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Week 45 of 52: Long-Term Food and Water Needs

In our 45th week, we are talking about long-term food and water needs and ways to create back ups for your back ups.

Let’s assume for a moment that a devastating disaster occurred and you have realized that the life you formerly knew has ended. You are now in a fight for survival. Luckily, unlike many of those around you, you have provisions in place and have planned accordingly for a long-term emergency. But, the longstanding disaster is now threatening to exceed your food supply. What do you eat after your food supply is depleted or, if it is ruined by insects and rodents?

Like any preparedness plan we must plan for the unexpected by finding food and supplies that can withstand the test of time. It is my hope that by now your preparedness supplies are diverse and large enough to cover both short-term and long-term emergencies.

From the start, my goal with this series was for you to be prepared enough to survive the above scenario. In order for you to get through this relatively unscathed, you must prepare for the worst.

Listed below are some examples of long-term food sources. If you are planning for emergencies such as EMPs, nuclear attacks, economic collapse, grid-down scenarios, apocalyptic epidemics, etc., then I would strongly encourage you to invest in the following prep items.

  • Lifetime Foods – Foods that can last for up to 10 years or longer will be a solid investment for your future, as well as  your best bet at surviving a long-term disaster. Foods such as wheat, sugar, salt, white rice and corn are some food items that can last a lifetime. To learn about more of these forever foods, click here. Ensure that these foods are stored properly and away from your food’s worst enemies.
  • Freeze-Dried Food  Freeze dried food can last for 20 years. There are a variety of freeze dried ingredients and cuisines to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The best part of investing in this long-term food source, is different cans of freeze-dried ingredients can be mixed together to create new entrees. The best way to get your money’s worth is to purchase the #10 cans. Further, purchasing by the case will save you even more on your investment. Due to the preservation measures, they can be pricey, but when you work out the math per serving, it is quite reasonable. Many preppers have stocked up on this as their initial food source for a disaster. Because of the long expiration date, I prefer to keep the freeze-dried foods on standby in the event that I run out of my other foodstuffs. Please keep in mind that due to the sodium in the freeze-dried foods, it tends to back up the intestines. Therefore, if you choose to stock up on these essential long-term foods, I would advise for you to also stock up on stool softeners.
  • Seeds – As previously indicated in the newsletter for week 43, non-GMO or heirloom quality seeds are the best types of seeds to store and grow during long-term emergencies as these seeds produce seeds you can save for future harvests.  However, some believe that having some packets of GMO seeds to rely on would be beneficial during times of long-term crises as they have been formulated to survive droughts, have larger yields and be disease resistant. Having dependable seeds and dependable fertilizers and soil amendments in times of a crisis is another example of having back up for your backups.  Further, if stored properly, these seeds can last much longer than their expected expiration dates. Consider growing vegetables that have high yields and high amounts of nutrition and vitamins, as well as finding varieties that possess medicinal properties. For other considerations for a survival garden, click here.
  • Water Catchment Systems – Those that do not have access to their own water sources run the risk of being completely dependent on municipal water supplies. Having knowledge about how to harvest water through means of rainwater catchment systems is a great place to begin this path towards self-reliance. Some suggested low cost options are: collapsible water containers or 5-gallon buckets, rain harvesting containers or barrels, rainwater downspouts routed to water tanks by PVC pipes. If outside water catchment systems are being used, learn more about which catchment system is best for your home. Here is a great YouTube video on creating a rain harvesting system from scratch. This website has multiple water conservation projects that you can adapt to your lifestyle.
  • Water Filtration Units – In an extended emergency, possessing knowledge on how to properly clean water will be essential in keeping sanitation related illnesses at bay. Water filtration systems with extra filters and parts, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or re-hydration powders, anti-diarrhea medicines are essential in having clean drinking water. Here is a YouTube video on how to make a gravity fed water system similar to the Berkey Water System for the low price of $50. There will be a high risk of water-borne viruses, so anti-diarrhea medications will also be valuable to stock.

For many of us, our core beliefs are to provide for our family and keep them safe. But, according to societal mores we should only provide safety up to a certain extent. It is a societal taboo to think in terms of worst case scenarios. But sometimes, we must break through societal codes to do what is best for our family. In the case of preparedness, thinking in worst case scenarios may help you better prepare. Unexpected events will happen during SHTF scenarios, and it will be up to you to be ready for them.

Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]

  • Foods for long-term storage such as wheat, rice, sugar, salt, honey, and corn. To learn more, click here.
  • Freeze-dried foods
  • Stool softeners
  • Seeds, both GMO and Non-GMO
  • Fertilizers (enough for 3 seasons)
  • Water catchment system items
  • Anti-diarrhea medicines
  • Re-hydration powders or drinks
  • Filtration units such as the Berkey Water Filter

Action Items:

  1. Ensure that you have enough food supplies to last for a long-term emergency. Refer to the Ready Nutrition Food Calculator to make sure.
  2. Research ways that you can conserve water or harvest water on your property.
  3. Look for natural water sources, and underground reservoirs to turn to for an emergency water supply.
  4. Practice necessary skills that will help you thrive during long-term emergencies. Skills such as gardening, food preservation, and water harvesting.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on May 18th, 2012