If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that the world can be an unpredictable place. With the pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty all around us, we’ve learned that some things are (unfortunately) out of our control. For that reason, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. You probably already have an emergency survival kit with items like water, batteries, first aid equipment, etc - but what will you eat?
There are so many good reasons why your family should have an emergency food supply - we’ll cover some of them here, along with how to create one.
- Natural disasters - Sometimes things happen in nature that can prevent you from getting to a store, or having access to a food source. A hurricane, a tornado, a blizzard. Any number of storms could make it impossible to get to a store, or likely that stores and other parts of our society that we depend on will be shut down. You never know how long help will take to arrive in such a circumstance - emergency food can keep your family alive while you wait out a storm.
- Economic scares - It’s not fun to think about, but the truth is for most of us, our money is tied up in banks. That means, should unprecedented crises occur, we might not have immediate access to it. How will you buy food? Having an emergency food supply means you will feed your family while you sort out economic and financial troubles.
- Large scale emergencies - Aside from natural disasters, there are other problems that could bring normal food production to a grinding halt. Military conflicts, terrorist attacks, and many other issues can make it impossible to get food through the channels that we are used to, and you’d be surprised how quickly we can run out of food relying on the typical supply chain. We shouldn’t take for granted that we can get food whenever we want to, however we want to.
- Peace of mind - Even if the chance of a natural disaster or other large scale emergency is minuscule, many families find that they enjoy the security of having an emergency food supply for survival. Knowing that they are prepared and can meet the needs of their family in any situation helps many people to sleep at night, no matter what is going on in the world around them.
- Less dependence on others - say a really bad situation does occur. Our society happens to have a lot of safety nets in place to help those affected. From government agencies to the Red Cross to private charities, many people are willing to help others in an emergency - but how much do you want to depend on those individuals and organizations? It can take a long time to receive the assistance needed, and those who do are dependent on what the program provides. What if your child is allergic to the food supplied? What if the rations are not enough for your family? And, wouldn’t it feel good to be one of the people helping others? An emergency food supply can ensure you’re not dependent on others if things in your world go badly.
How to Get Started with an Emergency Food Supply
The goal of this post isn’t to scare you, but just to make you aware of some of the reasons that an emergency food supply is not only helpful, but critical. If you’re ready to get started, follow these best practices.
- We suggest planning for a minimum three month food supply. Some experts say to plan for a one year food supply, others say suggest more. That's for you to decide.
- Choose non-perishable foods with long shelf lives, such as rice, dried beans, jerky, powdered drink mixes, etc. For a comprehensive list of foods that preserve well, read our past post on which foods are best for long-term food storage. In an emergency, variety isn’t the most important thing, but it is nice to have. Remember, during a disaster scenario, things are likely to be pretty discouraging already - why make it worse by eating the same bland food every day? Also try to account for the daily calorie needs of your entire family when planning food supplies.
- Invest in the right supplies. Don’t make the mistake of thinking regular freezer bags will cut it. What if you don't have electricity? You can set aside a lot more types of food if you use Mylar bags or pouches, packed inside food-grade plastic buckets or tubs, tools like a vacuum sealer, etc. High quality mylar pouches are your best bet for reliable long-term food storage.
- Give some thought to where you’ll store your emergency food supply. You don’t want this survival kit just sitting in your normal pantry, nor do you want to store these items in a warm closet. Ideally you can find a cool, dark space like a basement for storage. If you don’t have a basement, a spot like under your bed or closet would work. Make sure you can get to it quickly and actually make use of it in the event of a disaster scenario.
For a more comprehensive guide to long-term food storage or emergency food solutions, check out our past blogs. Visit our website to choose the highest-quality Mylar storage solutions that won’t puncture, unseal, or lead to damage of the food inside.