There are times when you may ask yourself, “Why am I or what am I preparing for?” Could it be for an economic downturn, EMP, natural/man-made, personal disasters, or D) all of the above? We are all here because we feel compelled in one way or another to prepare for something. After all, our lives will not always be rosy. Therefore, it is logical and prudent to prepare today to care for tomorrowâ€™s problems. Whichever disaster you are preparing for, your basic needs, such as food will be at the epicenter of your preparedness endeavors.
With this in mind, for the next few installments in this series we will concentrate heavily on bulking up your food supply with the right types of long-term food supplies that your family can rely on in an extended emergency. For week 32, we are going to bulk up our existing food supply with a month worth of pantry goods. This will ensure that we have plenty of food variety to help us stay happy and healthy.
Missed any issues of the 52-weeks to preparedness series? We’ve got you covered! You can view the 52-weeks to preparedness series online at Ready Nutrition. Help friends and family become more prepared for emergencies in 2012 by sending it to them. They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator on Ready Nutrition to create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency.
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PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 32 of 52: 1 Month Supply of Food
Investing in food is equivalent to investing in an insurance policy. You invest into your policy each month in order to fall back on it when you need it the most. Personally speaking, I am still living off of dry goods that I first stored three years ago. Since that time, I have noticed food prices increase considerably and am thankful for the forethought in investing in my family’s well being. Did we have to sacrifice and forgo certain luxuries, yes. But that initial investment of food has paid off and gives me a sense of relief to know that I made a decision to benefit my family for years to come.
One of the golden rules of prepping is â€śit’s better to be over prepared rather than under prepared.â€ť Ensure that your family has the right type of food stored in order to maintain a healthy diet. Stock up on foods that provide you with essential nutrients to maintain body functions, proteins and carbohydrates, fats for energy, as well as foods that are not high in salt (the more salty your food is, the more water you will drink). To calculate how many calories you will need in your diet, click here.
Those who are thinking of solely investing in canned goods could be surprised at the amount needed and expense of such an investment. Keep in mind that on average, one person’s rations of canned goods for a month is equivalent to:
20 cans of canned meat
34 cans of canned vegetables
26 cans of canned fruit
Since many of us do not have adequate storage space, consider other foods that can help to supplement the dietary concerns of the family as well as provide a variety. A food storage calculator can be of help in this process. Take notice of the canned items or pre-packaged foods you typically buy and pick up a few extra the next time you are at the store. Purchase the same types of dry and canned goods that you normally buy at the store. Not buying food that you normally eat is one of 8 Rookie Mistakes made by preppers. To read more tips of which types of foods to purchase for your food pantry, consider reading the 10 food pantry considerations before purchasing any food.
Because we are concentrating on preparing for extended emergencies, we must anticipate and prepare for the scenario that our stored food supplies could dwindle. This could occur from improper food storage calculations, survival garden difficulties, or if we happen to run out of our dry goods. In Week 18 of this preparedness series, it was suggested to begin learning different skills to preserve your perishable food storage for future use. Food dehydration was one of the suggested food preservation methods, and happens to be one of the easiest ways to preserve food for long-term storage. Nutritious snacks can be made from dehydrating fruits, vegetables and meat. Further, dehydrated soup mixes can also be made for families on-the-go or can be added to bug out bags or emergency vehicle supplies. Canning foods is another suggestion to preserving food. Because the food is canned at the time of the fruits/vegetables prime nutrient content, they will retain most of their nutritional content if not gain more nutrients from the canning process. Canned food will keep 12 months, if not lot longer, in some cases. Start learning these essential skills today in order to be more self reliant in emergency situations. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel in your abilities.
Can you imagine the nightmare of living through an extended emergency? Being prepared can put you way ahead of the game. While many who are unprepared for disasters will be battling to find a way to meet their basic needs, being prepared can keep your mind on what matters most: your family’s well being.
Preps to Buy:
Dehydrated vegetables and fruit
High energy snacks (trail mixes, peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, etc.)
