You may not be aware of it but most grocery stores only have about three day of many of the foods they sell in stock.
They rely on a constant stream of semis bringing them more food to keep their shelves full.
So if anything happens to disrupt that food supply chain for even a short amount of time it could cause chaos and make it difficult or impossible to feed your family.
There is any number of things that could interrupt our fragile food delivery system.
Anything from natural disasters like the winter storms the north and east part of the country experienced this winter to deliberate terrorist attacks.
This is why having a survival food storage system is so vital.
Most people think that when they start a system of survival food storage that they need to buy bulk foods that are processed and dried so they can last for years.
But that’s not the truth, Pretty much anything that you can store that would be non-perishable in case of a power outage would work.
And remember, our ancestors survived without electricity and refrigerators and so can you!
Your Survival Food Plan
Prepping for unknown disasters can seem sort like an overwhelming task when you first start your planning. You just don’t know for sure what could happen.
But planning is where you should start. Because no one survival food plan works for every on and you should make sure that you plan for where you live.
What Type Of Natural Disasters
Start by thinking about what type of natural disasters have happened in the past in the area where you live.
In the west there have been earthquakes and fires, the north snow storms and tornados while the south and east have experienced winter storms and hurricanes.
Think about what has happened or could happen in your area and think about how long it took for normal food deliveries and such to begin again.
Risk of Other Disasters
Then think about other man made problems that you area has had or could have in the future.
Do you live in an area where there is unrest? Don’t you think that the people who live in Ferguson, Watts, or South LA would have liked to have some foods stored when rioting happened in their areas?
Do you live near a high value target like a military base or other government center that might be the target of a terrorist?
Remember the rioting that happened at the last several Republican conventions and the problems that Seattle had when the WTO met there and an estimated 50-100,000 rioters took to the streets to protest?
Is the area where you live close to a planned high profile trial that could spark protests or an event where there might be potential riots.
How Much Survival Food Do You Need
Then think about the number of people that you are going to try to feed during a disaster. Could extended family, friends or neighbors show up seeking help? Do you want to be able to share some of your supplies?
All of these questions should give you a rough idea of how many people and how many days you are going to need to store food and water for in case of an emergency.
Survival Food Storage
Once you know how much food you are going to need the next step is to choose a place to store your survival food that is both handy and hidden.
An important point should be added here. The best idea is to NOT talk to anyone about your food stores.
You should keep them hidden and secret unless you are planning on sharing everything that you have with the people who didn’t bother to be prepared!
There are way too many instances when I talk to people where they have their stores in their garage or an out building where other people would easily see the stores or them getting to stores.
One person had a six month supply of freeze dried food that was in plain view every time he opened his garage door.
Another person habitually bragged to his neighbors about his stores and told anyone that would listen how prepared he was in case of a disaster.
Where do you think their neighbors are going to go in case of some type of calamity when they run out of food and water?
Unless you are willing and able to feed everyone in the neighborhood you are going to need to keep your survival food stores secret.
This means that you can’t tell anyone and need the stores hidden.
A Quick Tip On Food Storage
I think that the best way to store food is by having foods in your cabinets then also having a hidden stash that is your main supply.
By having some foods in the open it would give any looters something to take while still protecting your main stash.
Where to Hide Your Survival Food
Part of the answer to this question depends upon how much you are going to be storing.
Water takes up more space than most of the other foods so you need to decide how much you might need.
If you are close to an outdoor water source like a river or pond where you could replenish your water you won’t need to store as much. Just make sure that you have the means to purify the water.
Just remember that you can go for a week or more without food but your body will start to shut down after just three days without water. So water should be high on your list.
I’ve hidden the 5 gallon containers of water that you get from the store in a variety of places.
These hiding places depended upon how much space I had and how much I felt I needed to store.
I’ve torn the lining out of a sofa and built a space where I can store food and water. I’ve built a fake bed frame where I hid water and supplies beneath the mattress and box springs.
