Gettin' your Emergency "GRUB KIT' together
We all need those Calories!
When a disaster strikes, you need to be ready to have a secure, safe food and water supply. Here I'll talk about the food side of things.
With the recent Corona virus, we may have to hunker down and work from home, go out less etc. Supply lines from other countries may be tested and in a globally-connected world our supply lines have become increasingly fragile, this is why we need to maintain local economies and community supply and food systems, but I digress.
While a Pandemic does not really affect power, you should have a kit that includes cooking with no power, long-term food, clean water, and ways to clean water when water could be contaminated.
In some emergencies there may be power outages that could last for several days. Canned foods, dry mixes and other staples are the best supplies to have. You want long-lasting food, rotated periodically that does not require refrigeration, cooking, much water or special preparation. You will also want to have a manual can opener and eating utensils.
Emergency Food Supplies
Things to think about when preparing your families' kit:
1.) How Long? How Many People? How many calories/day?
- You will want to have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food on hand.
- Multiply this by the amount of people you are planning for. (less for kids)
- Look up a caloric intake calculator and estimate your families' needs. (Men prob need the most, then women, then children)
- I love this revised "Food Pyramid". I think this would be a better "Pyramid" to use than the old one in planning out what you might live on in emergencies.
2.) Choose foods your family will eat.
- If you're hunkered down for days, the last thing you want is to be eating food you hate!
- Compile your own kit or get a kit you could see yourself actually eating.
- Just as with backpacking food, I highly recommend trying out some of your food before you have to use it. In the middle of an emergency is not the time to find out you can't stand something.
- Add variety!!!! If you can't eat the same thing every day normally, what makes you think you would want to do that in a emergency?? You may be in a rough situation, and that's a great way to make it even worse! Change it up, you'll be grateful you did.
- Wibuy has lots of delicious foods that will last for long periods of time, are nutritional, and require minimal cooking and water. Check out our food options!
3.) Take Special Dietary Needs into account
- The last thing you want is to bust open that MRE or freeze dried meal, bit into it and go into anaphylactic shock!
- Take into account your peanut and gluten allergies, your lactose intolerance, and if you get bad gas and your family won't want to be in close quarters with you, then maybe layoff the beans.
3.) Avoid Foods the will make you Thirsty
- You're already trying to ration that high quality H20, and you may need it as long as possible, so don't eat things that will make you have to drink too much.
- Foods high in salt will make your body have to work harder to stay hydrated, so you want to preserve you're energy and your water by laying off the high-salt content food.
The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter (powdered or non)
- Dried fruit/vegetables/meat bars
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk (i prefer plant-based milks, they keep well)
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
Food Safety & Sanitation
I always keep White Vinegar and Bleach on hand. Bleach can be used for emergency disinfectant of water, surfaces, etc. Apple cider vinegar is a great natural anti-bacterial with many other great purposes :) (I love items with multiple uses).
According to ready.gov;
Without electricity or a cold source, food stored in refrigerators and freezers can become unsafe. Bacteria in food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, and if these foods are consumed you can become very sick. Thawed food usually can be eaten if it is still “refrigerator cold.” It can be re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals. To be safe, remember, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Keep food in covered containers.
- Keep cooking and eating utensils clean.
- Discard any food that has come into contact with contaminated flood water.
- Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more.
- Discard any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- Use ready-to-feed formula. If you must mix infant formula use bottled water, or boiled as a last resort.
- Eat foods from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat. (This can signal botulism!!!!!!)
- Eat any food that looks or smells abnormal, even if the can looks normal.
- Let garbage accumulate inside, both for fire and sanitation reasons.
When I was growing up, we would have ice storms that knocked out the power. Our first house had a fireplace, so that obviously still worked, but most houses today, if they have a fireplace at all, its like the gas fireplace in our second home, which usually works in an outage, but the blower did not, making it a very poor method of heating.
By far my favorite is to have a wood stove. You can heat your home and cook in an outage. I would run over to my friends place and they would be chopping wood and cooking eggs on the cast iron skillet on top of the stove.
Any camping stoves need to be used outside. One good idea is a battery back-up induction or convection electric single burner/skillet if you need to cook inside. An induction surface is the most energy-efficient and is cool to the touch, not presenting a fire hazard as it uses magnetic polarity to heat food. You can charge these
Commercially canned food may be eaten out of the can without warming, or with the right preparation, heated in the can as follows;
To heat food in a can:
- Remove the label.
- Thoroughly wash and disinfect the can. (Use a diluted solution of one part bleach to ten parts water.)
- Open the can before heating.
Wibuy carries alternative energy stoves that easily work when traditional stoves do not.
can cook whenever the sun is out and without a fire hazard. In about 20 min, you can be cooking at 500 degrees!!! There is a backpacking model, tailgating "sport" model, full-size grill model and a electric back-up model.
These awesome stoves have a special heat recovery unit that will charge electronics from the waste heat created through combustion. Perfect in a pinch!
Managing Food without Power
As most people are not prepared for their fridge to be without power, Wibuy.net carries coolers/freezers that operate on solar and off of a battery supply to allow you to save many of your items. We also carry solar generator and emergency back up power sources for critical loads like your whole refrigerator!!
If you don't have any of these items, remember;
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
- Refrigerated or frozen foods should be kept at 40° F or below for proper food storage.
- Use a refrigerator thermometer to check temperature.
- Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours.
- Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more.
Using Dry Ice:
- Know where you can get dry ice prior to a power outage.
- Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a 10-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days.
- If you use dry ice to keep your food cold, make sure it does not come in direct contact with the food.
- Use care when handling dry ice, wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
For more information about food safety during an emergency, visit FoodSafety.gov.
More to come on more topics....
Let us know what you think! Have suggestions for a blog or video? Let us know and we will try to address it!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for our "Vlogs",