Disasters, whether natural or man-made, seem to be happening with increasing frequency in various places, and of magnitudes never-before witnessed. Unfortunately, anyone who lives on this planet is vulnerable to disaster.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
The good news is that being prepared for a disaster can give you and your family peace of mind that the unexpected disaster, while certainly not something one looks forward to, does not necessarily need to be feared. It does take a bit of work and planning initially, but afterward is simply a matter of routine maintenance.
Where Should I Start?
Let’s face it – there are a lot of things that we use every day that we can live without. For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on two of the necessities of life, food, and water.
What Survival Food Is Best and How Do I Store It?</h1?
Fruits and Vegetables
When planning long-term for disaster food storage, it is recommended to grow and preserve your own vegetables and fruit, if at all possible. There are many reasons why this is recommended, but the most obvious are:
*These vegetables and fruits are harvested and preserved at maturity when the nutrients are at their peak level. In a disaster environment, it is most desirable to have nutrient-rich foods available to help the body fight infections and diseases.
*By growing and preserving your own food, you know exactly how the food was grown and have the assurance that you also know every single ingredient with which the food was packaged.
Even if it is not possible or feasible to grow your own vegetables and fruits, check your newspaper or other media for local farmers’ markets where these fresh produce items can be purchased for home preserving.
It is very important for the body to ingest enough protein to sustain itself. Lack of protein can cause strength to wane, and muscles to atrophy. It may not be wise to plan on using frozen meat for protein due to the danger of spoilage if no electrical power is available. But, the good news is that there are other good sources of protein, some of which are plant-based, which can keep these natural bodybuilding blocks healthy and functional.
Literally the force of life, water is an absolute essential! The human body can survive for several days without any solid food, but only two to three days without water. In order to maintain healthy fluid levels, the human body needs between 8 to 10 cups of clean water daily.
Water can be a challenge to store because it can become unsafe to drink if not stored properly. Because it is a vital component to survival, it is crucial that the proper steps be followed to ensure safe, clean water for yourself and your family when other water sources may be depleted or unavailable.
How Do I Store Water?</h3
Store water in clean, water-safe containers away from direct light, preferably in a cool location. Never assume that stored water will be safe to drink indefinitely, but rotate stored water on a regular basis. If regular tap water is being used, it should be changed out at least every six months. If purchased, bottled water is stored, rotate it at least once a year.
What Should Be On My Survival Food List?
The following is a sample listing of food items that should be stored in a storm shelter or other emergency location to carry you through the disaster: Water – a good rule of thumb is one gallon per person, per day. Canned Foods – home-canned for optimal nutrition, but commercially-canned is acceptable as well. Bread – loaves of bread will stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer, so it’s a good idea to keep the freezer stocked and use bread as needed from the freezer to keep it rotated. Milk – Canned, evaporated, and/or shelf-stable boxed milk. Watch the expiration dates and keep them rotated. Canned meats and beans – to keep protein levels healthy. Flour and/or a baking mix – will last approximately one year before needing to be restocked. Salt and sweeteners such as sugar and/or honey – have an indefinite shelf life, as long as they are stored in waterproof containers. Butter – can be stored from six to nine months in the freezer. Dried fruits are great for snacks, and dried or frozen savory items (such as onions) add flavor to soups and stews.
A set of cast iron cookware, stashed in your shelter, will help provide the means to making hot, nutritious meals – even if the only heat source you have is an open fire. There are a lot of cooking tips and recipes in most sporting good stores, or online, for cast iron cooking over an open fire. Generally written with campers in mind, these resources are a great way to make disaster survival much more comfortable to endure. An added bonus is that cooking in cast iron supplements the daily iron in one’s diet! So, the foods you store, as well as the means to cook them, will keep you more than a step ahead of any disaster that is yet to come!