foods to store in case of emergency? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 12-11-2008, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure what forum to put this in. I want to store 2-3 months worth of food for our family in case of an emergency. I know I've seen online guides before but I can't find anything right now. Does anyone have links to sites that tell how to figure out how much and what types of food to store per person, or would anyone care to share what you store?
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#2 of 17 Old 12-11-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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http://dsc.discovery.com/survival/ho...od-supply.html

This seems like a pretty good article. I didn't read the whole thing, but it seems informative.

We have a shelf that we keep stocked with canned beans, tuna, and chicken.
Also dried fruits and nuts/nut butters.

I guess it depends on whether you live in an area that is likely to be evacuated (you would probably want mostly foods you didn't have to cook)
or if you will be home and able to cook on the woodstove or BBQ - then you could make other non-perishables like grains/pasta.

The dehydrated meals seem wierd to me, but in an emergency... I guess I would do it!:

Mama of one with one on the way 12/10
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#3 of 17 Old 12-11-2008, 11:43 PM
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I know my church has detailed things to store, but for some reason couldn't find it on their website. I also borrowed a book from a friend. But mostly what it says for a 3 mon. supply is to use as much of the food that you normally eat as possible, but in ways it can be store. For example the usual veggies that you eat except canned. Remember that your canned veggies also have water/liquid that will provide part of each persons daily water intake. I think for water it's like a gallon a person a day. Store things like bean and flour in airtight containers and make sure you rotate. powdered milk. I think they have websites where you can buy things like powdered butter and other things like that to go in your supply. canned and jarred things. I would stay away from frozen things because if your freezer breaks it would all spoil. So canned meat and such. Try and have propane and barbeque or camping stove to cook on if your electricity is out. I assume you want this in case of a disaster, so candles or electric candles. They have wind up flashlights you can get also. If you are going to use things like propane have an extra supply on hand. I think there might be online food calculators but you might be better off thinking about meals you can make or usually make and calculate how many of each ingredient you use for 1 meal for your family and then times that how many times you could make it in a month and for 3-4 months. Also remember that typically american families eat enough to fill them even if they are no longer hungry. So if you can store enough for that and if you ration in an emergency might have a bigger supply. Or you can store a tiny bit less and everyone kind of rations in an emergency. Water is more important than anything else. Also calorie or protein bars are good to have on hand because you may feel very hungry but if you get your calories even from a bar then that's ok, but having those may help stretch your food better. The book i have recommends buying a little each week to build it up. Also store away cash somewhere.

This is long and unorganized sorry, just stuff that came to mind for me while I was thinking about this. Makes me feel very behind because i haven't started my food storage at all!!!

My goal is a small 72 hr. kit in my car. A 72 hr kit in a large trashcan and bag in my garage incase of evacuation and a 3 mon. supply. a little overboard? LOL But seasonal fires in my area, terrorism and the economy have me a little worried lately!
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#4 of 17 Old 12-12-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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just a thought - I read somewhere that you actually burn more calories in an emergency than everyday. no heat, more activity, more stress, more time awake, all those things need more calories.
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#5 of 17 Old 12-12-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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We live where we would basically never be evacuated unless it was after something happened that made out house unlivable, but we still maintain a 3-6 month supply of food in our house. We had a period two years ago where DH and I were both out of work and we had NO money. Having a stocked pantry and knowing that we could always feed ourselves was really reassuring.

For us, we thought about what we base our meals on and what our staples are. Generally, they're pasta, red kidney beans, black beans and garbanzo beans, rice, lentils, couscous, corn meal and rye and white flour. We have 5 gallon barrels of flour and rice and gallon jars of most of the other pulses.

We buy bulk pasta at Costco and keep extra packages, and buy flats of black beans and garbanzos because they're way easier to eat that way. We also eat a lot of chicken broth and canned tomatoes, which we buy in shelf-stable packages in bulk. We buy big packages of yeast, salt and olive oil as well. I'd like to start storing peanut butter but I can't find one that I like that comes in bulk.

All of this stuff is stored on wooden shelves in our basement, stacked with new stuff at the front and older stuff at the back. It's also where I store my home-canned stuff from the garden. We bring jars/cans up as needed to refill the everyday pantry upstairs.

