For most preppers, safety and food security is of paramount importance. Having your own food supply during an emergency or crisis situation will keep you and your family self-sufficient even during the toughest times. How do you build your own stockpile for survival?
Here are 5 things you should know about buying food to stockpile.
- What Is Your Goal?
Before buying food to stockpile, you will need to set your goal. How much stock do you intend to buy? How long do you want the supplies to last? Ideally, your food and water supply should sustain you for at least 72 hours but for peace of mind during an emergency, go beyond the bare minimum.
Start by writing a list of foodstuff that can sustain you and your family for three days. Once you have achieved that goal, keep building until you have enough supplies to last a few months.
- Decide On A Stockpile Budget
When buying food to stockpile, it is important to have a budget from the beginning. Determine how much you can afford and how much money you can spare from your weekly shopping to buy food to stockpile.
Make your budget conservative and reasonable. Avoid getting into debt. Know when to stop. There are times when you will have to pass up a great deal to avoid wasting money. Remember to go over your budget before you start shopping. You can always take advantage of store sales and product rebate offers.
- Invest In Nutritionally Dense Foods
Sometimes, consuming food from a stockpile can get tiring and boring. This is why you will need to invest in a stock that includes nutritionally dense and tasty foods. Consider your family’s taste and make a list of ingredients they will enjoy. Some of the foods to buy include; multivitamins, dried fruits, cereal, canned meat and chicken, nuts and peanut butter.
Don’t buy food items that your family doesn’t eat. Don’t buy food that will go bad before you eat it. Check all the expiry dates and preservatives used to ensure that your food is safe for consumption for the entire period you will need it.
- Prioritize On Water
Water is life. Without it, our bodies cannot survive for more than three days. Buy enough water. You should stockpile and safely store at least two weeks supply of water for every individual in your house.
Commercially bottled water is the best choice since it is safe and does not require sanitizing or disinfecting any further. However, it is advisable to consume or replace the water every six months.
- Prepare Space For Your Stockpile
Stockpiling on food and water will take up a lot of space in your pantry. Before you head out shopping, ensure that you clean and prepare the space. If you intend to store the food in the basement, ensure that your basement is cool and dry.
Remember, seepage, mice or mold can make your entire stock of food unsafe. You can invest in additional storage shelving or identical boxes that take up minimum space.
It doesn’t matter how small the likelihood of a wildfire is for your area–when it hits, you want to be ready. So even if you think the chances of a wildfire in your area are moderate to low, know that it’s better to spend a bit of extra time now preparing yourself and your family than to be thrown into a state of panic should a wildfire ever hit.
- Keep Up with Regular Home Maintenance
There are a few chores you can do regularly to help lessen the effects of a wildfire on your home. Minimize the amount of debris around your property by cleaning the roof and gutters, raking away leaves and dead limbs, mowing your grass, and making sure your trees and shrubs are pruned regularly.
- Stay Informed
Educate yourself on the fire conditions in your area and stay in the know on breaking weather news. Watch the news regularly, check the weather online, or download a weather app for your phone. Turn on notifications for your weather app so you’ll know of any risk of a wildfire in an instant. Ask your child’s caretaker or school about their disaster plans so you can rest assured that your child will be in good hands if disaster ever strikes.
- Compile Your Emergency Supply Kit
Build your family’s emergency supply kit and include items like a compass, clean drinking water, nonperishable foods, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, and copies of important documents.
It’s also wise to document all of your belongings and keep a copy of this list in your kit. This will come in handy for insurance claims or for receiving aid from charitable organizations. Include descriptions and photos of furniture, appliances, electronics, and other valuable belongings. Collect any relevant serial numbers or receipts.
- Create a Plan
In a time of crisis, clear communication can be the best tool in your toolkit. That’s why you should make it a priority to talk to your family about what you’ll do in case of a wildfire. Practice designated evacuation routes. Discuss what actions should be taken if a family member is separated from the group. Make sure children (and adults!) have necessary emergency numbers memorized.
- Know Where You Stand with Insurance
Fire damage can be a tricky topic when it comes to insurance coverage, so it’s better to know your plan’s limitations ahead of time. Insurance may not cover certain landscaping costs following a fire, or may only cover a certain percentage of damaged personal items. You may even want to increase your coverage depending on your area’s level of risk for wildfires. Check with your agent to see what your coverage entails.
It may sound like a bit of a hassle to prepare yourself and your family for a wildfire even when one may never hit, but don’t underestimate the power of having a plan of action during a moment of crisis. It’s better to make plans now and never have to use them than to come up short should disaster strike. Prepare now and you’ll be glad you kept your family’s safety in mind.
Bradley Davis is a retired firefighter and SoCal resident. He has seen is fair share of natural disasters and knows all too well the damage they can cause when people in their paths aren’t prepared. He created DisasterWeb.net to share his emergency preparedness knowledge and to offer the many emergency planning and natural disaster-related resources he has compiled from his online research. When he isn’t adding new information to his site, Bradley enjoys relaxing on the beach with his wife.
This is a great starter list for packing a camping or hiking bag. Many of the items cross over to a survival bug-out bag as well.
Top 30 Essential Tips For Your Camping & Wilderness Survival
Great article for understanding the proper balance of plants you will need to grow to survive. One must take into account calories and nutritional values that you would need to sustain yourself.
There are real benefits to being prepared.
- Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fi and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.
- People also can reduce the impact of disasters (flood proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.
The need to prepare is real.
- Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.
- If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.
- You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area—hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.
- You should also be ready to be self-suffi cient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.
Using this guide makes preparation practical. > Are You Ready? Why Prepare.
Because their bulk and weight have been greatly reduced, dehydrated foods are more compact and convenient for storing and require very little space. They offer quick mobility in the event of an evacuation alert. For example, one case of regular canned food weighs approximately 24 pounds. The same item of dehydrated foods would weigh from 36 to 45 ounces, and would be packed in just one #10 can. Dehydrated foods have approximately double the yield of regular canned foods even though their cost is much lower.
Most of us already eat dehydrated foods daily. Foods like pasta, cereal, beans, cake and baking mixes, as well as many fast foods. In dehydrating foods, water is slowly removed by cooking it out of the food item, without cooking the food itself.
You can see how the Freeze drying process works:
Freeze drying is a process which is suitable for a wide variety of industrial products. These include agrochemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates, biological products, foods and flavorings.
The purpose of freeze drying is to remove a solvent (usually water) from dissolved or dispersed solids. It is an excellent method for preserving materials that are unstable in the presence of water. In addition, freeze drying can be used to separate and recover volatile substances and to purify materials.
The freeze drying process is particularly suitable for products which are sensitive to heat, subject to oxidation, or shear sensitive.
- Appearance – Freeze dried foods maintain their original shape and texture, unlike air dried foods which shrink and shrivel due to high temperature processing. Just add water and in minutes the food rehydrates to its original form.
- Taste – Tastes as good as fresh. Freeze drying removes the water, not the flavour. So freeze dried foods retain virtually all their fresh food taste, vitamins and nutritional content.
- Weight – Weighs less than fresh. Freeze dried foods have 98% of their water removed. This significantly reduces the food’s weight, making it easier to handle and less costly to transport. For example, 3kg of chicken weighs only 1kg after freeze drying, and rapidly rehydrates back to its original weight.
- Long Shelf Life – Freeze dried foods can be stored for months or years at room temperature without deterioration or spoilage.
- Low Storage Costs – Because it can be stored at room temperature, freeze dried food does not require costly cold or chilled storage facilities, making it much cheaper to store.