emergency food supplies

All posts tagged emergency food supplies

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Out of all the years that I’ve been writing about prepping, this has been the year of the wake-up call. If one good thing has come from all the disasters, it’s the fact that many people have seen the light and learned a hard, firsthand lessons and want to start prepping.

  • Hurricane Harvey taught people that places which didn’t normally flood were still not exempt from Mother Nature and that the aftermath was rife with danger.
  • The wildfires in California taught people that they needed a rapid evacuation plan for themselves and their pets.
  • Hurricane Maria taught us that life could completely and utterly change for millions of people whose homes were destroyed and who may not have the grid back anytime in the near future.
  • Hurricane Irma was one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the state in many years. Millions of people were warned to evacuate. Residents faced destruction and lengthy interruptions in power and the availability of supplies.
  • Throughout all these disasters, we got confirmation that all hell DOES indeed break loose and that we won’t be able to rely on 911, no matter how stringently the “everything is okay” myth is reinforced by the media.

Now there’s an epic storm in the Northeastern US that was sudden and brutal. A friend called me yesterday and told me she and her family could be without power for more than a week. She wasn’t ready for it. “This really drove home what you do,” she said.

All of these horrible things have one silver lining…more people than ever realize that the government won’t be rushing to save them anytime soon and that they must be prepared to be completely on their own.

So if this is you, welcome to the prepped side. I have put together a little primer for you. It isn’t over the top. You don’t need a bunker and an AK47 for each family member. You just need food, water, shelter, and an evacuation plan. No tinfoil required.

There are links in each section where you can go to learn more about that topic. At the end is a resource list with some shortcuts and some useful books.  You don’t have to do every single thing RIGHT NOW.  This is just a preparedness overview and if you have recently been through an emergency, you will probably recognize what your priorities should be.

Water preparedness

If you never buy a single canned good or bag of pasta for long-term food storage, please store water. Every time there’s a pending emergency, the shelves at stores are completely cleared of water within a matter of hours (if not sooner.)

If you went out and bought it, a full month’s supply of drinking water for a family of 4 would cost approximately $150, depending on the prices in your area. I recommend the refillable 5-gallon water jugs for this. This is a small investment to make for your family’s security and well-being in the event of an emergency.

As well, fill empty containers with tap water. Every container that comes into your house can be used for these purposes. When you empty a jar or bottle, wash it, fill it up, and stash it somewhere. Even if these containers aren’t food safe, you can use them for flushing, cleaning, and hygiene.

Once you have water stored, consider adding filtration devices, secondary water sources, and water harvesting to your preparedness endeavors. You can learn more about water preparedness in my book on the topic, and  HEREHERE, and HERE.

Build a pantry

Lots of preppers like to keep a year’s supply of food on hand. If you’re just getting started out, that can bein incredibly overwhelming. Start out smaller than that – focus first on an extra two weeks, then on a month’s supply. You can always build from there.

Keep in mind when building your emergency food supply that you might not have electricity during some disasters. In that case, you’ll want to have food that doesn’t require lengthy (or any) cooking times. Look for just-add-water dehydrated foods, or better yet, foods that don’t need to be cooked at all. Search for an off-grid cooking method that will work for your home.

Do not make the mistake of loading your pantry with nutritionless processed foods. In a crisis event, you want your body to work optimally, and junk in means junk out. Focus on nutrient-dense foods for good health and energy no matter what’s going on in the world around you.

  • Learn how to build a pantry HERE.
  • Learn to build a food supply fast with emergency buckets HERE.
  • Find a list of foods that don’t require cooking HERE.
  • Shop for emergency food HERE.
  • Get an emergency stove that can be used indoors HERE.

Power outage survival

A great starting point for someone who is just getting started on a preparedness journey is prepping specifically for a two-week power outage.  If you can comfortably survive for two weeks without electricity, you will be in a far better position than most of the people in North America.

Lighting is absolutely vital, especially if there are children in the house.  Nothing is more frightening than being completely in the dark during a stressful situation. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest things to plan for, as well as one of the least expensive.

Some lighting solutions are:

Learn about prepping for a two-week power outage in more detail HERE.

Have a plan for sanitation preparedness

A common cause of illness, and even death, during a down-grid situation is lack of sanitation.  We’ve discussed the importance of clean drinking water, but you won’t want to use your drinking water to keep things clean or to flush the toilet.

For cleaning, reduce your need to wash things.

