During 2011, the United States Government increased their stockpile of emergency food supply from 6 million meals to over 400 million meals for use on American soil. Think about all the recent media releases from the Red Cross, FEMA, Homeland Security, local governments and others about food storage and emergency preparedness. Do they know something? Should we be listening? The answer is Yes, we should be. We do need to be prepared to take care of ourselves and our families. Everyone fears that something unexpected is going to happen in 2012. So whether it's a natural or a manmade disaster, it is critical for every family to have the necessary emergency supplies.
Following a disaster there may be no electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working. Your local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.
Even if you are able to get out of your home and go to a grocery store, there is a chance that the stores may be out of food. If you think about how people react to catastrophic disasters. There is a human instinct to fight for survival, and everyone could be running in the same direction you are, pillaging the shelves until there is nothing left, and then it's too late. There is also great chance that your water supply could be cut off or contaminated. When it comes to survival, there is no getting around the importance of having a quality supply of emergency food and water readily available.
The question then becomes 'what and how much emergency supplies should I have?'
It is recommended that every family have a minimum of 3 day's emergency food supply for each member of the household. The more prepared you are the better chances you have to survive on your own; you may need to be self-sufficient for a period of time. Food storage is one of the most important things about being prepared for a disaster. When planning your food storage for long term survival, it is best to go with free discharged or dehydrated meals.
One huge advantage of buying this type of food that is intended for emergency food storage and it has a much longer shelf life. While most packaged convenience foods and commercially canned goods go bad in 6 months to a year. Most emergency food storage items are good for 25 years, when stored properly. They are readily prepared with a minimal amount of effort, are low in sodium, and provide the nutrition needed. Why is it important to have low sodium? Because salt makes you thirsty and you may not have access to a large supply of water. Other items that are good for your long term food storage are, grains like wheat, oat, corn, pasta, and flour; legumes like beans, peas, and lentils. Any dried or evaporated milk or dairy products. Can vegetables and fruit, soups, or meats, peanut butter, jam, nuts. Sweeteners such as sugar, honey, corn syrup or molasses. Cooking staples like salt, yeast, baking powder & soda, and vinegar. Storing anything that is nonperishable is a good idea, just be sure to check expiration dates and rotate your foods often. Store foods in air tight containers, and keep in a cool dark place.
Some people start their food storage plan by just buying a few extra groceries at the store, this is a good start, but remember for long term food storage dehydrated and freeze dried foods have longer shelf life. Start your planning today, Being prepared will give you the life line that you will need be able to take care of you and your family.