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#6 of 17 Old 12-13-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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I like the website www.sharonastyk.com She writes a lot about food storage, the economy, climate change, and peak oil. If the other stuff isn't your cup of tea you can still look at her food storage info. I think the basic tenant of food storage is to "store what you eat, eat what you store", i.e. store the foods you family eats, then eat out of your storage so you are constantly rotating through your storage. We by in bulk so we buy 6 months worth of grains, beans, pasta, olive oil, etc. We do this not only for security (job loss, glich in the system, etc) but mainly because it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly (less packaging, less gas for trips to the store, local grains, etc). I store wheat (I have a hand grinder to grind flour), rice, oats, popcorn, barley, beans, quinoa, home canned veggies and tomatoes, peanut butter, nuts, jams and apple sauce, root cellared apples, winter squash and potatoes, and more, as well as growing a substantial winter garden with root vegatables, greens and cold frame lettuce. We raise bees so we have lots of honey. Grains and beans are stored in 5 gal buckets. I don't save water because our solar power pumps our well, we have a hand pump, and a river flows by our house (we have a great water filter). We raise dairy goats, chickens and ducks so I don't store as many protein foods. We have a 100 gal propane tank for our cook stove and back up heat, but mainly heat with wood and can cook on our woodstove. Many people save a several day supply (1 gal per person per day) in clean soda containers. But I do keep several gallons of water in my car. HTHs
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#7 of 17 Old 12-14-2008, 02:24 AM
 
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We've started storing food recently too, and are trying to follow the 'store what you eat, eat what you store' mantra, and I think are doing pretty well right now.

We store the grains/beans that we eat (black & pinto beans, lentils, wheat, rice, popcorn), along with salt & sugar in big 4 gallon glass jars (which conveniently hold 25# of grains/beans PERFECTLY!!). I'm not entirely sure how long of a 'supply' we have exactly, but enough for a good long while (combined around 150# of legumes and 100# of grains, 50# salt, 50# of sugars). I canned tomatoes last year and hope to continue doing so for the forseeable future (did 98 quarts and 18 pints, all diced so there versatile), and also made lots of jams/jellies. We buy oils in bulk (will soon have two 1 gallon tubs of coconut oil, and about 2.5 gallons of olive oil), along with peanut butter (always have at least 5+ pounds).

I think figuring out how much to store is a really personal question. You'll find lists online saying you need so many pounds of this or that, but it depends SO MUCH on what you eat - theres really no reason to store powderd milk if, like us, you do *NOT* use it. Better to store what you're going to eat and be able to rotate through.

We don't store water, because we have our own well and just got a hand pump... so we'll always have access to water I don't worry too much about meat as we have chickens for eggs, are raising meat goats and can hunt... we do have a lot of stuff frozen, but have a generator that we can run using just 1 gallon of gas a day (or less) to keep going. So, a good long while.
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#8 of 17 Old 12-14-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
We store the grains/beans that we eat (black & pinto beans, lentils, wheat, rice, popcorn), along with salt & sugar in big 4 gallon glass jars (which conveniently hold 25# of grains/beans PERFECTLY!!). I'm not entirely sure how long of a 'supply' we have exactly, but enough for a good long while (combined around 150# of legumes and 100# of grains, 50# salt, 50# of sugars). .
Ugh. I should really start storing sugar too, but I am so freakin' paranoid of ants that I can't bring myself to do it. I'd buy like 3 packages and then wrap them in plastic, wrap the plastic and plastic and put them in a barrel and I'd still be paranoid about ants.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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#9 of 17 Old 12-15-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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So would I. If I was storing in plastic! But, I'm not worried about storing in glass - the jars are all glass with glass lids and rubber gasket seals (like the old-style canning jars). I love them - I can see whats inside, they're water tight, bugs can't get in'm... its just perfect!! Ball Ideal jars.
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#10 of 17 Old 12-15-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
So would I. If I was storing in plastic! But, I'm not worried about storing in glass - the jars are all glass with glass lids and rubber gasket seals (like the old-style canning jars). I love them - I can see whats inside, they're water tight, bugs can't get in'm... its just perfect!! Ball Ideal jars.
Okay, those are the coolest jars ever! And I love that 25 pounds of rice fits in the them.

Thanks for the link.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#11 of 17 Old 12-18-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Okay, those are the coolest jars ever! And I love that 25 pounds of rice fits in the them.

Thanks for the link.
I agree. I'm asking dh for permission to purchase when he gets home!
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#12 of 17 Old 12-18-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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I didn't know they made them that big!! I was thinking of getting a garbage can with a tight fitting lid, but I wasn't really liking that idea so these are great!! What do you use to store flour in?

Erin, mom to Amelia Rose:, 6/15/06 and Lily Grace, 6/7/09; wife to Phil since 10/9/04
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#13 of 17 Old 12-18-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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I did have flour stored in 2.5 gallon Anchor Hocking jars (hold 10# easily, probably could hold 11-13), but we just got a grain mill, so I'm just storing whole wheat berries now (hard red spring wheat, hard white winter, and soft white winter)
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#14 of 17 Old 05-04-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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What are good food items to store???

