You may not realize the significance of having an emergency food supply, but you should. An emergency food supply can help you and your family survive should there ever be a natural disaster, power outage, or worse. If you would like to know how to build an emergency food supply, the following tips can help.
Determine Your Needs
The first step in building an emergency food supply is determining your needs. The government recommends having at least a 3-day food supply for every person in your household, but you can stock your supply for longer periods if you wish. Once you determine how long you want your emergency food supply to last, you can begin making a list of items you will need for it.
What to Include
Water is the most important thing to include in your emergency food supply, as it keeps you and your family hydrated. You should stock enough so each person has at least one gallon of water per day. This amount is for both drinking and sanitation purposes. If you have an infant that drinks powdered formula, remember to keep water on hand for mixing as well. Make sure your water supply is kept fresh, as bottled water does not have an indefinite shelf life. This is especially true for well water that has been bottled. Store-bought distilled water will last longer. Single-serving juice boxes can also be kept on hand, just keep an eye on the expiration date.
As far as food goes, you want to stock your emergency food supply with items that are non-perishable. This means items such as canned goods and dry goods, which both have long shelf lives and are edible warm or cold. Since you may or may not have electricity, you must be stocked with foods that do not require it for preparation. Some recommended items for your emergency food supply are canned beans, tuna fish, oatmeal and other whole grains, and peanut butter. These items contain high levels of protein and fiber, which nourish your body and keep you feeling full longer. Quick, easy-access items such as beef jerky, nuts, and trail mix are also good to keep on hand. Remember to keep powdered infant formula in your food supply if you have a baby in your household. Stock enough food so every person can eat three meals a day for up to three days. Do not forget to keep a can opener on hand as well, as you will need it for your canned goods.
Photo Credit Emergency Food Supply
While it is recommended to keep at least a 3-day emergency food supply, it is not a bad idea to extend that period, just in case. Start by stocking your 3-day supply, then over the next couple weeks you can keep adding to it. In no time you will have at least a one-month supply. If you want to keep adding to that supply, just keep buying more items. Pay attention to sale ads so you can stock up when prices are low. Buy a variety of canned and dry goods so you and your family have a number of options.
It is also very important to store your emergency food supply in the appropriate manner. Keep everything in a dark, dry, cool pantry. Keep any dry goods stored in air-tight containers so they stay fresh. Your water supply needs to be kept away from light, as this inhibits bacteria growth.
Now that you know the basic steps for building an emergency food supply, you should start building yours today. Because you never know what might happen in the future, it is best to be prepared. You will have peace of mind knowing you and your family will be protected if anything catastrophic ever takes place.
Guest post from Payton Price. Payton writes for TermLifeInsurance.org