Who needs the best emergency food kits?
Who knows what the future holds? If we know what challenges will arise every day, we will never be caught off guard. Unfortunately, life is not like that. Those who like to look ahead and prepare for “just in case” scenarios are often portrayed as borderline lunatics and doomsday preppers. However, assembling the best emergency food kit for yourself or your family should be something every responsible adult takes seriously. When it comes to getting emergency rations for your family, some of the “normal” situations that might arise include: a job loss, temporary layoffs, long-term damage from a storm, or a power outage that keeps your family stuck at home. Or, if the opportunity arises, you might just want to be in the position of helping another family in need. Then there are apocalyptic scenarios haunting some people’s minds, and there’s no better way to quell those fears than to look ahead and prepare for the worst. Whatever your reason for looking to the future and making emergency excuses for the tough times ahead, we’re here to help you create the best emergency food kit for your family.
determine your needs
First, develop your preparation strategy. If you’re just starting emergency preparedness, you probably won’t have more than a day or two of food in your cupboards. If so, building a thirty-day food supply is a good place to start. If you’ve already stockpiled 30 days of emergency rations, your next step might be to prepare a six-month or one-year emergency food kit. The important thing is to start somewhere and build up your supplies until you’ve assembled the best emergency food kit you can.
Who are you feeding?
Do you have children at home? teenager? Elderly or Elderly? Babies need special feeding methods, such as milk or formula, and older adults may have some unique nutritional needs, too. Draw on paper who you will be building a food supply for and any special items you will need for them or yourself. Then think about what it takes to feed that person for a day.
Once you’ve written down how much food a person needs for a day, you need to multiply that by the number of people, and the number of days you’ll be preparing it.
What do they like to eat?
It is not necessary to live on rice and beans for a month. You don’t want to hoard three months’ worth of food and your family won’t be touching it with a 6ft pole just because it’s cheap. It might keep you alive in a pinch, but you want to enjoy it if possible. So, consider likes and dislikes when planning. Don’t forget to consider food allergies, too. In an emergency, you don’t want to face an allergic reaction from cross-contamination, so it’s best to avoid the food in question entirely if possible.
Types of emergency rations
There are many ways to build a great emergency food kit. The easiest but certainly not the cheapest way is to invest in the business contingency ratios offered by various companies. These kits come in single servings, or a person’s month’s worth of food. There are dozens of options to choose from.
Another method that requires some planning and management is to simply buy and use what you buy and use on a weekly basis and start building up a constant supply. If you typically use three cans of beans and two boxes of mac ‘n’ cheese and one jar of peanut butter each week, start buying double that and save the extra for an emergency food kit. Then manage your inventory with rotations to keep your food as fresh as possible. Freshness will be a significant advantage in a protracted disaster, where you’ll be relying on emergency rations for months or even years.
Once you’ve amassed a few months’ supply of food, organize your cans and boxes with the fastest shelf life at the front and the furthest at the back. Then, when you go grocery shopping, put the new stuff on the back and use it from the front. This keeps your stock fresh and ready to use when needed.
Home canning is another, less expensive way to build an emergency food kit. Canning is becoming a lost art, so if you’re not familiar with how, you’re not alone. Canning food in glass jars takes a little learning and effort, but it will allow you to preserve delicious homemade meals for years. Be sure to understand which foods require pressure cooking and water bath preservation methods. Proper canned food is best kept in a cool, dark place between 50 and 70 *F (10 – 21 *C) and is safe to eat for many years after canning.
For long-term storage of bulk dry goods, wheat, beans, rice, sugar, and other dry goods can be vacuum-sealed and stored in five-gallon drums with O2 absorbers for thirty years or more. For the truly prepared, a few barrels of wheat and corn will go a long way towards peace of mind.
A vacuum sealer is a good investment for anyone who is serious about emergency operations. Sealing small amounts of food not only keeps it longer, it also allows you to use a little at a time instead of having to quickly use up a large container once you open it.
If you’re concerned about the shelf life of store-bought canned goods, keep this story in mind. In 1865, a steamboat named Bertrand attempted to reach Montana but sank at the bottom of the Missouri River. A hundred years later, canned food was recovered from that shipwreck. In 1974, 109 years after the accident, chemists tested the food and found it safe to eat. Use caution when consuming expired canned goods. If it looks weird, smells bad, or tastes bad, don’t eat it!