The question is: What are some good foods to store?

So far, I am thinking oatmeal, rice, canned beans, canned corn, canned green beans. I'm going to check on canned meat next.

What else?

Freeze dried foods last the longest. Canned foods taste better but don't last as long. Grains tend not to last as long. Everything lasts longer if it is properly sealed and stored in a cool dark dry place.

Think of how long you want to store the food. That will determine if you want freeze dried or canned. Then think about how many people will be eating and what they like to eat. Then go and buy it. Keep a list of when the food expires and replace the food as the dates come up.


Emergency Food
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#15 of 17 Old 05-06-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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We don't actually store food in a prepared-for-disaster way but we live seasonally so here is how we normally store food:

in the freezer we keep several whole chickens and also beef which we buy from a local organic farmer (we buy half a cow). Hopefully soon this will be our own beef. There are also various frozen veggies from the garden, yeast (I'm a breadbaker and buy yeast in bulk), cheese cultures. Also butter, which I make and freeze.

for the cupboards/pantry we buy rapadura, oats, nuts, honey, maple syrup, and so on in bulk and store in glass jars. There is also a supply of items that I've canned--jams and jellies, applesauce, whatnot. We store about 80 lbs of whole wheat flour (smaller amounts of other flours) and about 50 lbs of wheat berries if we needed to grind flour.

We don't really worry about saving milk since we have dairy animals. We also have laying hens for eggs. There are two pigs that we could butcher for pork if it hit the fan.

Of course, in the case of a disaster we would have problems because we don't have a generator (yet) so there would be freezer issues. If there's no electricity/gas it would be hard to cook the food although we do have a woodstove so we could cook on it in a pinch (we're both pretty good campfire cooks too). I really want a solar oven.

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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#16 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm
also buy a few extra of whatever your picking up at the store. if you don't normally eat it yu won't really want to start in an emergency situation plus you might be wondering what to do with it. but also keep in mind you might not be able to cook or have a ton of water for boiling things.
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#17 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Everyone else seems to have covered anything I was going to post, so I figured I'd just share how I decided what to store for my family (DH, me, and LO on the way), and some of the things we keep stored.

I sat down and thought about 15 meals I actually cook on a regular basis and what I would need on-hand to make them. I came up with an ingredients list, then multiplied it by 2 for a month's supply of items to stock. I like to cook from scratch, but I also included lunch meats, cereals, hamburger buns, peanut butter, canned and powdered soups, and other store-bought items that wouldn't be available in a prolonged emergency situation.

Then I went shopping, and made sure I had at least a 2 month's supply on-hand. Now when I go to the store, I buy items to replace my storage, not because I've actually run out. It's like shopping 2 months in advance...!

We try to eat seasonally anyways, but that includes canning and freezing the in-season produce. We also bought meat in bulk last year (42 lb mix of chicken, pork, and beef, plus sausages and bacon cost us about $120, just fyi), so I consider that to be part of my food storage as well. A fridge-sized upright freezer made this possible for us. By late fall, it's packed with enough meat and veggies (I freeze broccoli, carrots, several types of peppers, pea pods, corn, green beans, and berries) for the next 9-12 months. I also have a supply of home canned pasta sauce, applesauce, peaches, pears, and jams in addition to my staples (flour, sugar, dry milk, honey, oatmeal, pastas, and rice). I also recently learned that you can can butter (http://geocities.com/~y2k-survivor/HOWTOCANBUTTER.html), so I plan to store some of that as well. And some items that we "store" are just foods that generally have long shelf lives: onions, potatoes, dry beans.

That said, I also store some things I don't use on a regular basis. Our family camps and backpacks, so I bought a few #10 cans of freeze-dried Mountain House meals. I'll scoop out a few servings before a trip, but I definitely don't use them every day. Same for the powdered milk.

Make sure you keep some goodies on-hand too! Even if you don't normally make instant pudding, for example, it might be nice to have some sweets during a stressful time.

We have well water, but no hand pump yet, so I have 25 gallons of water stored in mylar bags from www.beprepared.com I also have a water filter that I use for backpacking that we can use in a real emergency.

Eventually, I'd like to buy more property and have chickens and dairy goats so that we can be more self-sufficient. Our current zoning restricts us to 3 "pets", and we already have 2 dogs and a cat. I don't think our neighbors would appreciate a goat, anyways.

Hope this helps!

Strong single mama to Ethan (9/09) and Rowyn (7/12)
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