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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Emergency Food/Supplies / Disaster Preparedness-Food Storage
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    Disaster Preparedness-Food Storage

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    Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:54 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I live in Oregon, love the outdoors, love camping and all that good stuff. We try to be self-sufficient and consider ourselves fairly logical when it comes to what we'd do in an emergency or disaster. BUT we are hardly prepared the way we should be. We'd rather be smart and prepared than lost and scared so I'm getting things together now-most of its easy, all of our camping gear is in one place (sleeping bags, tarp, water purifier...that list is huge!) However, I don't have food stored. So I'm wondering if anyone has ideas on what types of food would be good to store and for how long they can be stored. Canned foods are heavy and will take a lot to feed a family of 4-don't get me wrong, we'll have canned food, but i'm thinking about beans, oatmeal, those non-parishables (sp?) that can go a long way. If anybody can share their ideas, it would be greatly appreciated-probably by many =) Thank you!
    Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:28 pm
    Forum Host
    Thank you for your post...this subject is actually the reason this forum exists. icon_biggrin.gif We've gotten side-tracked icon_redface.gif to other subjects, but I'd really like to pull it back to its original reason for being. I've been mentally working on a post to that effect, but haven't put it in writing, yet.

    At the top of the Food Storage Forum are a couple of posts. One is the Food Storage Guide and the other is "Recipes For Food Storage" Guide. Both are excellent resources. Peruse through them and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. icon_wink.gif

    I'm sorry I can't write more at this moment...gotta dash off to work pretty quick...if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. icon_wink.gif

    Welcome to the Food Storage forum! icon_wink.gif
    Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:56 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Thank you, I'll take a peek around icon_smile.gif
    Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:11 pm Groupie

    I keep a huge bag of beef jerky that I make, dried fruits of all kinds, dried beans, energy drink mixes, charcoal and fluid, candy bars, granola bars, baggies of flour, self rising flour, sugar, salt......I rotate them about every 6 months or so. I live in a flood/tornado area so I try and keep up to date on the food stuff. I also keep the bottom part of my freezer full of ice so I can unload the freezer/fridge into heavy duty coleman coolers. I need to go down and take a look now that you mention it. I do have a few canned items but not many-oh, and alot of dehydrated veggies and some extra cast iron pans-I can cook anything in those.

    Di icon_wink.gif
    John DOH
    Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:21 pm Groupie
    Excellent topic!

    "Disaster" might include earthquake, cyclone, a 9-11 type of "event", an "Emergency situation" would include a flood, a hurricane (not a natural disaster, we can see them coming, and "fail to plan=plan to fail"), lightening, rainstorm or snow, icestorm, disruption of Hydro power and so on.

    I doubt there are many issues with dried goods such as flour, sugar, salt, peas, coffee, rice or the like.

    What potable water is available is possibly the biggest concern.

    Access to prescriptive or corretive medicine is an issue. Gasoline, naptha, propane or such heat and energy sources.
    Access to a battery powered radio, in working condition, with batteries to run it; candles for illumnination, and the like are very important.
    Car gas!

    Lots of issues, before we get to the hard and horrid line of how much canned goods or dried we have on hand...

    Will your "convenience store" operators offer you "notes of hand" if the power is out and you have little or no hard cash?

    If anyone wants to discuss or think through some of this, I've endured some (but by no means all) of some of this, and its a good thought review for any of us!

    Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:11 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    While this might not necessarily be the food of choice, I always keep emergency food bars and pouches with purified drinking water around. Those food bars are not the best gourmet food you could find, but it will do in a real emergency. Just for the fun of it, I actually tried it myself and over a 3 day period (72 hours) only ate and drank the minimum rations they suggested.
    The food bars actually provided 800 calories per day and are designed not to be thirst-provoking. The purified drinking water - although the pouches are small - tasted surprisingly refreshing and the amount was sufficient.

    So, emergency food bars and purified drinking water pouches are in every one of my kits.
    John DOH
    Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:22 pm Groupie
    We are a little "luckier" in that we have access to the backyard BBQ/grill that runs off propane, and I make a point of keeping an extra tank of gas on hand as simple good practice against running out unexpectedly, but it factors in to the emergency preparedness thing as well.

    This gives an ability to heat both food, as well as water. Water, of course, is the prime "scare", so we need a means of bringing it to, and holding it at, a "rolling boil" for 20 minutes.

