One of the primary concerns for disaster preppers is knowing they have enough food to last during an emergency. The American Public Health Association even recommends every American have a three-day food supply at a minimum and explain that most experts believe a week supply is better. Knowing that food shortages can occur, what should you stock up? Is it enough to focus on nonperishables? The rest of this post will discuss your emergency pantry’s staples, requirements for storage, and the importance of food review and rotation.
What To Include in Your Stockpile
When discussing food items to include in your stockpile, you need to focus on shelf-stable items. In other words, you want a majority of food that does not require refrigeration. It is also essential to focus on things that are not high in salt.
It would be best if you also focused on purchasing supplies over several months rather than buying everything at once. Buying everything in one shot only contributes to the likelihood of a shortage, which sparks panic buying.
Some staples you will want to purchase are dry goods, like pasta and rice; dried goods, like cereal and granola; canned goods, like fruits and vegetables. Also, including some perishables with longer shelf lives is OK, like hard cheese and peanut butter.
Do not forget to stock up on water. You need to figure on at least one gallon of water per person per day.
If you feel safe doing so, you can also use a freezer to store meats and produce. Most meats will last for months when frozen and sealed correctly.
An emergency food supply is not something you will get into regularly, so it is crucial to find a safe place to store it. It is best to store food items in a container, one with a tight seal, eliminating the risks of pests or humidity spoiling or contaminating the supply. Find a cool, dark place to keep the items, and avoid storing too close to chemicals or cleaners.
Storing your food in a container means that it is easy to transport during an emergency. The container also ensures that all food supplies are organized in one easy to find place.
Food Rotation and Refresh
When reviewing your existing stockpile, look closely at expiration dates and the conditions of the food. There is always room to improve storage practices. You might find that your stockpile’s previous location was too humid, leading to rapid spoilage or mold growth. You can either search for a new site or use a dehumidifier to eliminate the moisture problem.
You also should establish a rotational or inventory system, ensuring that you use items that are nearing their expiration and replace each with a new option. If you have more than a week’s worth of supplies, inventory can become complicated, meaning you might have to include a paper and pencil or computer-aided system.
While current food supplies in the US seem stable, there is no saying when or if a disaster might interrupt the supply chain. Ensuring that you have enough food and water for your family to survive for at least a week is the expert recommendation; preparing more than average is the preppers way. How do you prepare for potential food shortages? Leave a comment below.