Having the right stuff in your emergency preparedness food supply can mean the difference between life or death in a severe disaster. After all, there are good reasons why the military spends millions of dollars making sure that its troops are well-fed and happy, even if not necessarily eating well-balanced meals. Today's MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) rations are far more diverse and healthy than ever before, and are a good model to follow when creating an emergency preparedness food list.
3 Reasons Why An Emergency Preparedness Food Kit Is A Good Idea
1. Canned food expires. Most people assume that if there's a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood, they will be able to eat the canned food in their pantry as an emergency preparedness food supply. However, this is forgetting about the fact that food in cans generally has a short shelf life (about 2 to 3 years), and few people think about rotating the canned food in their pantry that often.
2. Canned food is heavy. Another common mistake folks make is in forgetting about how heavy canned food can be. One can of chili is around 19 ounces. That means 25 cans is going be 30 pounds! That's why companies that specialize in making food for emergency preparedness make it their goal to manufacture lightweight, long-lasting food that you won't break your back carrying around wherever you might have to go.
3. In an emergency, something is always forgotten. Anyone who's ever panicked and forgotten something important as a result can testify: you're not at your best, thinking-wise, during a crisis. It's easy to forget important things when the adrenaline is rushing and you feel like every second counts. That's why it's highly doubtful that during or immediately following a disaster you'll be able to remember everything that's needed to survive—especially all the food-related items. Got a can opener? Matches? Something to cook those meals in? How about water? Pre-packaged emergency preparedness food supply kits take the guesswork out of wondering whether you'll be ready.
Making An Emergency Preparedness Food List
Figuring out what to put on your list can be daunting, which is why a number of companies do it for you. One thing you'll need to decide is how many days worth of food you think should be in the supply: three days? Five days? Seven? Thirty? Depending on how mobile you want the food supply to be, you can put more or less food in it. Obviously, carting around food for three days will be a lot easier than food for thirty, so establish how long you think it would take for emergency services to reach your home and plan accordingly.
Emergency Preparedness Food Kits: More Than Just Food
Nor are emergency preparedness food kits just about food. As you might have gleaned from the above list, there are a lot of other things you'll wish you had packed in an emergency preparedness food storage bin if food is all you've got. The most critical need for anyone following any disaster is not usually food, but clean, drinkable water. The average 50-pound adult should drink about 9 glasses of water to stay hydrated each day, although you can survive on less than that. Add to that water needed for cleaning, bathing, and even flushing the toilet in your house (it can get pretty unhealthy), and you've got a lot of water. Having a water filtration system and/or water purification tablets is one way to prepare for that.
Emergency Preparedness Food: Miscellaneous Items
Besides water, you'll also want things like a flashlight (or some other portable source of light) along with extra batteries; a first aid kit; a blanket or two; soap; and a few basic tools like a pocket knife and can opener. It's a good idea to keep non food items in a separate container from the food so that the perfumes don't infuse the food. There's nothing worse than oatmeal that tastes and smells like washing powder. And although you'll probably want to keep your food for emergency preparedness in an airtight, heavy-duty plastic container, it's wise to have a duffel bag or two in the container as well, in case you need to go mobile with your food kit.
Do I Really Need An Emergency Preparedness Food Supply Kit?
With disasters like the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and the Japanese tsunami in 2011 in the media, some people say that the frequency of these events is increasing. Others believe that these kinds of disasters have always been there, but that the interconnection of countries and peoples through technology have simply made us more aware of what's happening around the globe. Regardless of who is right, the fact is that no one can predict where the next natural disaster will strike, or when. Being ready in advance by setting aside an emergency preparedness food storage kit is a good way to make sure that you will be one of the ones who makes it.