With all the new coronavirus food shortage headlines coming out with literally each hour, it can be hard not to be overwhelmed by the slow, creeping, intense anxiety of when the next disaster is going to strike. Food stocking seems to be a serious concern during these times.
A good way to combat these feelings is to take precautions and prepare a plan, and specifically, a food prepping plan that will help keep you and your families safe and fed.
This doesn’t always need to include a secret bunker under your home, or a secluded bug out cabin miles away. Before you look anywhere else you should look in your pantry. How much food do you have stored away? How long will it last?
Most families only have enough food stored away in their pantries to last a week.
Food storage is the most important thing to consider when preparing for SHTF situations, because what good are the rest of your preps if you can’t eat?
If you don’t know where to get started on food prep, read on and let me show you.
The worst thing you could do is put in the time, effort, and money in to get yourself prepared only for it to all go to waste because you forgot to account for something such as humidity.
It’s as simple as finding a spot that:
Has good ventilation
Is away from direct sunlight
Stored below 80 degrees
Away from any kind of moisture
Is as pest free as possible.
If you follow those simple guidelines you should be alright to keep your food for it’s shelf life.
How much is enough?
Don’t give into the pressure of needing a year’s supply of food right now. Unless you have the cash, space, and time, you’ll just cause unneeded stress. It’s much better to start small and set honest goals for yourself. Each and every one of these guidelines is intended to be tailored to your specific situation.
Your first step is to get 3 days worth.
According to the federal government you should have a minimum of 3 day food supply. This is a good, simple place to start and chances are you already have this amount laying around your cupboards. In any disaster you’re going to eat the food out of the fridge first since it spoils almost immediately.
Next, build it to 3 weeks.
Now the simplest way to figure out how much this entails is to take the normal amount your family eats on a typical day, then multiply that by 21.
Now try and build it up to 3 months.
Try considering simpler bulk items. Beans, rice, pasta, flour, sugars, anything that you can use to build meals from scratch. Try and measure out recipes that your family enjoys to properly obtain the amount of food you’ll need
Strive for 6 months.
When you’ve gotten three months under your belt, you want to double it. It’s as simple as that, just look at what you have and get the same amount again and you’ll be even more set.
And finally, 1 year.
Keep building until you’re confident that the food you have stored will keep you and your family fed up to a year, don’t just let it sit though. Continually go through it and check on the condition, replacing anything that needs replacing. Even adding more here and there if you see that you’re missing something.
What Food Should You Stock?
Try and keep in mind as well that even though when you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat anything, it will only make it harder to keep morale up if you’re choking down food you don’t enjoy. So bulk up on the stuff that even your pickiest family member will eat.
If you can’t cook your food what’s the point? Here’s a small list of things you’ll need.
Pots and pans
One thing to consider is using a camp stove when your home one stops working.
In the beginning you can get overwhelmed by the massive amount of options out there. But to keep things simple you can make do with either making food from scratch, or purchase premade or packaged foods.
With pre-prepared foods, you’ll be doing less work with premade food but you’ll be ingesting more additives.
But keeping yourself as healthy as possible no matter the scenario is your main goal, you’ll want to make everything yourself.
Here’s a small checklist of foods to store to get you started.
Dried beans, lentils, or peas
Protein bars, granola bars, or fruit bars
Canned soups, fruit, and vegetables
Peanut butter and jelly
Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
Powdered drink mixes
Instant soup mixes
Now it can be hard to find good quality sources of protein, especially the longer a survival situation goes on. These high quality meats have a decent shelf life, potentially providing you and your family with needed protein for longer than you’ll need it.
Say you don’t want to use as many canned options, but still want the same quality and shelf life. You’ll want to go with the “Grab & Go” kits that provide 120 servings of freeze-dried meat. They come in compact buckets that can stack together easily so that you’re not wasting any space.
The best time to start preparing is right now. Some of these products will be out of stock, but you can get email reminders when they are restocked. Here are a couple items that were in stock when this article was published:
No matter if you have a basement hallway filled from floor to ceiling, or if you have only a couple of tubs under your bed, any amount of food stored away will increase your chances of making it through the worst situations. Don’t think that you have to be the only one to take on this task.
It can be a great way to get the entire family involved, have everyone pitch in setting up shelving, stacking the food in ways that make sense for everyone, or planning out meals.
I sincerely hope that these guidelines will help you in providing for yourself when it matters the most. For more reading on SHTF prepping check out this article.