Food will usually comprise the bulk of your preparedness program. Balanced meals and planned menus are not necessarily the main concern as you prepare to deal with an emergency situation. Maintaining your health through sensible nutrition is!
Besides providing nourishment, the “eating of meals” during an emergency has a positive psychological effect. It helps us feel as if we have some control in an otherwise out-of-control situation. Being prepared assures existing as close to the security of normalcy as possible. That’s why it is essential that you use care in planning which foods will suit your needs and how much is enough.
Just like in the other sections of personal preparedness, the food you choose to store will be based on individual factors that make your selections appropriate for your own situation, and different from what your neighbors would select. There is no one type of food or food program that is “best” or better than all of the others for everyone. The best food choices for you are the ones that suit your needs.
Remember to choose food and food preparation methods that will get you through tough situations where you have to do without those essential services that we take for granted, such as power, running water, light and a supermarket on the corner to run to for supplies. In an emergency situation, you may be limited to cooking on a camping stove by the light of a candle or lantern. Your fuel usage will be restricted, your water cautiously rationed, and you may be dealing with these in the middle of chaos. Your food choices should be a comforting relief, not an added catastrophe.
Keep in mind that your food choices should not require any refrigeration, either before or after preparation. Nor will meals work that require cooking in the microwave or oven since the premise for needing these ready-to-eat meals is that your electricity will be out for an extended period. Take also a look at this post about my personal First Aid Kit.
Food for emergency situations need not be special foods or foods you have never tried. Consider your pantry shelves and use your imagination. The same stock of food will meet your family’s emergency needs and it can consist of preferred, familiar foods used in daily meals. Just keep the rule in mind that it must require little or no cooking and no refrigeration and that your kids need to be prepared as well. You’ll find there are many things on your shelves that fill the bill: Spaghettios, canned chili, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna and soup are a few obvious solutions.
As a preparedness step, you’ll want to figure out how much you’d need to have on hand for a week or two or however long for your family, and stay stocked up on these things. Then in an emergency, you can go right on eating like you’re used to. You just need to learn all about setting up a good emergency plan, what foods are appropriate and which are not, as well as how to determine how much you’ll need, how to make sure it’s there when you need it and what your options are for cooking when a disaster strikes.