Emergency Preparedness & Food Storage: What do I need?

The simple message of storing food and being prepared in an emergency is nothing new to most of us.  But most of us do not have near enough food stored. I have been slowly purchasing #10 cans of dehydrated food with a 25-40 year shelf life. Not the most exciting thing to do, or talk about, I know. But it is important, plain and simple. What’s not so simple? Knowing how much your family needs.

Emergency Preparedness & Food Storage: What do I need?

I was shocked when I used this easy food calculator to find out how much food I needed to store per year for my family of 9. Yes 9. All I had to do was enter how many family members are ages 0-6 and 7+ and ta-da! Bam. There it was. The amounts we would need to survive, but not necessarily thrive. And I am way behind.

  • 2092 pounds of grains.
  • 523 pounds of dairy.
  • 126 gallons of water.  

And that doesn’t include the water we need in order to re-hydrate and cook all this food. Plus the water we might need for bathing and sanitation. Definitely looking into collecting rain water this year… more on that later.

Although the picture below was quite the score that we picked up after saving for a bit we still need more. Would you be shocked to know we picked it up at Walmart? They do have some of the best prices around but with with a simple Google search you can find tons of companies that sell this type of food. And with bigger selections and choices. Sure we got the typical white rice, oats, dried milk… the usual boring stuff. But we also purchased Asian Teriyaki Beef and Rice, Beef Stroganoff and Chicken Fettuccine. We picked up a couple cans of seeds and even splurged on comfort foods like pancake and brownie mix. Good news is you don’t have to live off of beans and rice! That’s not really living now is it?

Now technically we are not supposed to store more then 3 months of food (President Clinton signed a bill making it against the law). Not wanting to alert the drones I’ll only list the amounts of food you need per person for a 3 month supply.

    • Grains:  75 lbs.
    • Legumes:  19 lbs.
    • Milk & Dairy:  15 lbs.
    • Fruits:  8 lbs.
    • Vegetables:  10 lbs.
    • Sweeteners:  15 lbs.
    • Fats:  1/2 gallon oil & 1/2 can shortening
    • Meats & Substitutes:  8 1/2 lbs.
    • Sprouting Seeds & Beans:  5 lbs.

Other foods to consider are spices and flavorings, condiments and treats, pet foods and baby foods. In other words what foods does your family need and enjoy and would make living off your food storage not quite so bad? Did you know you can store fresh eggs for up to 12 months? Google it and you will find out. But where to store all this food you say?

Emergency Preparedness & Food Storage: What do I need?

Now although I don’t store fresh crops under my bed, I do have gallons of water under there. I also have #10 cans which is awesome because it stops the fight of “Clean under your bed!” No more lost shoes either. Keeping your food at an even temperature is key for making the shelf life last as long as possible. Extreme changes of hot and cold aren’t the best for your food.

I hope this information doesn’t deter you from starting or adding to your emergency food storage. What I do hope is that it opens your eyes like it did mine, to how much food we actually need to survive. With my recent evacuation due to Wildfires here in Southern Oregon I realized how quickly things can go from bad to worse. I took that opportunity to learn all I could about Protecting My Home and Family During a Wildfire. Isn’t it our duty to be prepared for our families sake? So lets get to it!

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Emergency Preparedness & Food Storage: What do I need?