For many years, our country has enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world, but that easy life has inadvertently led some Americans into a dangerous mode of thinking. Because a convenience store or grocery store outlet is usually just a few minutes away by foot or car, there’s an alarming lassitude in many households about the need for emergency food provisions. And this resulted in a lot of unnecessary hardship in many situations, like Hurricane Katrina, or the dry, summer brush fires that have occurred in California, or even as far north as Ft. McMurray in Canada. In each of these situations, people that took for granted easy access to a store have experienced incredible hardship when things go wrong.
It’s a sobering reminder to all Americans that even though we enjoy a convenient life, we should never assume it will always work smoothly. We should be prepared for emergencies, and there are few handy bits of guidance for storing food that those who came before us have preserved for our benefit.
Grains, Especially Rice Are Ideal
Grains are one of the perfect food storage items due to their long lasting nature. There is, however, a reason that most of the world eats rice, and that is its versatility. Unlike grains, which usually need to be processed into something else in order to be edible, rice only requires heat and water and it’s ready to go. Heed the lessons of the rest of the world, and make use of rice as a long term stored food source.
Store Your Vitamins Too
In order to make sure you’re getting all the essential nutrients, it’s a good idea to include vitamins in your food storage provisions. As long as they are in air tight storage or oxygen resistant, fish oil caps or the usual assortment of vitamin C, D, and many others can be an essential part to making sure your diet is still balanced.
Freeze Dried Foods
While a very recent addition to food preparation technology, properly stored freeze dried foods have a very long shelf-life. Strongly consider including these in your provisions if you’re making an emergency store, they are low maintenance, and also don’t take up a lot of space. That’s perfect for food storage needs.
Canned Foods On A Rotational Basis
Canned foods do have a lifespan, so while it’s not a bad idea to include them in an emergency storage unit, this also means taking note of their expiration dates, and replacing them with new canned food when the time the comes. This is not an issue at all for people with the diligence to stick to an emergency provision maintenance schedule, but if that’s not you, then consider taking canned foods off your list.
Legumes Are Excellent
This is another natural food, just like rice, that seems made for long term storage. Legumes are shelled items with soft interiors, like peas, beans, peanuts, soybeans, and many others. They retain their edibility for a very long period of time and can be prepared many different ways.
Remember Miscellaneous Ingredients
If you plan on doing cooking, rather than just eating prepared foods, you’ll need other ingredients. Oils will be required for some types of cooking, as well as salt, sugar, and other seasonings. You only need to worry about this if you’re planning on doing your own food preparation, which is definitely not a bad idea, but it’s not essential in an emergency situation.
Storing food for an emergency may seem like paranoia, but it’s no more overly cautious than investing in insurance, or making sure a home has a fire alarm. You won’t think about it much under normal circumstances, but it can save your life under the right circumstances.