Getting Started on Your Emergency Food Storage Plan
In the case of an emergency, you will need to have at least three days worth of food and water on hand. Finding the right foods and food storage methods are important. Food storage methods range from freeze dried and dehydrated meals to traditional canned foods that can be stored for several years. Understanding emergency food storage methods will help you choose the right options for you and your family.
Both freeze dried and dehydrated foods are popular choices for long term storage because the shelf life for these types of food is longer than most other storage methods. For example, a pouch of freeze dried soup can last for up to twenty-five years when stored properly. An investment into freeze dried food pouches is definitely something to consider if you don’t want to rotate your emergency food supplies.
Freeze dried food retains most of its flavor and nutritional components. Both dehydrated and freeze dried food is prepared through a process that remove the moisture from the food, allowing it to stay fresher for a much longer period of time. These options are ideal for emergency preparedness because the foods are lightweight and can be prepared with just a little water.
Canned products also have a longer shelf life than prepared food and come in many different varieties. Unlike freeze dried or dehydrated options, you will need to rotate your supply of canned food every few years by using what you have on hand and replacing the food that is nearing its expiration date. All canned food should be stored in a cool, dry place to maximize its lifespan.
For emergency preparedness purposes, buying dried food in bulk is an excellent choice. Products such as rice, dried beans and grains like oats can be stored in large, food safe buckets. Dried foods can last for several years or more without the integrity of the food being affected. Dried foods typically require more water and cooking than other options, however, so plan in advance to be sure that you have the supplies needed to cook food choices like dried beans.
Planning Your Storage
You will want to begin your plan for emergency food storage well in advance of an emergency situation. If you typically buy in bulk, you have the advantage of having a large quantity of supplies at home throughout the year. It is advisable to keep water along with food to ensure you have what you need to prepare foods. Additionally, you will want to choose foods that provide enough nutrients. Make sure that you choose food that your family likes and that is relatively similar to your regular diet.
John David Keys: Founder of Survival Companion.com