. What do you do?

I constructed some monster shelves that I could put dozens of loaded food buckets on, and not ever have to worry about them collapsing. These monster shelves are made out of 2″x4″s, and that is not unusual in itself. But one detail that I added is a little unusual. Let’s look at some photos.

Monster Freeze Dried Food Storage Shelves No. 1

The above photo gives you an overall view of what these shelves look like. Each shelf is a 2″x4″ frame that is 24″ deep and 12′ long. On top of the frame is a 3/4″ piece of plywood that serves as the top of the shelf.

Monster Freeze Dried Food Storage Shelves No. 2

The above photo shows another view of the shelves.

Monster Freeze Dried Food Storage Shelves No. 3

The above photo shows the most important detail. It shows how I placed a 2″x4″ piece vertically between each shelf and attached it to the main 2″x4″ vertical support for the shelves. Let’s look at the final photo.

Monster Freeze Dried Food Storage Shelves No. 4

The above photo shows that I have placed one of these short vertical supports between each of the shelves, and ran them down to the ground. So, the total weight of each shelf is always supported and the load is transfered directly to the ground.

If you are wondering, the vertical supports are 4′ apart on center. So, for a 12′ wide shelf, there are vertical supports on each end, and two supports in the middle, also spaced at 4′ apart on center. That is a total of four vertical supports for the 12′ long shelves.

If you build something like this, you will never have to worry about your shelves collapsing. These shelves have been up for years, and at times have been full, which means they have had hundreds and hundreds of pounds placed on them. No problems ever.

Two Great Things to Add to Your Food Storage

Mountain House Freeze Dried

Here are two things that you must have with your food storage items. Okay, perhaps only one of them is necessary, the other is nice to have.

The first item is a good quality can opener. Most people’s food storage will contain cans of different sizes. They range from grocery store size 12 ounce cans to large #10 cans of freeze dried or bulk items. I have used a lot of manual can openers, and by far the best one is the Oxo Steel Can Opener. You can get it at Amazon. There are 124 five-star reviews for this one, so that says something. Last time I looked the price was $18.00, but well worth it.

Mountain House Freeze Dried

The second item is a pepper mill. You may not think it’s a necessity, but I love fresh-ground pepper. The problem is that most pepper mills today are cheap and don’t last any time at all. After a lot of looking, I found a brand that really works. You can also get it at Amazon. It’s the William Bounds Love Mill TW Pepper Mill. The one I bought is made of Walnut, and for some reason is not available anymore. However, it looks like this one and has a steel grinding mechanism. Some mechanisms are made out of ceramic, but I have no experience with those. I can tell you that the Williams Bounds brand works really well and so far has lasted. These mills are different prices. I think I paid $25 for mine, but it was worth it.

There you have it. Two items you can add to your food storage. One will make your life easier, the other will give you some spice.

WHO Raises Swine Flu Alert to Phase 6

Mountain House Freeze

CNN reported today that the World Health Organization raised the swine flu alert to its highest level, which is Phase 6. WHO says that the H1N1 virus has spread to enough countries to be considered a global pandemic.

“Increasing the alert to Phase 6 does not mean that the disease is deadlier or more dangerous than before, just that it has spread to more countries,” the WHO said.

“This is an important and challenging day for all of us,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in a briefing with reporters. “We are moving into the early days of the first flu pandemic of the 21st century.”

(quotes taken from CNN.com)

Should I Invest in Freeze Dried Food or Dehydrated Food?

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food

There are definite differences between Freeze Dried Survival Foods and Dehydrated Survival Foods. If you want to invest in an emergency food supply for your family, but don’t know which one you should go for, this article will answer your questions.

Freeze-dried foods have these features:

  • They come pre-cooked.
  • They require no preparation.
  • Just add hot water (or cold in a pinch), wait 5 minutes, and eat.
  • They require very little cleanup.
  • They require less water than dehydrated foods (for cooking and cleanup).
  • They cost more than dehydrated foods.
  • They store for up to 25 years.

Dehydrated foods have these features:

  • They are not pre-cooked.
  • They require total meal preparation, soaking, mixing, and cooking.
  • They require much more cleanup than freeze-dried foods.
  • They require more water than freeze-dried foods (for cooking and cleanup).
  • They are less expensive than freeze-dried foods.
  • They store for 8 to 12 years.
  • You get the satisfaction of knowing that you have prepared your own meals, from your own food storage, that you planned ahead for. It is a feeling of satisfaction (a reader reminded me of this).

It makes the decision a lot easier when you see it spelled out like that.