Signs of food spoilage in emergency food kits
Signs of canned food spoilage: Bulging cans, or leaky lids. Check the liquid for mold or fermentation bubbles. If food is flushed out of the can or jar when you open it, the contents that were not there when the can or jar was sealed will be under pressure. This is a good indicator of the activity of the bacteria causing the chemical reaction.
Once you’ve established a good base for emergency moves, you might want to start thinking about adding some comfort food to your store. We all turn to food for comfort in stressful situations, and in times of disaster, good food may not be readily available. Some things to store include:
- chocolate Cocoa powder keeps best, but bars with more than 70% cocoa will keep for several months, or even longer if frozen. The hot chocolate mix has a shelf life of years and can be easily added to the rotation of emergency food kits.
- pasta It is best to separate the noodles from the cheese and vacuum seal them with an O2 absorber. If you’re worried about not being able to cook macaroni and cheese, you can can it, but it won’t have the same texture as freshly made. Cooking the noodles before canning helps reduce the mushyness of the noodles.
- sugar Honey made with natural preservatives can be kept indefinitely as long as water never comes near it. Store in a very clean, very dry glass jar. If it crystallizes, you can warm it up a bit to bring it back to its liquid state.
- freeze dried fruit Or dehydrated fruit can be a great energy booster, and they stay in good shape if stored properly.
- hard candy Store with desiccant and vacuum seal for a much-needed pick-up in stressful conditions.
- coconut oilespecially virgin coconut oil can be stored for a long time and provides extra fat for comfort recipes without butter.
- spices – If you get to a place where you have to cook all your food with what you have on hand, you’ll be glad to have some extra spices to…well…season things up.
- Alcohol -Obviously, a comforting item, but it has multiple uses in a disaster scene and is well preserved. A high alcohol content (over 20%) can be kept longer, and over 40% can be used as a sanitizer if desired.
- Tea – Stay healthy without special accommodations. To keep it freshest, store it in small quantities in an O2 absorber.
- coffee – For those of you who really need a cup of coffee to pick you up, coffee will be an essential part of the best emergency food kit. The roasted coffee is vacuum-sealed in mylar bags for up to two years. If you rotate it through your emergency rations, you’ll have good coffee for a while. For further preparation, you can store green coffee beans in mylar bags with O2 absorbers, then roast and grind as desired.
What to choose?
How to decide what to put in the best emergency food kit? A good rule of thumb is to eat six months to a year’s worth of food every day. This is easy to manage with good shopping and rotation. For frame prep beyond that time, vacuum-sealed mylar bags keep items dry for years. Many companies and even faith-based home prep programs offer dry goods preserved in #10 jars, which are good for up to 30 years. With planning and forethought, it is possible to construct an emergency food kit that can last for years in a pinch.
Water is critical to surviving certain types of disaster scenarios. One liter of water per person per day is a good starting point when planning for emergencies. You’ll also need some extra sanitation and cooking expenses. Make sure you have enough water on hand, or have a way to get it and sanitize it. Sanitation tablets and filtration systems will be a major part of the best emergency food kit.
looking to the future
To be fully prepared, it’s important to think ahead about food preparation during an emergency. How would you cook your carefully stored mac and cheese if the power was out for three weeks? Even if you have an emergency generator, stoves and microwaves use too much energy to cook with a generator. A propane or butane camping stove with a massive fuel cell, or a propane or charcoal grill are good options to have on hand. And don’t forget to include a hand can opener in your emergency food kit.
where to put?
Storage space can be tricky, depending on your housing situation. If possible, you’ll want to designate a neat and organized room dedicated to storing food. You’ll label the shelves and store and rotate items properly. If you’re not living in such a fairytale situation, you may need to get a little more creative with how you stock your emergency food kits. Lots of food can be stored neatly in cardboard boxes, under beds, at the bottom or top of closets, and under stairs. You may need to reduce unnecessary clutter to make room for emergencies. The payoff will be worth it.
get ready and don’t be afraid
Take the necessary steps to make the best emergency food kit possible, and you can rest easy. To know that you are capable of caring for those you love and being able to lend a helping hand to those around you in times of need, he puts you in a category reserved for the few. You’ll have peace of mind at night knowing that no matter what tomorrow holds, your family will be content.