When I was a kid, my parents did a good job of keeping our kitchen pretty well stocked with items you would expect to find, canned goods, pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.
The one thing we did not have was long-term food, at least not as it is thought of today.
It was not until I was a young adult and became more involved in emergency preparedness that I decided to invest more in long-term food.
At that time, there were very few people that I knew that had this type of food and none of my immediate friends or family were interested in that sort of thing.
My attempts to persuade others to be better prepared for difficult times fell on deaf ears, which was often the case then as it is today.
However, I am glad that I stuck to my position of preparing for difficult times because over the years I have only experienced more reasons to do so.
When I was a little kid, I use to be amazed by grocery stores.
After walking through the front doors, I would be met with the sight of food everywhere!
Not only did they have anything I could possibly want but there was so much of it.
To me, it looked like a never-ending supply of food.
“Looked like,” being the two keywords.
It was not until my first job at a grocery store that I realized the situation behind the scenes was quite different than what it looked like on the main floor.
After working at the store for a while I realized two things.
The first is that the supplies in the back storeroom were not nearly enough to completely refill the shelves.
Secondly, the store was dependent on semi-trucks making deliveries every few days to maintain what was in the store.
On more than one occasion I saw firsthand the breakdown of this system. If a bad storm rolled across the region people would rush to the store and stock up on food and other supplies.
The shelves would be depleted and restocked from what was in the stockroom, but those items too were quickly snatched up.
Due to the bad storm, shipping was delayed which meant the store could not be resupplied on time.
The result was a lot of bare shelves that only took a day for customers to clear out.
The above example happened several times for several different reasons during my employment at the store.
The takeaway message is that it showed me you cannot depend on getting all the food you need from a store once an emergency happens.
Several years ago, I came across a bit of information that at first, I didn’t believe.
It stated that the average person only has enough food in their home to last two weeks at the most, and proper food shortage preparation plans.
I thought this was absurd until I started asking people that I knew how often they shopped and how much food they had at home.
After talking to quite a few people, I found that statement to be rather correct.
Several disasters occur each year and almost all of them have the potential of causing effects that last longer than two weeks.
Just look at 2020 for example.
Suddenly people were asked to remain at home for weeks at a time.
Some people were prepared to handle that kind of situation, but a lot were not.
Almost without warning, we can experience a situation in which we are cut off from outside resources and must live off what we have at home.
I love the idea of gardening and that I think everyone who has the means to do so should do it. It is a healthy source of food and gardening itself has many benefits.
One is it provides us with an emergency source of food.
But gardening does have its drawbacks.
Due to space requirements and budget, some people may not have the setup for a garden.
Then there are outside factors that can negatively affect a garden’s yield such as weather, droughts, pests, and disease.
I am not trying to detour you from gardening, but I do not believe it should be a person’s only source of food.
There is a lot of talk in the outdoor and survival communities about how to get food during a large-scale, widespread disaster.
Hunting and fishing to obtain food are talked about frequently.
I grew up hunting and fishing and I do agree that it is obviously an option for getting food.
But what people tend to overlook is that you are not the only person who has that idea.
When a disaster happens that affects that many people, the population of animals and fish is not going to hold up for very long.
They may not be viewed as true emergencies but inflation and losing a job can severely hurt a person’s budget and ability to provide for their family.
When times are good, it is smart to invest in physical items that can help you out later when times are rough.
I went through this several years ago when I lost my job and could not find another one for several months.
My budget became extremely tight but because I had a healthy supply of emergency food, the huge cost of shopping at the store was not as much of a concern.
Preparing for an emergency means you should have options for every aspect of your plan: shelter, water, medicine, and food.
Having only one method to take care of a need during an emergency is not being prepared and it will only leave you in a dangerous position. And if you have special dietary requirements, that need only increases. Vegetarian emergency food can be hard to come across, for example, if you didn't plan for it.
There are many ways to be prepared to take care of your food needs during an emergency such as gardening, hunting, fishing, foraging for wild edibles, storing canned goods, canning garden crops, and purchasing long-term food survival kits.
Lastly, I like the benefits that long term foods provide, such as:
What tomorrow brings is anyone’s best guess.
“You never know,” is often my answer when people ask about various outcomes of possible emergencies.
Just because we do not know what may happen does not mean we cannot be as prepared as possible.
In terms of food that means covering all your bases with ways to collect it, process it, and store it.
When it is within your budget, I recommend grabbing yourself some long-term food and putting it with your emergency supplies, because you just never know.
Thanks for reading and stay prepared.
Today's blog was written by Bryan Lynch from SurvivalCache.com!
Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing.
He is an expert contributor over at SurvivalCache.com, where he covers all things survival and preparedness.