I’ve built a fake back wall in a closet that pulls away to reveal storage space.
I’ve helped a friend build a fake wall of bookshelves along one whole wall of a bedroom. One of the bookshelves swings in revealing a 5′ deep storage area.
I’ve even built a fake book case wall that hid a full room and bathroom that were in the basement of a house.
I’ve also heard of people that dig a hole in their back yard to hide supplies.
Bottom Line on Emergency Food Storage
The bottom line is that with a little ingenuity you can come up with a lot of hiding places for you and your survival foods. It’s even a good idea to split up your supplies so that if one gets looted you still have another.
Look around your home and I’m sure that you’ll come up with some great ideas on your own.
How To Start A Survival Food Storage Plan
But we are here to help you start your plan and to follow through. By now you should be thinking about how much food you are going to want to store and where you are going to store it.
Remember though that you don’t have to create a complete plan overnight.
Survival Food and The Smart Shopper
With smart shopping you can even start to build your survival foods from your weekly trips to the grocery store.
When you buy one canned item on your list get two instead and put one in your emergency survival food stash.
Remember that these canned items are going to have a expiration date so make sure to rotate your stored foods after each purchase.
You can easily get a store of foods that could last for weeks or even months doing this.
Just make sure that you make sure to think about how you are going to eat these foods too. You might not have any electricity or gas to cook foods.
Most survivalists will tell you that it is also important to maintain a continuity in your families diet.
In other words, if you can you should maintain the same foods that your family is used to eating. By using store bought foods and rotating them with you your emergency stores you can do this more easily.
Remember that the psychological toll of dealing with an emergency can be profound. At first it might seem like an adventure but that newness will quickly wear of and the stress will build.
Adults may be able to handle this more quickly but especially your children could have a problem. Having some familiar foods to eat can help to relieve the stress.
Freeze Dried Foods
If you have a larger budget you can purchase freeze-dried foods from companies that offer these light-weight storable meals that can last for years.
These can be cost effective and are a great way for new peppers’ to hit the ground running quickly.
Survival Food Suggestions
It’s best to keep your initial survival food store simple. Concentrate on storing foods with the highest amount of calories and the longest shelf life.
Also remember that you might not have your stove or fridge to store and cook items so you’ll want things that are easy to prepare.
Canned food that can be eaten cold or hot like chili, beans, spaghetti, spam, and tuna are all good. There are even ready to eat meal packs that heat themselves.
With a small fire or even a candle you can cook the foods that you have in a can that just need to be heated to eat.
Power bars are also great quick ways to get needed foods that require no cooking.
Try to keep your diet balanced as well as nutritional. If you have to go for a week or more living on your survival foods they need to be filling and nutritional!
Cautions About Cooking Survival Food
Although there are ways to cook even when the power and gas is out you have to be careful.
Although it was said in jest, another blogger commented that he wouldn’t want to be in the house that was cooking bread when all the zombies in the area got hungry.
In other words you might want to think carefully before you announce to everyone in the area with the enticing aromas of cooking food that you have food by cooking up some fresh bread or grilling some burgers.
One of the things that very few people think about is the trash that is going to be left over after you eat.
While this may seem unimportant you have to consider how you are going to handle the trash.
During a real crisis where food is short you aren’t going to want to put your trash at the curb or have it where anyone who walks by can see it.
If it is a longer term crisis with the possibility of looters coming into to your home to try and scavenge for supplies you’ll want to make sure that there aren’t a lot of open cans or food packs open.
Make a part of your Survival Food plan on how to dispose of or hide any trash that is left over after you eat.
Growing Your Own Food
Finally, many survivalists plan on surviving by raising chickens and fish or growing vegetables that they can eat.
Although the later would be highly seasonal dependent in both cases it would be hard to grow or raise your own food without neighbors and others knowing what you were doing.
I live in a high rise downtown so this isn’t an issue for me. But if I lived in an area where I could raise or grow food I’d make sure that I planned on raising or growing enough to share with my neighbors.