Well, in any event the bottom line is while there are a number of great people out there willing to help out short term and some fine first reponders but the long term solution is always going to be up to you.
If you have the room you need to have a years worth on hand for the number of people you "plan" on sustaining for that period of time. Remember, an emergency could also be job loss. We have spoken to folks who have been out of work for some time and managed to survive off their stored food. Could you?
Dehydrated food is your best bet.....but only if you can tolerate it. Try the packaged food from dehydrated food makers at your local camping supply store. Try and imagine a steady diet of this food and integrate it into your diet for a few weeks to see how well you tolerate it. Reason being is that if this is your main source of emergency food then you will likely be mixing it up with what you have on stock on a daily basis to extend the life of the food supply. Going fully dehydrated overnight could be unpleasant - we tried it.
There are plenty of suppliers campingsurvival.com and nitro-pak and some food only suppliers are good sources.
You can get a years supply prepackaged but do check out the quantity and the types of meals you are getting. Variety is key as is ability to use these foods as extenders for whatever you might have on hand or come across during your extended state of emergency.
MRE's and Prepackaged Sandwich Foods can be useful for immediate use as they are precooked and help you get yourself together, focused and thinking clearly while on the move or during the onset of the emergency or on the immediate mend after a storm or terrorist attack.
Long term they could be used for excursions or immediate relocation but as a stored supply they would take up considerable amounts of space. They could last up to 10 years if stored in a dry low temperature environment- but mainly rated for 5-6 years generally.
Recommend a months supply of these for each person Cases are 12 meals per pack.
Canned Long Term Storage Food like Yoders Canned Meat to further extend your supply is an excellent method for sheltering in place long term as you most likely will find that moving this on a relocate difficult. http://www.campingsurvival.com/ can help you with that selection. 40 Pounds per person per year is a minimum.
Meat substitutes sound good but TSP or textured soy protein may not be your favorite. They do offer the ability to stretch your supplies and they can be flavored with flavorings to taste like most meats and mixed with other foods.
Other meats/fish like Tuna, Beef, Freeze dried beef, canned turkey or ham spam or chicken will round out your array of meats. Remember variety is a key to survival as well.
Freeze dried or canned items in large supply would include:
Butter - Dried, Canned,
Cheese - Canned, Dried
Oils - (Olive, Peanut, Coconut) Shortening (Crisco)
Fruits - 40 pounds or more dried or canned
Sweeteners - Honey, Stevia, Sugar,
Grains - Whole 300+ pounds per person per year
Dairy Products Cheese & Milk
Eggs - Dried powdered,
Legumes/soy beans/lentils/navy beans/black beans/pintos
Some of these can be had in 6 gallon containers sealed in mylar oxygen reduced or
nitrogen filled bags.
Don't forget to mark the purchase and expiration dates on food purchased with a marker.
The code: P12-21-10 for purchase date. X10-15-16 for expiration date.
3 Gallons per person, per day. Sounds like a lot and it is. If you are going to sit still for your entire time you might be able to survive on less....if you plan on working to survive then 3 gallons is the rule of thumb. If you practiced your preparedness drills as we mentioned in earlier blogs you 'd see for yourself how 1 gallon per day canbe a challenge.
Soldiers in combat can use up to 11 gallons a day in desert climates.....so consider your local climate? One person at that rate is 365-1095 gallons for one year. Will you have guests/family - if so you will have to creative and quickly. Remember others will be in a more dire need if they have nothing in store....so don't advertise your water storage.
You can do the math. Now find the room that is out of the sunlight can be accessed to check quality. Make sure you have material handlers that can move your water containers as well as hand/non powered and powered pumps to extract water when you need it. Some folks have wells and can draw up water using hand pumps or back up emergency power....assess your situation and provide the solution to keep your supply going.
Water Storage can take many forms, large tanks, 55/30/15 gallon drums, 5-6 gallon plastic containers, military water containers can be obtained in your local farm supply store or camping outlet. Military water jugs can be found surplus or at Brigaide Quartermaster. Get these for your bug out water supply - hard to break them. Smaller containers can be moved and stacked.....drums can be buried if need be. Large farm water containers are expensive but can be buried or stored disguised as something else. In an apartment of small home/condo you can use a WaterBob to quickly store 100 gallons using a temporary storage container that uses your tub as the support - simple/cheap keep ready for use anytime at home. You need a tub of course.
Bottled spring water can taste awful after a short term....commercial bottled water products are reverse osmosis purified tap water. These will take up lots of room but if you have to give away some bottles to get people to leave you alone it could be helpful to have a few cases on hand for that purpose or for barter.
Doesn't Take Much to Temporarily Disrupt Water Supplies in Winter
Water Purification can be as simple as 16 drops of unscented chlorine bleach (5-6% in solution) per gallon. Most bleach products will last about 6 months in storage so rotate your stock on hand or buy newer if this is your route.
Ceramic filters from Katadyn http://www.katadyn.com/usen/katadyn-products/ are the best and they offer gravity feed, pump and various filter types for emergency use and camping. Get spare filters as well. Boiling water will take enormous amounts of energy to accomplish purification.
Chemical purification should also include Micropur, Liquid Oxygen, Antifloculants, Iodine Crystals. UV Light purification like a Steri-Pen with rechargeable solar battery packs is smart. Don't rely on just one type of water storage or purification method. Just like you wouldn't bet you life on having all your emergency medical info in a cell or smartphone. Redundancy is important.
Military Water Cans Scepter Brand
We will be back with more....on tools and more food tips.