Shall we talk about what’s in my basement?
No, it doesn’t compare with an episode of Criminal Minds, but the supply of food in my basement could feed my family for a couple of months. To someone who hasn’t seriously considered putting food aside for a rainy day, that can be pretty shocking.
You don’t have to be religious or paranoid to store food
- 2012: “Superstorm” Sandy affects 24 states, including the whole eastern seaboard.
- 2005: Hurricane Katrina and the levee and floodwall failures in New Orleans.
- 2001: 9-11
- 1994: Northridge earthquake in California’s San Fernando Valley
- Flu pandemics several times every century
Disasters sometimes come with a little warning (hurricanes, winter storms) but they sometimes strike out of the blue (earthquakes, terrorism.) You can’t plan for every individual disaster. Storing food is the only solution I know of to provide insurance against hunger for your family should the unexpected occurs.
It’s true that you may never confront one of those sudden, one-off emergencies. I sincerely hope that you never do!
Ever had to run to the store or switch recipes in the hour before dinner because you were out of one key ingredient? Dehydrated and freeze-dried veggies work great in many recipes.
But what about more predictable events? Anyone who lives in a region prone to intense weather is familiar with the crowds and long lines at every store when a major storm is forecast. Avoiding those lines is a good enough reason for me to store food, because I value my time very highly.
I never have an immediate need to go to the grocery store to feed my family.
No hyperbole this time. With total sincerity, I can state that, no matter what happens in the outside world, I can confidently meet my family’s immediate needs with what I have stored at home.
Can you say the same?
Milk doesn’t have to say, “Moo.” Every one of these is good for baking.
Keeping staples like dried eggs and powdered milk on hand—plus a few simple recipes that make them palatable!—makes us self-sufficient for the duration of a major storm and its aftermath.
I don’t bake traditional yeast bread completely by hand anymore (kneading + arthritis = misery), but I have a bread machine and several tasty quick bread recipes that can see my family through a crisis.
Eggs, bread, milk, bottled water, batteries
Eggs, bread, milk—these are the staples for which most people wait in long lines the evening before a storm. When a hurricane is due, add plywood and batteries to the list, but you could—perhaps should—plan ahead for those, too.
Eneloop batteries are the best; I buy them at Costco. Amazon Basics are another great option for rechargeables.
Your “probable” emergency needs will vary based upon your location, but your family needs to eat no matter where you live. Storing a three day supply of fresh water and a little extra food could mean the difference between comfort and crisis during an “extreme event.”
Our own government recommends basics actions for preparedness to every family. You’ll notice that food and water are the first items on the CDC list. Of course, they also have a page about the zombie apocalypse, but I’m pretty sure that one is tongue in cheek.
I’m going to go with the CDC on this question; whatever gets you thinking about taking care of your family is a good prompt to action. Hurricanes, snow storms, earthquakes, or zombies: are you prepared for an emergency that disrupts the food supply?