    During the August 2005 "blackout", it was interesting to observe the local stores...locally, our storekeepers were very good. As the freezers "died", they all handed out "drippy" popsicles and ice cream to the kids.

    A meat processer, who had a generator, took in truckloads of meat from his competitors, that their losses were minimised. In our city, I heard of no "price spikes" for candles, matches batteries and the like, tho' of course this did happen elsewhere. Many local merchants (I'm talking convenience stores) offered to take "scrip" or a signed IOU "notes of hand" from those that had no cash or access to ATM's or Credit Cards.

    In our case, the water kept running, and the Radio Stations, operating on generators, advised all to cut water use to a minimum (ie don't be watering the lawn).

    We knew to take the contents of the fridge down to the freezer and pack them into the bottom, below the other frozen contents, and wrap the freezer with sleeping bags; this will keep them "chilled" for up to four days. We tend to keep a "lot" of groceries frozen, or those "special buys" that are canned in some quantity....the ones who were badly hurt were the poor and those on welfare, who almost immediately lost almost "everything"!

    I've gone through a four-five day Hydro failure at the cottage, and been "saved" by being able to "pail" instead of pump water from a well (or drive into town to buy same). The same "trick" with freezers, or, in the last attempt, using the local "cold water creek" or well to immerse "spoilables" in plastic to preserve them.

    As the freezers start to thaw out, you must cook the raw stuff on the BBQ or on the wood stoves, to squeeze another few days from it (smoking helps a lot!).

    There are some foods, like cheese, that do not require refridgeration, just being kept out of direct sunlight, that have a ton of protein and fat, as well as good taste. Sausages, and hams can be smoked on the BBQ (given you have wood chips-a staple at my grill) to "last" a pretty good length of time. Keeping up that BBQ gas is a matter of "multi-tasking" to ensure you use every "erg" of energy its putting out!

    Having a "honey pail" or "ice cream pail" of frozen water in the freezer isn't a bad idea (worst case, you have a gallon or two of potable water!) and burying stuff in the ground works, too.

    Its a bit different when you lose power or get buried in snow or ice, as the "Ice Storm" of a few years ago proved, where the challenge changes to staying warm and heating up the pipes (or just keep the water running at a slow rate!) and figuring how you are going to heat things up...

    But its getting late, and I'll wait for some replies...

    Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:26 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Wow this is fantastic-such great responses I love it! And I'm feeling pretty lucky right now, NOT having anybody else's experiences-but I'm not counting it out, just waiting for my turn icon_cool.gif I've learned so much thank you everyone!
    Leggy Peggy
    Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:14 am Groupie
    Previous posters have given a lot of good information, so there isn't much I can add.
    We lived in Burma for several years and were regularly without power -- sometimes for three days in a row. I remember a month when we had no power for a total of 19 days.
    Among other things, no power meant no way to refill the water tank. As a result, I always had several large pots of water in the kitchen (we had to boil and filter all the water we consumed). I also kept a bathtub full of water most of the time -- renewing it about every five days.
    We bought candles by the gross, and had two kerosene lamps and a kerosene stove. We also learned to navigate the house easily in the dark.
    It was easy to keep the freezer going for three days by wrapping it in blankets.
    That's all the comes to mind at the moment.
    Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:45 pm Groupie
    Hello--first time poster here! I'm very interested in this DH is an Emergency Preparedness coordinator in the AirForce and the county we live in and the one thing I've learned from him is...DON'T FORGET THE CAN OPENER!
    That sounds like something I would do!
    Welcome to the forum! I'd love to see from both you and your husband! icon_wink.gif What has worked, what hasn't...what are your best tips, etc...

    Welcome, again! icon_wink.gif
    Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:49 pm
    Forum Host
    Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:41 pm Groupie
    Houseblend wrote:
    Hello--first time poster here! I'm very interested in this DH is an Emergency Preparedness coordinator in the AirForce and the county we live in and the one thing I've learned from him is...DON'T FORGET THE CAN OPENER!
    That sounds like something I would do!
    Welcome to the forum! I'd love to see from both you and your husband! icon_wink.gif What has worked, what hasn't...what are your best tips, etc...

