People have been predicting the end of the world since…well, probably since the beginning of the world. So while apocalyptic theories aren’t a new thing, it does seem that recently there has been more excitement, more speculation and more genuine concern about the uncertainty of the future than at any other time before. Whether you believe in any of these “end-of-the-world” theories or not, the recent string of natural disasters and a turbulent economy are probably more than enough to justify some preoccupation with the future.
A lot of our anxiousness when considering the future centers on basic necessities—food and water. Starvation is not a real concern for most of us right now but the thought of a disaster leaving us without meals or quality drinking water is an unpleasant thing, to say the least. Although it is impossible to predict the future, it is possible to prepare for the worst and gain some peace of mind in the present.
One of the most fundamental and important emergency preparedness steps that you can take is building up a good supply of food storage. Building a quality supply of disaster food will take some initial investment but it is possible for even the busiest and most financially challenged.
Begin by formulating a food storage plan. Determine how much food storage you will need to sustain yourself and those dependent on you by calculating the amount of water and calories you and your dependents consume per day. Experts estimate that adults should drink between 8 and 13 cups of fluid depending on height and weight. Calorie requirements also vary depending on height and weight but generally range between 2200 and 2700 calories daily.
Water is the most crucial element in a survival situation so begin there. If you are on a tight budget, start small by purchasing a couple gallons of water per week. Building your emergency water supply little by little won’t strain you financially but it will prevent the procrastination that often comes when you plan on buying it all at the same time. Make water your initial priority but you will also want to gradually build a food supply as well.
When building your disaster food supply remember that nutritional value is far more important than taste or variety. If disaster really does strike for you, you will be grateful if you chose to focus on the basics. Start with grains such as flour, rice and macaroni as well as focusing on dried fruits and vegetables. Powdered milk or yogurt bites are good dairy options and a variety of freeze-dried meats will last long and provide essential protein. Dried beans are another good option for protein and store well for long periods of time.
Ideally you will want to build up one year worth of food storage. Purchasing a full year worth all at once is probably not an option financially for most people so building gradually is important. Factor food storage into your monthly budget to make this manageable. After establishing your food storage, rotate your foods by keeping the oldest items in accessible locations and incorporating them into your daily menu. Using food storage in your daily cooking is a great way to save money as well. After using food storage items you will want to make sure to replace them so that you always have a full store of fresh foods and a healthy dose of peace of mind.
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