Today, there is a lack of preparation for the cataclysms among people, however, dangers can lie in wait at every step – be it the modern epidemic of COVID-19 or the unexpected start of hostilities. It would be wise to make an emergency supply of foods for at least 2 weeks, not at the moment when it is already urgently needed, but a little in advance.
We will tell you how to do it: what to store, why, and, most importantly, how to create this emergency stash in such a way that it does not hurt your wallet and comfortably fits into your everyday economy. So why 2 weeks is the offered time? It is simple enough. Firstly, the incubation period of most viruses, including the above-mentioned coronavirus, lasts for approximately 2 weeks. Secondly, in any serious and unusual situation, you will be able to predict its outcome in about two weeks as well: whether everything will end soon or vice versa.
First, it is worth mentioning the general principles of forming an emergency stock of products for 2 weeks. Here are the basic factors we should consider.
Long shelf life
Logically, only products with a long shelf life should be included in the stock. What does it mean? This means that the product must be usable for at least a couple of months from the date of purchase. Up to one or a couple of years is even better.
Ease of storage
This just means that between “bought in the store” and “put in the house closet” there are no additional stages of re-packing or any other extra activity. It is unlikely that you will want to mess around with this every time. In other words, the products are stored in factory packaging and containers, without the need to transfer, repack, etc.
This term features the key to reasonable budget spending. The main idea is that the products whose expiration date is approaching the end are withdrawn from the stock and used for food. Their place is taken by new, fresh ones. We recommend changing products that have reached the “middle term”, that is, the middle of their expiration date. As a result, having once spent money on creating an emergency stock, you will continue to buy the same products that you use for normal nutrition.
Diversity of products
You can buy one stew and calmly stretch on it for a couple of weeks. But I assure you – in three days you will get tired of it. Therefore, it is important to think about diversity in nutrition. What is also crucial – is the opportunity not just to eat, but at least a little bit to enjoy the food. This will brighten up the forced confinement and increase the mood and positive thinking which is critically important in case of emergency.
Do you know that all substances that enter our body through the digestive tract are divided into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins with minerals? To put it quite short and simple, carbohydrates are fuel, proteins are building material, fats are the work of the brain and nerve nodes, as well as the energy reserve, and vitamins and minerals are immunity and metabolism. Therefore, it would be correct to imagine how our body works and build our food emergency stock taking into account this knowledge. Do not forget that this reserve is prepared for an emergency, which is associated with a particularly high level of stress. In such conditions, the organism and the immunity system are highly vulnerable.
What to include in your emergency food stock?
Now, let’s outline what should be included in your emergency food supply for 2 weeks.
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times before, water is the most important thing during a crisis. Any reasonable person keeps at least 10 liters of bottled water at home. Under emergency conditions, there is no certainty about how everything will happen, and for example, during an epidemic, who can guarantee that the new virus will be filtered out by the basic filters of the water system? It is necessary to stock up on water at the rate of at least 3 liters per person per day.
Cereals have always been the main nutritive food. It is a source of carbohydrates and, accordingly, calories, fiber, and minerals. In general, cereals in both peaceful and extreme conditions are a guarantee of satiety. Also, this is the most simple and unpretentious product for both storage and cooking.
Meat supplies your organism with energy and proteins. The choice of canned meat is not easy. There are hundreds of options on the market now, if not thousands. Before stocking up – open and try the can – personal taste and preferences play an important role here.
A good alternative to meat is fish. Firstly, because these are polyunsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3, the health benefits of which are difficult to overestimate. Secondly, the choice of canned fish is huge – classic saury, pink salmon, sprats, anchovies, and more “noble” – tuna, trout, and so on. We recommend taking fish only in its juice, without any tomato, wine, and other fillings. It is worth mentioning canned seafood – squid, octopus, mussels, etc. There is not so much Omega-3 in it, but amino acids are more than enough.
This refers to beans, peas, corn, bell peppers, and other goodies. At this point, we can recommend white or red beans as the most nutrient product in terms of proteins and carbohydrates. We also recommend having canned seaweed. It is both delicious and an excellent source of iodine, which is necessary for the functioning of the thyroid gland, responsible for the exchange of immune substances
Dry fruits and nuts
They are an additional source of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as fiber. Fruits and nuts help to diversify the diet healthily. Use raw nuts that are much better for digestion and richer in useful elements.
This item includes sweet products, such as honey, jam, and condensed milk. Flour products such as crackers and biscuits are also in this group.
Vitamins and supplements
Multivitamins are always good to add to the main diet. During emergencies, it is critically important to observe the constant intake of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, look for a good vitamin complex.
Spices and seasonings, if they are natural, will help diversify the taste of the food consumed and add some missing substances. As an example of suitable spices, we offer to make storage of peppers, dried garlic, dill, parsley, basil, and mint. The salt needs to be mentioned separately. Salt is a must because of the electrolytes. If the body does not receive the required dose of electrolytes per day, then health problems begin.
Herbal tea is the best source of vitamins and minerals. Healthy and tasty, it can help you to reduce meals up to 1-2 times a day if you are short on food supplies. The only negative is that tea preparation requires hot water, which can be unavailable.
Interesting Product Selection
We offer you a selection of products that can be stored for an extremely long time. Despite the expiry dates, under certain conditions, these products remain usable for years.
1. Rice (up to 30 years).
Generally, the standard shelf life of rice is usually 1-2 years. However, if the rice is placed in a completely oxygen-free environment, then it can be used as food for up to 30 years. Rice is one of the best foods for stocks.
2. Honey (up to a thousand years)
Honey, which was (potentially) suitable for food has been found in the Egyptian Pyramids. In an environment without oxygen, honey can be stored for a very long time, because microorganisms simply do not develop in it. Yes, it will crystallize and not be liquid, but with proper storage, it will be quite safe to feast on it even after half a century.
3. Peanut butter (up to 3-5 years without refrigeration)
.Even without a fridge, peanut butter can survive for several seasons. At the end of 3-5 years, the product will not become dangerous, but will greatly change its taste -it will start to taste bitter.
4. Beans and lentils (about 50 years).
We are talking about dried beans and lentils. Having them in cool and dry places allows you to keep them for quite a long time.
5. Powdered milk (25 years).
Its guaranteed shelf life is only 18 months, but it is preserved in dry and oxygen-free environments for up to 25 years.
6. Instant coffee (20 years).
If the instant coffee is in the freezer or moisture-free environment, you can extend its shelf life up to 10-15 years.
Threats to food storage
Before preparing storage, you should resolve any moisture issues, excessive dampness, lack of temperature control, or flood risk in the area. Make the shelves high off the ground. You might need to add more shelves for this, but should a disaster occur, you’ll be pleased you did. When preserving food, moisture and molds are very harmful problems. Before opting for the place of your food storage, try to solve them first.
Mice pose a serious risk to foods that have been stored. Mice can fit through even the slightest gaps and fractures. They frequently gnaw through packagings like bags, crates, and even plastic. To avoid this damage, you need containers with sturdy walls. Allow your cat to regularly roam around your food storage area if you have one.
Emergency foods are seriously threatened by insects and bugs as well. You may take a few quick steps to protect your food from them. You can lock your bulk products in jars or even vacuum bags to give them double protection. Oxygen is the main problem with food preservation. The insect eggs won’t hatch in the environment without oxygen.
With this simple survival advice, you may feel secure in your ability to store food and other emergency supplies. Your stress levels will lessen and you’ll be able to protect your family in critical times.