    Welcome, again! icon_wink.gif

    And not an electric one icon_smile.gif
    John DOH
    Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:27 pm Groupie
    I don't know what "age group" I'm responding to, but here's a quick recount of what I believe are the "real worries", when the brown stuff hits the oscillating instrument...

    1. Doyou have you medications and prescriptive drugs on hand, and are they "stored and preserved" appropriately? (Some require being chilled) Do you run yourself down to the "last pill" before renewing the prescription, or "think" that you can use outdated meds to replace those you cannot access easily in an emergency?

    2. If power goes down, so do the bank machines, credit cards and so you have a "small wad" of cash on hand to get through this period, or a druggist or "grocery supplier" that would agree in advance to accept your cheque in such a contingency? Note that these would be ones that would be open and "accessible" in an emergency, not ones that would board up and close down!

    3. Gasoline (or diesel!) you have enough in your vehicle to "clear the area" in dire emergency, or a spare supply? How about wood, briquests, coal, naptha, propane or whatever? Have you done an "equipment check" on the fixtures that you expect to use with this fuel?

    4. Water. Its vital to life, seawater can contaminate it in an instant, as can sewage; lack of it can render your dried preserves useless, a huge deal of "heat" is needed to render it "safe" for any practicable you understand and have reference materials on how that is done?

    5. First Aid...bandages, tape, dressings, anti-bacterials, peroxide (a real gem!), an "instruction" manual (its easy to "forget" things under stress!), flashlights, batteries, bulbs, candles, matches, swabs, eyewashes, and of course, a "central location" where they can be "found", and when does this get inspected and "re-stocked"?

    6. Fridges and freezers...when do you move from one to another, and how do you arrange the stuff and pack and protect the appliance to maximise its efficiency?

    7. "Insurance"...When we buy that "policy" do we get an independent lawyer (specialising, of course, in such claims!) to take a quick look through the terms and conditions, and give us some sort of explanation of coverage and limitations of same before we succumb to the "Zellar's Rule" ? (ie "the lowest price is the Law")

    Or do we just sign on with the firm that is nickle less?

    Do we have a copy of the policy in a "safe place"? Do we have a number to call, if "disaster strikes" and we need a place to sleep for the night, and/or breakfast in the morning? (Let alone the next week or two?)

    Has anyone "checked out" their insurer on how he/they have "handled" such "claims" before? Was shocked when an acquaintence was badly damaged by a natural gas explosion in his neighborhood, and the worst results by an insurer were provided by the one I was insured any of us get "references" from Insurance companies? We'd all check references for potential employees we'd look at hiring!

    I doubt many of us are fully "covered" against such "emergencies" (including yours truly!), but this thread is indeed a great "motivator" to do a hard headed assessment of where we need to re-examine each of our issues....

    I appreciate each posting that's been made, as it strengthens my own resolution to do such a "one time" "reality check" for our family and general "situation"...

    And we've only begun to "scratch the surface" of the issues!

    Chef on the coast
    Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:11 pm
    Forum Host
    What a great thread! icon_smile.gif I think this is a topic in the back of lots of peoples minds. What/how they go about taking care of important issues is quite another topic.
    We live in Oregon on the coast in a flood prone area. At least 1-2 times a year. We stay home and wait it out. I know from watching the river - when the water breaks over the east bank and my kids are in school - I have just enough time to run into town and bring them home before the water breaks the west bank (our side) and floods the only road out of here.
    We make sure to have at least a week's worth of wood brought into the house. The wood shed sits over a foot off the ground so the wood doesn't get wet - but the water goes up over our knees to get to it.
    We have lots of water stored in clean juice containers and store bought. We have loads of home-canned foods that we like and don't need extra water to cook. We do have 72 hour kits in the event we do need to evacuate. We do have a tent, sleeping bags, dutch oven, charcoal, matches, and rubber boots, etc. Our important papers are in a rubbermaid tote that we can grab on the way out.
    Two things we are working on acquiring are a small boat and life jackets for the family. Those would be good to have where we are - but haven't been able to afford them yet.
    I hope I never see a disaster. However, I feel more prepared than others as we have taken the time to take care of these important needs.
    Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:53 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Great thread. Here are some of the tips that I have come up with regarding food storage, what to store, how to store it and for how long. Here's an entire page devoted to food storage and emergency preparedness and here's a detailed article regarding food storage tips.

    I think you'll find them very useful.

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