  • Stock up on paper plates, paper towels, and disposable cups and flatware.
  • Keep some disinfecting cleaning wipes and sprays (I don’t recommend using antibacterial products on a regular basis, however, in the event of an emergency they can help to keep you healthy.)
  • Use hand sanitizer after using the bathroom and before handling food or beverages – there may be a lot more germs afoot in a disaster.

Look at your options for sanitation.  Does your toilet still flush when the electricity is out?  Many people discovered the hard way that the toilets didn’t work when the sewage backed up in the highrises in New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  At our cabin, the toilet won’t flush without power because the pump is electric.

If you are on a septic system, with no risk of the toilet backing up into the house, simply store some water for flushing in the bathroom.  (At the first sign of a storm, we always filled the bathtub for this purpose when we had a home on septic.)  Add the water to the tank so that you can flush.

If this is not an option, another solution is to stock up on extremely heavy duty garbage bags (like the kind that contractors use at construction sites) and kitty litter.  Place a bag either in your drained toilet or in a bucket.  Sprinkle some kitty litter in the bottom of the bag.  Each time someone uses the bathroom, add another handful of litter. Be very careful that the bag doesn’t get too heavy for you to handle it.  Tie it up very securely and store it outside until services are restored. Learn how to make a kitty litter toilet in more detail HERE.

Heat (depending on your climate)

If your power outage takes place in the winter and you live in a colder climate, heat is another necessity.  During the first 24 hours after a power outage, you can stay fairly warm if you block off one room of the house for everyone to group together in.  Keep the door closed and keep a towel or blanket folded along the bottom of the door to conserve warmth.  You can safely burn a couple of candles also, and in the enclosed space, your body heat will keep it relatively warm.  As well, dress in layers and keep everything covered – wear a hat, gloves (fingerless ones allow you to still function), and a scarf.

  • Click HERE to learn how to stay warm with less heat.
  • Click HERE for some cozy options to get your home ready for winter.

However, after about 48 hours, that’s not going to be enough in very cold weather. You will require backup heat at this point in certain climates.  If you are lucky enough to have a source of heat like a fireplace or woodstove, you’ll be just fine as long as you have a supply of wood.

Consider a portable propane heater (and propane) or an oil heater.  You have to be very careful what type of backup heat you plan on using, as many of them can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used in a poorly ventilated area. Also, invest in a  Carbon Monoxide alarm that is not grid-dependent.

Learn more about off-grid heat options HERE.

First Aid kit

It’s important to have a basic first aid kit on hand at all times, but particularly in the event of an emergency.  Your kit should include basic wound care items like bandages, antibiotic ointments, and sprays.  As well, if you use them, keep on hand a supply of basic over-the-counter medications, like pain relief capsules, cold medicine, cough syrup, anti-nausea pills, and allergy medication.

If you want to put together a more advanced medical kit, you can find a list HERE.

Special needs

This is something that will be unique to every family. Consider the things that are needed on a daily basis in your household. It might be prescription medications, diapers, or special foods.  If you have pets, you’ll need supplies for them too.  The best way to figure out what you need is to jot things down as you use them over the course of a week or so.

Plan ahead for home defense

It’s an unfortunate fact that disaster situations bring out the worst in many people. Because of this, even if you stay safely at home, you could be called upon to defend your property or family.  Some people loot for the sheer “fun” of it, others consider chaos a free pass to commit crimes, and still others are frightened and desperate.  You can have a 10 year supply of food, water, and medicine, but if you can’t defend it, you don’t own it. The article The Anatomy of a Breakdown explains the predictable patterns of social unrest.

The best way to win a fight is to avoid getting into that fight in the first place. Secure your home and lay low, but be prepared if trouble comes to visit.

Here are some tips to make your home less of a target:

  • Keep all the doors and windows locked.  Secure sliding doors with a metal bar.  Consider installing decorative grid-work over a door with a large window so that it becomes difficult for someone to smash the glass and reach in to unlock the door.
  • Keep the curtains closed. There’s no need for people walking past to be able to see what you have or to do reconnaissance on how many people are present.
  • Don’t answer the door.  Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house.
  • Keep pets indoors. Sometimes criminals use an animal in distress to get a homeowner to open the door for them. Sometimes people are just mean and hurt animals for “fun”.  Either way, it’s safer for your furry friends to be inside with you.

If, despite your best efforts, your property draws the attention of people with ill intent, you must be ready to defend your family and your home.  If the odds are against you, devise a way to get your family to safety.  Your property is not worth your life.

It’s very important to make a defense plan well before you need one.  This book can also help. You want to act, no react.

