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Food & Water

Emergency Planning Do's and Don't

The following list is not a guide to develop an emergency plan.  Our intent is to provide general information limited to emergency planning and sourcing for food and some other basic essentials.

Emergency Planning  - Do

  • Balance the flavour and variety of food you store. There must be a LOT of variety.  There is much to be said for variety. It is important to avoid a monotonous diet.
  • Purchase these products at regular sources:
    • flour - keep it dry and store it in bags in plastic buckets (rotate your stock continually as flour has a shelf life of about
      a year if properly stored) 
    • sugar - keep it dry and it will have a very long shelf life (about 25 lb per adult per year)
    • salt - keep it dry; our family uses 2 lb per person per year (we know of others with 5X the requirement)
    • yeast and backing powder and baking soda -keep it dry (can be stored approximately 2 years, rotate your stock)
    • cooking oils - don't purchase in large containers (can be stored approximately 2 years, rotate your stock)
    • lots of seeds for growing in the garden and just for nutritious salad sprouts. Avoid GE products for the garden
      as they frequently do not produce viable seeds for following years. Make sure the seeds are not "hybrid".
    • Purchase whole grain wheat;  hard white or hard red winter wheat (whole wheat will store much longer than flour) - this may be hard to believe but expect to require 200 lb per adult per year.
    • Rice stores well, is easy to digest and adds variety (can be stored approximately 2 years, rotate your stock)
    • Have vitamins on hand.  Those well-traveled and well-stored fruits and vegetables available on grocery shelves today will in all probably not be available during a disaster. The nitrogen packed foods do not contain enough vitamin C so you will get scurvy if you do not supplement.
  • Balance the starchy foods above with a good balance of fruits and vegetables.
  • Practice! If you don't know how to prepare the food your family won't eat it.
  • Check dates to ensure that the food you are buying is not old before you store it.
  • The best way to start is small with what you feel you can comfortably afford and get foods that produce a well balanced diet. The nice thing is you can always add on at your own financial comfort level.
  • Always keep in mind how many people you will be storing food for and their ages and sex (ie an 18 year old son eats differently than an 80 year mother).

Emergency Planning - Don't

  • Don't advertise that you've put away one, two or three years of food supply!  You won't have enough to feed yourselves and those that come to your door in times of need.
  • Don't purchase pre-mixed ingredient backing mixes in quantity- they will go rancid quickly and can actually become toxic. In time the raising agent will fail as well.
  • Purchase limited amounts Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) as they have a relatively short storage life. Don't purchase these for long term storage.
  • Don't be fooled by differences in products and packaging. For example:
    • During the dehydration process the foods losses 70-80% of its bulk to water loss. It them "plumps up" again when rehydrated. Freeze dried foods do not shrink they just become lighter. This means the same volume of food should not be the same cost.  In this case compare weight not volume. See our comparison chart pdf

    • Food with flour or sugar added will have more bulk and  more weight.  Don't pay a premium for filler even if it has food value!
  • Don't believe that you can and will eat anything when you're hungry. First, you'll already be malnourished if you're that hungry. A fact learned by all the charitable organizations who provide food to people in need is that healthy but strange or 'foreign' food you or your children dislike or are not familiar with, will not keep you healthy in body and mind.
  • Don't think you can successfully go foraging for food.  We are an urban society and you will be competing with hundreds of thousands of others, many not as courteous, and most will be more desperate than you... 
  • Donít get a lot of just certain foods, thinking you will get other variety later when you have some extra cash. Better to be properly nourished for a few months then poorly nourished for a year because in this case you wonít last long enough to eat it.

  

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Last modified: March 01, 2017