Be Prepared in Case of Emergency--Part 1
By Susan Steffen-Kraft
which has caused the price of food to soar; this is among several reasons tons and tons of survival food have sailed off warehouse shelves across this country.
Some people out there think folks like me are a bit "strange" for stocking up on food. They think having a food stockpile ready for a natural disaster is something they can put off for "someday" or "never". But those people are just hiding their heads in the sand because they are ignorant and do not see what is happening right in front of their face.
Modern day Preppers will focus much more on being prepared for things that will more likely be an issue – such as the family breadwinner losing their job or passing away and even becoming incapacitated. Other primary concerns for Preppers are death or serious illness/injury to a family member, all-consuming house fire, flooding or other natural and man-made disasters. Our current economic situation makes the possibility of this impacting you and your family. They look ahead to how the economic stability of their country and what it would mean for, not just themselves, but the rest of their country if a severe economic crisis were to occur.
Many of us have seen evidence and situations and realize that it is way too serious not to do something about it. When a crisis hits, we will be ready. We will make sure our families won't go hungry and if you were wise you would be prepared also.
My mother always said, "Better to be safe than sorry!" I adhere to her common sense statement.
If the grid goes down, or a situation with snowstorms hitting for days and you are stuck at home, etc. and this is just short term. What about long term? What if there is no drinking water for several days or longer and stores shelves are wiped clean or there are acts of terrorism which could change our way of life.
Needed are food preservation supplies such as dehydrators, canners, smokers, fermenting/pickling supplies.
Bulk food – Canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated or dry goods.
Something to filter water and to catch rain in, plus stored water.Here are some tips to successfully storing drinking water for long-term storage...
1. Start with good pure clean water
2. Have a good clean safe sealed container
3. Last have a good storage location
BPA-free plastic containers that have been manufactured specifically for water storage are the best and these containers are often colored blue and labeled as safe for drinking water. You can use any food-grade storage container, or you even choose to use your own two-liter plastic soft drink bottles. But always be sure to thoroughly clean the storage container first.
Store your long-term drinking water storage containers in a dark cool place so as to avoid heat which will promote the growth of algae. Replace the water once a year if possible and remember it is still drinkable but will taste flat.
In researching this, I found out that 50 gallons is enough for 2 people for a month. Of course, that is only for drinking, not for bathing, washing clothes, etc.
Also invaluable to you would be some kind of an Emergency stove – solar oven, rocket stove, camping stoves, etc.
Any of the above will be helpful in heating, cooking and preparing food along with other things.
We are going to discuss canning which is a reward in itself. You know exactly what ingredients are included and there are no artificial preservatives. Add the nutrition of fruits and vegetables into your food storage diet plus home-canned foods taste significantly better than store-bought canned goods. If you are lucky enough to have your own garden and or local farm stands you can buy from this is a great way to preserve the food you grew or bought.
If you have your water bath canner and jars then each year you may can more and eat up the last years supplies. This is a short term storage technically. It is something to redo each year and saves you money also. But should a disaster of some kind strike, you do have your canned goods to fall back on. You have fresh stuff canned each year and should some stay over a year despite what is said that is alright. I myself have eaten canned goods that are 2 to 3 years old. Jellies, jams, pickles will last a few years as long as they are sealed the way they should be and stored in a cool dry place.
Dried fruits in particular apricots, raisins, and bananas are yummy and healthy as they are loaded with potassium plus fiber. Dried apples are also a great addition and all of the above are even better if you own your own dehydrator and can dry your own.
Of course, the addition of canned meats such as tuna, salmon, chicken turkey and soup plus canned veggies are always a welcome addition. The meats giving you protein and the soup and veggies can be eaten straight out of the can giving you variety and nutrients.
Storing food in buckets is a smart move because the heavy duty plastic helps to keep out pests, light, moisture, and oxygen which are four of the enemies of food. Buckets should be made from food safe plastic.
A bag made of mylar can be used as a liner in any bucket and provides a double layer of protection for the food. This is probably one of the best ways to store over the long term rice, beans, sugar and flour and even pasta. Always label the buckets with a black marker and date them. There are so many ideas out there that one can google up to help you get started.
Freezing veggies and fruits will give you another option. I freeze many foods and am aware that that is most definitely short term. But it helps each winter with the grocery bill. You, of course, must be aware that if the electricity goes out there could be the problem of losing food. Keeping the freezer door shut can at least keep the stuff in there for a few days. In the winter if you are in a cold part of the country and particularly with snow in your area, you could move some of the food outside. At the end of this article is a video on freezing foods properly.
Here is a link to help you avoid some common mistakes in storing food.