Have an evacuation plan

Not every emergency can be weathered at home. Sometimes there is no option but to evacuate. Some examples of this are the pending collapse of a dam, a volcano, a massive storm, flooding, wildfire, or a chemical spill. In some cases, you’ll have an hour or two to get ready before you have to leave. In other situations, there may barely be enough time to put on your shoes.

Have things set up ahead of time so your evacuation can be quick. Even if you have more time, getting on the road before everyone else gives you the advantage of being less likely to be stuck in a traffic jam while disaster bears down on you. Keep important documents in the cloud so you can access them if your home is destroyed.

Don’t wait for the evacuation order. When officials are trying to cover mismanagement or when an event occurs suddenly, you may not be warned in time.

Survival Supply Checklist

Here is a general list of supplies to have on hand. Remember that sometimes power supplies are lost during a variety of situations, so keep the potential for a down-grid situation in mind when preparing.  You don’t have to get everything all at once.  Just get started and build your supplies as you can. After a quick inventory and re-organization, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many supplies you actually have on hand.

  • Water: 1 gallon per person per day (We use 5-gallon jugs and a gravity water dispenser
  • Water filter (We have a Big Berkey)
  • Necessary prescription medications
  • well-stocked pantry – you need at least a one-month supply of food for the entire family, including pets
  • This is a one-month food supply for one person – it’s not the highest quality food in the world, but it is one way to jumpstart your food storage
  • An off-grid cooking method (We use this one for inside and this one for outside, plus our barbecue)
  • Or food that requires no cooking
  • First aid supplies: This one is good for basics and this one is good for traumatic injuries
  • Lighting in the event of a power outage
  • Sanitation supplies (in the event that the municipal water system is unusable, this would include cleaning supplies and toilet supplies)
  • A way to stay warm in harsh winter weather (This Little Buddy propane heater with a supply of propane is our choice)
  • Over-the-counter medications and/or herbal remedies to treat illnesses at home
  • A diverse survival guide and first aid manual (hard copies in case the internet and power grid are down)
  • Alternative communications devices (such as a hand crank radio) so that you can get updates about the outside world
  • Off-grid entertainment:  arts and craft supplies, puzzles, games, books, crossword or word search puzzles, needlework, journals (Find more ideas HERE and HERE)

Books to Help You on Your Journey

Welcome to the preparedness community!

I’m always so happy to welcome people who are new to preparedness.  Read books, go to websites, and join forums an Facebook groups. While there ARE some curmudgeonly folks out there, most are delighted to answer questions and help you on your way.

Please, don’t let the thought of all of the preps that you do not yet have bring you down.

It’s a process.  Once you know the possibilities, accept them, and begin to prepare, you are already far ahead of most of the neighborhood. Don’t be discouraged by how much you have left to do, instead, be encouraged by how far ahead you are compared to your former unawareness.   Just making the decision to get started is the biggest step towards preparedness you’ll ever take.

For those of you who have been doing this for a while, please welcome our new friends. And tell us in the comments, what is your best advice for getting started?

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: This Is Your Wake-Up Call: How to Start Prepping

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menarie. You can find Daisy on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

Nobody knows when a natural disaster might occur that affects their families. However, it’s possible to research the likelihood of those instances by taking a look at local history. Some towns sit on fault lines, and so there is a decent chance that earthquakes will occur at some point. Similarly, some cities lie in the path of tornadoes that come from the Caribbean, and so it’s vital that everyone learns as much as possible about the potential issues they face. Once you’ve done that, be sure to consider the three simple preparations listed below. In survival situations, these concepts could save your life!

Read survival books and articles

There are lots of specialist prepper blogs and sites like Prepared Bee that publish thousands of disaster articles you need to read. Those with the best understanding of the procedures they need to follow are going to survive longer than most. At the very least, you should learn how to start fires and some basic hunting skills. It’s also sensible to find out as much information as possible about natural fuel sources and growing vegetables. Some of the most famous preppers release books, and it’s well worth investing in those titles. You can never read too much when it comes to preparing for emergency situations.

Keep enough food in your home to last for a month

Everyone should make sure there is enough food in the house to keep their family alive for at least a month according to sites like Real Simple. Of course, it’s essential that you use some common sense when you head out to the store. Don’t purchase anything fresh because it won’t last for more than a few days. Instead, opt for canned goods that only require heat as part of their preparation. Other foods people might want to store at home include:

  • Rice
  • Dried meats
  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Tinned vegetables

If you get stuck for ideas, it’s possible to find prepper’s shopping list suggestions online. Just search Google until you find something suitable.

