Include Freeze-Dried Food in Your Disaster Preparedness Strategy
If a storm were to hit tomorrow, disabling water and power systems for an indeterminate amount of time, what would you do? Would you run out to the grocery store, like many do, to gather cans of food and bottled water? Or, would you have a backup plan of food and water just in case?
Power and water can be shut off for several days, if not weeks. If you’re dependent on cans, you will find that your supply will run out in less than a week. Depending upon the severity of the storm and the cleanup needed in the aftermath, help can take weeks to arrive. In this case, you need to be self-sufficient during this time.
Water and food are two key aspects of self-sufficiency during and after a disaster. Both can be built up over time. Water can be gathered and saved in a storage tank, or cans with a 30-year lifespan can be purchased. Food, on the other hand, needs to fulfill your daily caloric and nutritional needs. Because you never know what can happen in a disaster or aftermath, you always need to be alert and prepared.
To build your emergency food storage, begin with basic items. Grains, beans, oil, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and seeds are recommended. Although not all supplies should be purchased at once, aim for accumulating a year’s worth of food.
But, consider this: could you live off grains and beans for a year? With freeze-dried food, you don’t have to. In kits designed to last a few weeks to a year, freeze-dried food can complement your emergency supply.
Supply kits consist of pouches or cans of freeze-dried food. Some include prepared entrees and breakfast items, while others have vegetables, fruits, proteins, grains, and dairy packaged in separate cans or pouches. No matter the packaging or the food, cooking involves rehydrating. Combine a portion of freeze-dried food with water, and wait about 10 minutes; then, the food is ready to eat. If you want to prepare a meal yourself, rehydrate portions of vegetables, grains, and proteins and then cook them together in a pan.
Because of air-tight packaging, freeze-dried food can last five to 25 years. Yet, storage conditions are crucial. Light and moisture deteriorate freeze-dried and dehydrated items. Rather than finding yourself without food during an emergency, create a storage space with the right conditions in your home. The area needs to be dry, dark, and cool; ideally, the room is consistently between 50AÃ¯Â¿Â½F and 60AÃ¯Â¿Â½F. A closet, crawlspace, or basement typically has all of these qualities. Cans or pouches of freeze-dried food, however, should not be buried in the ground and should not share the same space with chemicals.