2-gallons cooking oil (plant based oils lasts longer)
Bulk quantities of canned vegetables, fruit, meat and soups
Monthly dry and packaged goods (pastas, pasta dinners, rice dinners, cereal, dry oats, etc.)
Bulk quantities of baking goods such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, salt, vinegar (white and cider vinegars), corn meal
Tea and coffee â€“ 1 box with 16 bags or 1 (2-ounce) jar instant coffee
Emergency food bars
Specialty foods for those with special diet concerns
Begin practicing dehydrating different types of fruits, vegetables and meats to feel confidant in this skill set.
Remember to take into account the calories and nutrients your food storage will provide you.
Store any special diet needs along with your existing food supply.
Don’t forget to include pet supplies to your emergency food storage. You’re furry friends want to eat too!
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
I have to give a shout out to my husband who was kind enough to let me visit family in the beautiful state of Atlanta, GA last week. Of course, once I got back from my relaxing week, reality set in and it was time put the many hats of mom back on. Sunday, one of my daughters gave us a scare when she suddenly began having abdominal cramps. After a visit to the ER, I was educated on abdominal cramps and when they can be life threatening. Now that I use everything as a learning experience, I wrote an article about it. You can view it in the “Recent Articles” area of the newsletter. Perhaps it may help you.
This week I also made a donation of children’s clothes, toys and household items to a donation center. Hopefully, some children in need can take comfort in these items.
How about those storms in the South? The storms came barreling through my town and a tornado touched down not far from where I live. The city alarm system did not come on, but my son and I took shelter as a precaution. We had our emergency items on hand just in case along with a thick blanket to protect ourselves from debris and/or glass. After the threat was over, my son looked over at me and said, “Wow, I’m glad you knew what to do.” You never know when all this preparedness comes in handy. But I must admit, having it prepped ahead of time really paid off.
A month ago, I noticed my short-term emergency foods were getting close to their expiration date, so my family and I have been using the stored food to make the most of our investment. Luckily, this week I found some great deals at my grocery store and re-stocked on some foodstuffs.
In the Garden:
There is not much of a garden left since last weekend. Three very hungry children found my vegetables and decided they were going to have a healthy snacks. They feasted on beets, radishes, lettuce, snow peas and baby celery. I was impressed that they washed the veggie snacks and cut them up for all of them to enjoy.
I can’t fault them for wanting a healthy snack. After all, I’ve been engraining that into their noggins since birth… I guess kids do listen after all. Next week, I plan on starting some new veggie snacks for my three hungry kiddos.
Having a guideline on hand of which foods last longer than others will ensure that your food supply stays within itâ€™s expiration. According to the National Terror Alert website, the following foods can be stored for long-term use.
Guidelines for Food Storage:
Use within 6 months:
Powdered milk (in box)
Dried fruit (in metal container)
Dry, crisp crackers (in metal container)
Use Within 1 year:
Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups
Canned fruit, fruit juices and vegetables
Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers)
Hard candy and canned nuts
LETTERS TO TESS
Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s question addresses how much calcium hypochlorite is required to make bleach:
We are serving as Christian missionaries in Cambodia. Clorox is hard to come by and very expensive when we do. We need it for laundry in killing bacteria. We have ca[clo]2 in granular form, how do we mix and use in daily laundry. What is the relative strength to 5.5% clorox in laundry additions?
You asked a great question, and one I believe many are wondering about. To get 3.5% active chlorine in a gallon of water, (which is equivalent to 1 gallon of Clorox), we need to add the following measurements of calcium hypochlorite:
According to a forum poster who worked out the math calculations, he said, â€śClorox is 6% sodium hypochlorite — Sodium hypo is 59% active chlorine. So we can say that Clorox is 3.5% active chlorine. HTH Super Shock is 65 to 90% calcium hypochlorite. Cal hypo is 99% active chlorine. So to get 3.5% active chlorine in a gallon of water (3785 grams), we need 3785 *.035/.99/.65 or 206 grams or 7 ounces of 65% shock.â€ť Source
Be very careful when storing it as it is very reactive. Also, don’t mix and store calcium hypochlorite solution when you need a specific concentration. It will degrade rather quickly and will eventually turn into hard water.