“One misconception about prepping is that you’re always thinking there’s going to be some kind of epic disaster,” she told me over the phone from Virginia. “The most common disaster that we prep for, or that happens to us, is a financial problem.” A longtime single mother, Luther said her interest in food storage grew out of a period of “abject poverty” following the 2008 recession. Lisa Bedford, a Texas-based writer who runs the site The Survival Mom, told me she got into disaster preparedness around the same time, when she wasn’t sure if her husband’s construction business would survive the downturn. (Bedford also works as an independent consultant for Thrive Life, meaning that she promotes their products online, and receives a commission on purchases from customers she refers to the company, as well as a discount on products she buys herself.)
MREs are a very convenient prepping food because aside from the pudding they do not require the addition of water. These meals also include a built-in heater so that you can warm up your meal no matter where you are and eat right out of the bag. They are easy to carry with you, making them a good addition to your bugout bag, and they come as a complete meal, even down to the salt and pepper.

Personally, I’d separate this list out from the actual food stockpile list. Why? If you have a list of foods you’re stockpiling, it’s better to organize it in a way that makes sense to you (refrigerated, frozen, canned, grains, etc.) than it is to organize it by food expiry, and if the food is expiring soon it can be hard to tell if you just tacked the expiry date on to the end of each item in an unorganized list.
After 9/11, my dad filled a duffel bag with some energy bars, a couple gallons of water, some penicillin, and a map. Amid scaremongering headlines about imminent anthrax and “dirty bomb” attacks in the city, he wanted to have some supplies on hand in case we needed to get out of Brooklyn fast. Were he to assemble such a bag today, he’d likely stumble on a number of companies promising a more wholesale brand of disaster preparedness: a box full of shelf-stable freeze-dried meals, to be revived from their dessicated state with the addition of boiled water.
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