Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Real Food In An Emergency Situation

I had hoped to blog more but I have been rather distracted.  My county is in a state of emergency due to incredible amounts of rain over the weekend.  Roads are crumbling, bridges are collapsing and being washed away, homes are flooded to the point of being like little islands in an ocean, people are being evacuated and it is getting worse by the day with more rain on the horizon.  This picture is an aerial shot of a close by community to show how extensive the damage is.  Photo Credit: (November 8, 2010 Aerial Photo by Peggy D'Entremont).   Fortunately, I live in town on a hill so we are not in a danger flooding zone unless the ocean rises a few meters.

With disaster, my thoughts often turn to having emergency food on hand.  My church places great emphasis on being self sufficient and prepared for times of emergency.  My family should have 72 hour kits but we currently don't.  The premise is you have a backpack for each person with clothes, food, medication and comfort items that would last for 72 hours, which is the average length of an emergency.  Water is a good idea too, especially with flooding situations where bacteria counts in water systems may be compromised.

This brings to mind, what real food can one put in a 72 hour kit?  It needs to be something that stores well, doesn't take up a lot of room, something that is easy to eat without heat, nourishing and filling.  This is my dilemma.

Since I haven't given it a lot of thought and I'm still kind of new to real foods, here are some ideas off the top of my head:

-peanut butter or other nut or seed butters (commercially bought as home prepared do not have a long shelf life)
-soaked and dehydrated nuts/seeds
-canned tuna or wild caught salmon or other meats (maybe less than ideal but still life sustaining)
-homemade jerky
-home dried fruits and vegetables
-soaked flour hardtack (sounds good in theory, would it work?)
-coconut oil
-vitamins, cod liver oil

See, I kind of struggle with ideas.  Most real food isn't meant to be stuffed in a backpack for long periods of time to be grabbed in case of emergency.  It is meant to sustain life during a time of emergency, not be a long term way of eating.  These items could be rotated out ever 6 months (more or less depending on the shelf life of the food item).

So, do you have any ideas of food items that could easily be stored for long term use?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section.


Julie said...

Hope all goes well for you and your loved ones there in Nova Scotia--we've had flooding here in New Hampshire before and I remember being very grateful for Wet-dry vacuums, dehumidifiers and sump pumps. I have a few ideas for you--have on hand smoke wild kippers (I buy Bar Harbor brand but I'm sure you have good sources of this where you are.) Also sardines, tuna, smoked oysters, canned salmon. These are all good, cheap sources of protein with the good omega 3's.

chanelle said...

I am trying to get my year supply done, so food storage has been on my mind! There is plenty of real, freeze dried food you can buy for emergencies. Shelf reliance is a company that sells freeze dried basics- fruits, veggies, meat, etc. Some of this, like eggs and butter has some preservatives added, but a lot is good. This is stuff that can go in your 72 hr. Kit also. The best part is, it has a 25 year shelf life, so you won't have to rotate for a long time!

Carla said...

Thanks! Things are looking up here. I don't know what I'd do without my dehumidifier!

These are some really great ideas. I did load up on sardines last week but I'm the only one who likes them.

I should start setting aside some money for freeze dried food. I have some eggs, but only about a pound. It has been hard getting my years supply since I feel kind of limited and overwhelmed by everything!

stephen said...

so sad to hear on what happened! just pray and everything's gonna be okay.Well food items that could easily be stored for long term use are sardines in can, rice, , egg, meat, instant noodles, anything that has preservatives! but still be conscious

Anonymous said...

There's a dehydrating cookbook that is for backpackers , it would make great emergency food packs. I've often wondered the logic of stocking up for months worth of survival when we'd most likely need to vacate the area. We couldn't lug cans and pounds and pounds of fresh food with us, but these dehydrated packs would be extremely transportable.


Millie said...

Hi Carla,

I was happy to find this older post of yours since we are having a similar conversation at my blog
Bug Out food is something on my mind too. Some good ideas listed here. I also think about how hunter/gathers would have eaten and know that I need to learn more about the wild plants available in my area.