What Emergency Foods Should I Buy First?


What Emergency Foods Should I Buy First?

Everyone should plan for a potential emergency where it becomes impossible to leave their home. As a general rule, there should be at least three days of provisions available for everyone in the family that you can prepare without electricity access.

These emergency foods can be in cans and jars, dehydrated items, protein bars, trail mixes, and similar items. If you need to cook something, charcoal or propane grill can help you solve short-term hunger issues.

What happens if the emergency extends to a week? What if you must stay at home for four weeks or more?

That’s when you need to consider stocking shelf-stable emergency supplies.

What Are the Best Emergency Foods to Purchase?

Two companies make excellent shelf-stable food supplies that can keep you and your family fed and healthy during a long-term emergency.

You’ll want to review the products offered by ReadyWise and Nutrient Survival to see what ingredients and meals are appealing.

Get $10 Off a #10 Can on your first order by using discount code GTGF10 at check at NutrientSurvival.com!

Here are the emergency food you’ll want to purchase first.

When you stock these items as instructed by the manufacturer, you’ll have an emergency food supply that can get you through several months without access to formal services.

Although it may not seem like you’d need this much food, it is essential for everyone to have access to enough daily calories. When an emergency happens, you may need to protect your property, initiate repairs, hike for water, and handle other physical activities.

If you don’t have enough food available, there won’t be an energy reserve to tap into when you need it the most.

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Why Is It Important to Stock These Emergency Food Items?

Following a disaster, power outages could last for several days. If you don’t have a path available for evacuation, your next best option is to stay where you are.

The exception to that rule is if you and your family are in immediate danger. You should always move to a safe position before considering any long-term plans.

When you consider long-term shelf stability, some foods are always better than others for this need. It would be best if you focused on purchasing dry mixes, canned items, and staples that require zero refrigeration.

The best choices won’t require cooking or special preparations. Some shelf-stable foods don’t even need water!

When you stock your pantry shelves with the emergency supplies your family needs, please remember to include some eating utensils and a manual can opener. It also helps to keep some scissors or a knife available to open cans and packages.

Emergency Foods You Should Buy First

The Dos and Don’ts of Food Safety During Emergencies

If you have no electricity or a cold source to use, the bacteria in many foods can proliferate. It doesn’t take long for the items to become unsafe once they reach temperatures above 40°F.

Consuming foods from this temperature range that have had chances to let bacteria grow could make you quick ill.

Thawed foods are still typically safe if you consume it while under the 40°F barrier. If the item contains ice crystals, you can re-freeze it if power access gets restored.

If not, throw it out.

Do keep your food in covered containers, but don’t eat anything from cans with corrosion, dents, or swelling. This damage may indicate the seal is broken, causing bacteria to develop even if it looks safe to eat.

Do keep your eating utensils and cooking equipment clean. These items can also develop bacteria if kept in conditions warmer than 40°F.

Do throw away any food products that come into contact with contaminated water. This issue usually occurs during flooding incidents. If you are unsure about the exposure circumstances, it is better to be safe and throw the items away.

Do throw away any food that has been at room temperature for longer than two hours. Don’t eat anything that smells or looks abnormal, even if the can from which it came still appears to be in excellent condition.

Do use ready-to-feed formula products for newborns, infants, and young toddlers. It works better to mix the powder into bottled water. If you must take it from a local supply, filter and boil the liquid before using it.

Don’t let any garbage accumulate inside or outside your property. Not only are there sanitation reasons to consider, but it could also serve as a pest attractant or serve as a Firestarter.

Alternative Cooking Sources to Use During Emergencies

If the power goes out during a disaster, it is unlikely you’ll get to use your oven, range, or stovetop any time soon. When you don’t have a grill outside to use, these alternative cooking sources can help you produce a hot meal – or make some coffee to get yourself going in the morning.

  • Candle Warmers
  • Fireplaces
  • Fondue Pots
  • Chafing Dishes
  • Camp Stoves

If you have commercially canned foods stocked at home, you can eat them directly without needing to heat the product inside.

When you want to have a hot meal, it is a best practice during an emergency to disinfect the container before trying to use it.

You’ll want to start by removing the label. Next, thoroughly wash the can so that it can be disinfectant. A solution featuring one-part bleach to ten parts water is the most useful.

Before placing the can on a heat source, it should be opened to prevent it from exploding. If you don’t have a manual opener, a sharp multipurpose knife can remove the barrier between you and the food.

How to Prepare Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze-dried foods from brands like ReadyWise and Nutrient Survival have specific steps on the container or pouch to follow. It becomes edible once you rehydrate the product.

Get $10 Off a #10 Can on your first order by using discount code GTGF10 at check at NutrientSurvival.com!

The meals you want to enjoy come pre-cooked from the manufacturer. Once finished, they go into a massive freezer until the products are solid.

Once the food reaches that stage, it comes inside a vacuum chamber while some heat gets provided. This step eliminates the remaining moisture, which takes approximately 24 hours to complete.

That’s why most meals only need you to add hot water to create something satisfying. You’ll want to pay attention to the exact ratio directed by the manufacturer for this process. If you add more than is necessary, it’ll be soupy.

Most freeze-dried manufacturers use oxygen-absorbing packets within their pouches or buckets today to keep the food fresher. It helps to remove it before adding water to rehydrate the items.

After you’ve added the water, stir the mixture as instructed. You may need to seal the pouch for up to ten minutes, mixing it another time about halfway through to get the best results.

Although the instructions may suggest using hot or boiling water, it also works with cold liquids. You’ll need to double the time it takes to rehydrate the ingredients if you don’t have a heat source to use. 

Once it is ready, you can eat the food from the pouch directly, serve it on a plate, or place it in a bowl.

How to Manage Emergency Foods at High Altitudes

If you live somewhere 2,500 feet above sea level or higher, the atmosphere becomes significantly drier. There’s less oxygen available, lower atmospheric pressure, and longer cooking times. When you add water to freeze-dried foods or attempt to heat something to eat, the moisture quickly evaporates.

Once you reach 3,000 feet above sea level, the temperature to boil water lowers by a degree for every 500 feet of additional altitude gained. 

Once you reach 7,500 feet, water boils at 198°F.

You’ll also notice other liquids evaporate faster while leavening gases in cakes, breads, and baked goods expand more.

When you prepare emergency food rations at a higher altitude, you can lose a significant amount of water as the items reconstitute. The only way to avoid this issue is to add the fluids before closing the pouch or bucket immediately.

Since freeze-dried meat is already cooked, you don’t need to worry about the cooking times for your ingredients. Since different cuts may have higher water content requirements, you’ll need to be specific with how you prepare each item. Some manufacturers include high-altitude instructions to follow so that you can make the necessary adjustments.

The idea of being stuck at home for a long time might seem daunting, but it could be the safest place for your family after a disaster. When you have products from ReadyWise and Nutrient Survival stocked in your pantry, cellar, or basement, you’ll have the fuel needed to push through to the next day. 

Get $10 Off a #10 Can on your first order by using discount code GTGF10 at check at NutrientSurvival.com!

Get a FREE copy of the Go Together Go Far Travel Trailer Hookup and Disconnect Checklist when you sign up for the Go Together Go Far Newsletter!

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Andy

Andy and his wife Niki had their twins Adilynn and Archer, in 2014. By 2017 the whole family was camping. It is a great way to unplug from the daily grind and focus on what it means to be a family. They started a YouTube channel in early 2020 and enjoyed creating content that new RVers find useful.

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