When an impending disaster threatens our area, the first instinct is to run to the store and stock up on emergency food and supplies. However, everyone else has the same brilliant idea, which means emergency food and supplies will be in high demand and depleted if you didn’t time your trip to the store well. There is nothing worse than leaving a crowded store with no storm supplies and a disaster bearing down upon you.
Storing food for storms is not the only reason you should have an emergency food supply. In fact, due to current state of the economy, you are more likely to run into an emergency with a disappearing budget. Food prices have been soaring during the past few years, and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. Have you considered looking at your emergency supply as an investment? Many of the food items you will be purchasing over the next year are considered commodities (e.g., sugar, wheat, corn, rice, etc). Why not make the investment  and purchase food at today’s prices and consume at tomorrow’s higher prices?
Those of you who have water stored know that it takes up a lot of space. When storing a short term water supply, purchase the 5- or 10-gallon water containers. Note: The 5-gallon water containers are easier to organize if you place them on their sides and stack them.
Another suggestion is to reuse your juice and soda bottles. As long as the container is comprised of food grade plastic, it is safe to reuse; however, make sure that the plastic container is washed well before reusing. I recommend investing in a water filtration system. While water filters, such as Katadyn or even Berkey, are a little pricey, they can be used multiple times and would be a good preparedness item to have on hand in case of a longer-term emergency.
The following items will create a broad selection of foods that can be consumed in an emergency situation. You can create foods like biscuits and jelly, cereal and milk, oatmeal, sandwiches, soups, pastas, casseroles, etc. Constructing an emergency menu now before a disaster happens will enable you to see what foods you have and what foods you may need.
Preps to buy:
- 1 gallon of water per day for each member of the family (i.e., 1-2 weeks worth).
- 2 bottles of juice per family member
- 2 canned goods (e.g., meat, veggies, soup, and fruit) per family member.
- 1 each of the following food condiments: Peanut butter, jelly, honey, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce
- 2 drink mixes/tea/coffee per family member
- Spices (e.g., salt, pepper, taco seasoning, apple pie seasoning, etc.)
- 1 gallon of cooking oil
- 2 each of the following pre-packaged foods: beans, dried peas, rice, noodles, oats, grains, cereals and pasta
- 2 bags of flour (Note: Those of you who have wheat allergies , click here for alternatives.)
- Ramen noodles
- Powdered milk
- Powdered potatoes
- Infant Formula – Note: Call me crazy, but this has a huge amount of vitamins and nutrients and could be utilized for immune boosts.
1. Date perishable goods with a permanent marker.
2. Find a storage area in the home where emergency food supplies can be placed. Those who are living in small living spaces have rented air conditioned storage facilities to store their supplies.
3. Organize the food  and begin creating a list of the items you have according to categories (e.g., condiments, baking supplies, canned goods, medical supplies, etc.).
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint , a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint  helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook , which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com  for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
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