It helps. I’ve never had to panic-buy when snow’s been threatened and everybody else has raced to the supermarket. And I could cut back on the food shop when my husband was temporarily asked to work three days a week instead of five, reducing his pay. Perhaps it’s hereditary. My parents have a year’s worth of food in their store cupboard, including 50kg of wheat, which they can soak to make a vegetarian supplement or grind to make flour. My eldest daughter keeps a 72-hour bag in her car.
Heat: Emergency blankets made out of a metallic Mylar material are small and handy, and can double as ground cover or tarps for shelter. We like this pack of six Mylatech XL blankets. For a great bonus option, we love this indoor heater that uses the same small propane tanks as the camping stoves. Avoid cheaper ones that aren’t safe for indoor use — two weeks after first publishing this guide, a neighboring tent in our campground caught on fire because of a cheap propane heater that tipped over while a family slept inside.
Dehydrating your food is a fabulous way to preserve it. Provided you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate fruit, vegetables, and meat. Dehydration means to literally take the water out of the food. Without water, the food stays is less susceptible to spoilage. It can be eaten that way (think fruit leathers or beef jerky) or rehydrated and put into soups and stews and other meals.
I just wanted to comment about an important thing that people need to remember (mistakes happen more often during stressful times): some of the advice given here have to be done AFTER the blast and the aftershock, not BEFORE them. You have to use the few minutes you have to get all the gear you can muster in such a short delay and run to the shelter you want to hide in.
Many of these foods are simple meals that require you to add water and heat (such as MRE's, or Meals Ready to Eat). However, if you buy individual bulk ingredients you can create more of a gourmet pantry which allows you a much greater range of meals to prepare—powdered eggs, spices, all sorts of flours, honey, etc. These foods are not only great for food storage but also for camping trips, especially if your camp kitchen is serving a large crowd.
These glow sticks were terrific! Individually wrapped (means longer shelf-life), sturdy (none of ours were prematurely activated, which has happened with other glow sticks), gave good light. We purchased for use as interior emergency lighting in case Hurricane Irma hit us (she did) and we lost power (we did). There's no danger of fire and one glow stick in the hallway in front of the bathroom made the kids much happier. The white and yellow and green could be used for reading, or for calculating Yatzee score sheets. The red lights were not as bright as the others, but that's not always a bad thing.
Yup, rocket stove DIYs are easy to find, but to each his own and if I can afford to spend $150 on a good knife, I can also afford to spend the same on a rocket stove that’s good looking, lightweight, extremely portable and a one-time buy. It’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t mind pulling out in front of the sheeple to have a BBQ or go camping with, and that makes me happy one way or another. Just like the rain barrel, I could DIY one myself, but it’s unlikely to look even a fraction as good (especially with my incredibly poor DIY skills), and so I’d rather just buy one and be done with it.
Obviously, solar panels by themselves are quite useful things to have, and since both Broadwing and Ned in the comments suggested that Goal Zero is quite overpriced, I’d be remiss to leave out mentioning another, more price-sensitive option. Ned recommended Aukey as a brand that makes solar power equivalents to Goal Zero gear for far cheaper. In his words, Aukey “make the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.”
One of the biggest issues with GMO food is the allergy cross-over. Because genes from nuts, fish, soy and other highly allergenic plants/animals are used in the to give the need seed the desired characteristics, they can trigger serious allergic reactions in people who had no way of knowing the food was dangerous or even which food it was that caused it! If that wasn't bad enough already, it will certainly only be worse in a grid-down situation where medical care is limited at best.
The next thing that you should be aware of is how to use the food that you have prepped and stored. Get familiar with stored-food preparation and the best way to do this is to use it. Get a couple of food-storage cookbooks, or create your own with a little online research. This way you and your family can become familiar with how to use and eat these types of foods.
Austere Living Techniques- Everything gets harder when modern conveniences, luxuries really, disappear. Avoid feeling overwhelmed and helpless by practicing self-reliance and making do with less, now. Learn how to build cooking and camp fires, maintain hygiene, dispose of waste, control your body temperature and create what you need. This is not just for “bush life,” and will prove valuable when the electricity and gas is cut off.
Gaye, I have worked for Green Giant for many years. It is their harvest season now. They have giant warehouses to in which to store their can goods for the next year. They have to get rid of last years cans, to make room for this year’s cans. Have you noticed that in the fall of the year, can fruits and vegetables go on sale. I’m not telling you to not buy them, but keep in mind that most of them are last years crops, and as such, are one year old when you buy them.
One last tip, don’t forget to store easy to prepare foods to help you get through on difficult days. Even though they may not be on your list of required food storage foods, you may want to reconsider puddings, juice boxes, instant packaged foods, coffee, candy, muffin mixes, cake mixes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup (lasts a long time without refrigeration), brownie mix and other specialty comfort foods.
In practice, the process can be a bit tricky. Freeze-dried meals require that you have potable water lying around, which might not be the case in the event of a serious calamity (some Wise Company kits include water purifiers). The cooking instructions for the Wise products I tested call for using the entire four-serving bag at once, which means that you have to have a container on hand to store what you don’t eat, and a fridge to keep it from spoiling. Even at my office kitchen, the only way I could make it work was by pouring about a fourth of the packet in a mug, filling it with water, and putting another mug on top of it.