One of our most important jobs as moms is to keep our children fed. This takes a big chunk of our time if you think about meal planning, grocery shopping, storing food, prepping, cooking, and for those with babies even putting the food in their mouth! Having my family enjoy a good meal is satisfying as a mom and homemaker. And, I admit that as a working mom sometimes those meals are not home-cooked! Whether you cook or buy food previously prepared, meal plan or do things on the fly; we all want to keep our family fed and healthy. Therefore it is important to think about how we would feed our families in an emergency. This could come in the form of a natural disaster, food shortages, or an event such as unemployment making money tight. Having a good food storage can keep your family fed no matter what kind of emergency hits you.
As I have talked about in a previous post, emergency preparedness can be overwhelming and expensive. Advice from professionals is to prepare little by little. Now that you have your 72 hour kit ready it is time to work on food storage.
The idea of food storage is to have enough food and water stored so that your family could eat for an extended period of time. Recommendations range from 3 months to 1 year. Ideally, the food should be the same type of food that your family regularly eats and enjoys. Of course, it is difficult to store fresh foods so substitutions should be made as needed. Thinking about having enough food on hand for months of use is a big task so here are some ideas to break it down.
If you have the money, invest in some freeze dried food buckets. These are more expensive, but I like them for 2 reasons. One, I know that food is there and easy and accessible in a difficult circumstance like a natural disaster where electricity may not be available for cooking. It is lightweight and portable. Two, freeze dried food has a long shelf life. Long as in 20 years. I can buy it once and be done for a long time.
While buckets are convenient, if you don’t have the money to buy in one chunk or don’t like the idea of eating freeze dried food for long periods of time; then begin your food storage by buying extras of the food your family normally eats. I have purchased a bucket per person for my food storage. It gives me a safety net. Meanwhile, I am working week by week at purchasing other food items. If we suffered a job loss or other financial crisis, I would rather have food storage on hand that would feel normal to my family.
Try making a food storage calendar. Use a year-long calendar and write in what extra food items you will buy each week of the year. At the end of the year, you will have a good food storage built up. For example: this week I will buy a case of canned peaches, next week I will buy a 50 lb bag of wheat, etc. Take advantage of case lot sales at your local grocery store.
I found 2 sample calendars online that I liked:
The Deseret News has this excellent article on emergency preparedness including a food storage calendar.
Zombie Squad had a plan that builds your year supply for $25 per week.
Choose a plan that works for you and get started this week. In the words of Stephen King, “There is no harm in hoping for the best as long as you are prepared for the worst.”