Invest in a product that purifies water

It’s impossible to tell when an earthquake or similar disaster will affect the electricity and water supply in your area. Human beings will survive for less than a week in most instances if they can’t find suitable fluids to drink. With that in mind, be sure to find a water purification device that does not require the use of electricity. That way, you can take your family down to the nearest stream or river if worst comes to worst. It’s also sensible to invest in some old oil drums for your garden because they make the perfect rain catchers. While salt water is not ideal, a decent purifier will ensure the liquid is fit for consumption. When all’s said and done, it’s better than dying of thirst.

Those three ideas should assist all readers in making sure they survive if a natural disaster occurs in their area. Just as an extra tip, make sure you also keep some emergency radios at home because you might want to call for help at some point. Ensure the batteries are always charged because the power might go down. Whatever happens in the future, people who paid attention to this advice will find themselves in a much better position. So, remember to share this post with all your friends. Well, the ones you like anyway.

Original content from The Survival Place Blog: Preparing For Natural Disasters: 3 Simple Actions That Could Save Your Life 

Canning is a satisfying end to all of your hard work if it works out well. Whether you’re making peach preserves or entire meals in a jar, don’t make the following mistakes!

By Theresa Crouse – SurvivoPedia

If you’re like me, if you see something you like, you wonder how to make them instead of just buying it from somebody else. This is how many of my friends have gotten into home canning – they’ve tasted something that I’ve made (I regularly give away my jellies, jams, and salsas as gifts) and then they want to learn how to make it.

When I tell them, I also teach them how to avoid several common home canning mistakes, and now I’d like to share them with you.

Whether you’re making peach preserves or entire meals in a jar, don’t make the following mistakes!

Not Wiping the Rims

This is one of those rookie mistakes that a person only makes large-scale once. It’s common even for an experienced canner to have a jar or two not seal, especially when canning greasy foods like meat or sauces.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: When Canning Goes Bad: 9 Common Mistakes To Avoid

By Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition

The devastation of the Texas coast has been sobering, to say the least, and has brought about a new found focus in the preparedness community to get more families prepared for disasters. While Hurricane Harvey was an extreme case, what we can take away from this ordeal is that you cannot always foresee every given turn of a disaster and by being fully insulated from disasters you will find yourself in the best case scenario.

We all live in an area that sees some type of disaster: flood, wildfire, earthquakes, droughts and other extreme weather scenarios. As well, not enough can be said about preparing for personal disasters like job loss, which do not always give warning.

In response to this ever-growing need to prepare, Ready Nutrition is gearing up for a month of preparedness. Each week, we are going to bring you preparedness materials you can use to get prepped for all types of disasters. We’ve done this before in our 52-weeks to preparedness series, but this will cover more information in a shorter amount of time.

As an added incentive, we will be giving away preparedness products and books to Ready Nutrition readers. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly National Preparedness articles about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. It could be commenting on the most important preparedness items, some lessons you learned personally from a disaster, situations you witnessed during a disaster or preparedness ideas people may not always think of when preparing.

As a community, I hope you will spread the word to folks who might need an added push to start getting ready or who do not know where to start. Having a more prepared community will reduce the initial shock of a disaster.

Here’s what we’ll cover in the Crash Course in Preparedness

Week 1: The Survival Basics – This will cover how you should make a plan and getting your beginning preparedness supplies in order, tips, as well as valuable skills you should learn.

During this first week, we will be giving away a preparedness manual and a 72-hour kit at the end of the week to a lucky winner! All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment.

Week 2: Medicine, Sanitation, and Disaster Disease Prevention – Following a disaster, sanitation, hygiene and medical care are often at the forefront of needs. We will dive into more details on immediate threats that occur in the wake of disasters, what you can do to be ready and how to avoid these aftermath scenarios when they occur. As an incentive, we will give away a sanitation kit and another preparedness manual.

Week 3: Reinforcing Your Survival Plans Using Long-Term Strategies – During this week, we will focus on how you can reinforce your preparedness plans and add additional preps so they extend into longer-term scenarios. Some of those far-reaching events are biological and chemical disasters, mass casualty health, longer-term food needs and more. As well, we will delve into long-term security measures you can use to protect your home and belongings.

To better prepare for these type of events, one winner will get a gas mask as the giveaway prize of the week to add to your preps and The Prepper’s Blueprint!

Week 4: Getting Your Community Prepped – We’ve heard the term, “It takes a village.” Well, when a disaster strikes, it really does take the binding of a community to get through. Disasters are an undeniable part of life, but a prepared community is more resilient and can withstand longer-term scenarios. Having a large group of prepared individuals will help the general public thrive for longer amounts of time because each home has the supplies and skills it needs to keep going. Moreover, communities should provide skills training to help the general public learn critical survival skills for long-term survival. And that is just what we will be discussing in week 4.

A few months ago, I co-hosted a webinar with the folks at SunOven on how to cook with the sun and was amazed at how many uses the SunOven had in an off-grid environment. You can read my review of them here. Our gift on our final week of National Preparedness Month is one of these dynamic SunOvens complete with a homesteading package. Remember all you need to do is sign up for the Ready Nutrition newsletter and leave a helpful comment in the article.

Let’s Do This!

Whether you’re preparing for a short-term disaster or a long-term disaster, you have the same basic goal. That goal is to be self-sufficient and have the ability to care for yourself and your family independently during an unforeseen event.

As an added incentive, if your local church is interested in starting a preparedness course for its congregation, I would like to send a free copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint to them to help get that endeavor going. 1 manual will be sent to each church. I have 20 books that I would like to send so please contact me through my Facebook page with a church address. The first 20 churches get the books!

This information has been made available by Ready NutritionNational Preparedness Month: A Month of Getting Prepped and Giveaways

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

When we sit down with the goal to be prepared and self-sufficient, we have to balance a lot. We already walk tightropes between work and home life in many cases. Adding a pursuit that could really be its own full-time job only makes things harder. The self-sufficiency arm alone could occupy a full work week, and for some, the future looms as a period when we may have to increase our physical vigilance on top of producing our own food, medicine, and supplies.
There are methods we can use to make gardens maintenance friendly, and plant selections can ease it further. In some cases, there are plants that grow with few inputs and are specific to our regions. In other cases, we can also decrease our labors in a work-heavy and typically strength-sapping hot season by making selections that ease the other side of growing and harvesting.

Processing & Storage

Whether it’s annuals, an annual veggie garden, or perennials, whatever methods for production we choose takes time away from our daily lives. Then our produce needs to be processed, one way or another.

Even now when most lives are relatively easy due to power tools, refrigeration, and transportation, we tend to be pretty busy. I think most of us expect that even without the tug of paying jobs and some of the extracurricular activities that suck up our time, a life “after” will be just as busy and in some or many cases, even more labor intensive.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Storage-Friendly Survival Gardening

The Right Way To Safely Can Non-Acidic Foods (And Avoid Deadly Botulism)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Knowledge on canning non-acidic foods is invaluable to the modern homesteader. Knowing that these canned items will rest safely on the shelves of your storage room or pantry – and be edible when you need them – can give you peace of mind.

What Is Non-Acidic Food?

Non-acid foods do not contain acids like tomatoes do, and they are not canned with vinegar. As stated by the Ball website, non-acidic foods need to process at a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that no fungus grows within the jars.

Make ‘Off-The-Grid’ Super Foods Just Like Grandma Made!

Non-acidic foods also need to be pressure canned. Unlike non-acidic foods, acidic foods only need to be put into boiling water for a set amount of time. Examples of non-acidic foods include meats, soups and vegetables such as carrots, peas or asparagus.

Materials Needed to Can Non-Acidic Foods

Pressure canning non-acidic foods requires you to have a few items:

  • Pressure canner.
  • (Make sure there aren’t any indents, scratches, rust, etc., on the bands.)
  • (Make sure that there aren’t any scratches or tears on the seals.)
  • Clean glass jars.

Continue reading at off The Grid News: The Right Way To Safely Can Non-Acidic Foods (And Avoid Deadly Botulism)

The 2 Most Important Tenets Of Prepping

Image source: Pixabay.com

By Kathy Bernier – Off The Grid News

“Someday it’s all going to come down to whether or not we can feed ourselves,” I told my son one day, not long after my husband and I began to realize the importance of being prepared for an uncertain global future.

“No,” my son countered, “it’s going to come down to being able to defend ourselves from those who can’t.”

We were both right, of course. In the several years since that simple conversation, I like to return to it occasionally just to keep myself on track and remind myself of why I do what I do. I am setting the stage for being able to both produce my own food and defend myself from those who are unable to do for themselves.

Nobody knows for sure how close we might be to the end — of our civilization as we know it, or our particular form of government in the United States, or the general world order, or the planet. But if we are indeed teetering on the brink of imminent disaster as some people believe we are, then those two questions will continue to be important to our survival as individuals and as a society.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The 2 Most Important Tenets Of Prepping