Emergency Food Stockpile

This is a discussion on Emergency Food Stockpile within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've decided in light of recent events, plus just to be ready in case of another Katrina and/or Jericho scenario/Martial Law/Hyperinflation, etc, etc to start ...

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Thread: Emergency Food Stockpile

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array EW3's Avatar
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    Jul 2007

    Emergency Food Stockpile

    I've decided in light of recent events, plus just to be ready in case of another Katrina and/or Jericho scenario/Martial Law/Hyperinflation, etc, etc to start a 2 month emergency food stockpile.

    What are some suggestions as what exactly to have? I'm trying to think worst-case scenario; no electricity etc so I don't want to have too much that would require a lot of prep/cooking.

    I started off tonight by buying 10 cans of ravioli and 10 cans of chili. I'm single, and am looking at having 2 months worth of supplies on hand.

    Suggestions, ideas?

    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    MRE's, if you're not sick of them from the military. Some have chemical packets that heat up the meal. The heat packets cost about a buck. MRE's are not as cheap as other alternatives, but they might be nice to mix in for variety.

    Lots of other choices.

  4. #3
    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Colorado at 35,670'
    A lot of folks will chime in here, but also consider medicines and water. MRE's would be a start too. Here is a list orginally provided by our one and only ExSoldier: The Ultimate Survival Checklist

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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    For LOONG-term storage, you'll want dehydrated foods. For short-term storage such as what you describe (and I would probably lump all <2yrs into 'short term'), you should consider the adage,
    Store what you use; use what you store.
    Every time you buy food the doesn't require refrigeration, just buy two or three more than usual. Store them in such a manner as you use the oldest first. You'll cycle them through and always have fresh stock.

  6. #5
    Member Array IssaquahWA19's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    My dad has been doing a great deal in this department, he has a 6 month stockpile for his family of 3. He said Rice and beans are great and cheap from Costco just make sure to store in buckets that you can keep air tight to avoid contamination etc.

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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Well you know the guys at Monty Python would never steer you wrong.....
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Array fernset's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Where can one et MRE's? I don't mean one or two, I mean bulk affordably?

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Only 14 Gallons of water per person per year? That's only 5oz of water per day, which is unworkably low, even without considering cooking and cleaning water. A better estimate is about 1 gallon per day per person, including bathing, cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, etc.

    Speaking of water, you can't just fill a bottle with tap water, stick it in your pantry, and expect it to be drinkable in the unforeseen future. Most water, even filtered, has small levels of bacteria living in it, which multiplies over time, making the water taste "stale" and eventually making it poisonous. But the good news is that all you have to do to kill them all is to boil the water when you put it away for storage. Water that is brought to a rolling boil for a few seconds, allowed to cool, then stored in food-grade plastic without exposure to air will remain drinkable essentially forever. Boiling is also one of the best ways to purify water that you find, even if it wastes some by evaporation.

    Also, having some electrolyte-rich powdered drink mix is a good idea, both for the extra sugars and to make treated water taste a little better.

    Personally, I use the buy-a-little-extra method to stock up my pantry. Get canned foods that fit easily into simple recipes you know by heart. Canned tomatos, corn, green beans, etc. Canned ravioli and the like are good too, as a quick and easy meal, but you should have more variety.

    Pasta and rice store very well as long as they're kept in sealed bins, preferably also in vacuum bags or factory packaging. Also, pastas that you can cook without a lot of excess water are better - think macaroni or shells vs spaghetti. But even so, you can use the left-over water to make a stew or even drink it if you don't mind the taste.

    Meat-wise, get into making jerky and freeze it. Canned meats are also good, but that can't be your only source. A top-loading deep freezer is very handy, but you have to rotate your stock more often than the canned stuff.

    Learn to cook in a dutch oven over wood coals. You can make a lot of very yummy stuff with only one thing to clean afterwards. Barring this, get a propane camp stove with a grill AND a burner. I've found out the hard way that heating a pot over a grill really doesn't work - too much heat escapes around the edges.

    Freeze-dried meals are a good alternative to MRE's, and can be tastey too. I like Mountain House, but there are several good brands.

    Lastly, you should have a good complement of dried spices and some basic seasonings - garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, basil, cayenne. A factory sealed bottle of italian dressing will keep for a very long time, and when you need it, it'll make the best chicken you ever sank your teeth into. Tobasco sauce is also very store-proof, and can turn "just food" into a great meal.

    That's all that springs to mind right now. The basic philosophy is just to slowly grow your pantry with long-lasting ingredients that you know how to use. The most important thing to have is plenty of water.
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  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    +1 on the water part. It's likely that in a time of upheaval we'll still have water (economic woes / roaming bad guys is not the same as prep for an earthquake), but it's still great advice. Do you have any surface water available? You might look into filters or solar stills. Katadyne was the best filter when I was in the business.

    Do a Google search for "puddle water sterilizer" for a low-tech water sterilizer: make a 2" deep (or so) puddle using some dirt-sculpting skills, and line with black plastic. Fill with water, then cover with a foldover of black plastic and seal the edges. Wait, in sunlight, and it will bring the water up to a high enough temp to deal with the nasties. They even make a wax-filled, weighted glass tube to ensure you cooked it enough: the glass tube is set with wax at the top, and when you see the wax at the bottom you know it cooked long enough. The tube's weigh can then be shifted to the other end and it can be reused.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    If we have a food shortage, Jericho scenario I have a few things to be self sufficient in the protein area. I have 9 laying hens and 3 roosters. We get 6 or 7 eggs a day, 2 of the roosters can become meals. I also have a pond full of catfish.

    I expect that neighbors will be wanting to raid my egg production, so I will have to keep an eye out. As far as water is concerned we have 24000 gallons in the back yard.
    Yoda, I am, yes.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Here's the link to the "solar puddle" solar puddle pasteurizer. Turns out my memory wasn't too clear on the design: see their article and sketch.

    I would also commend to all (esp. the folks with lots of sun and few nearby woods) to look into solar cooking. The Solar Cooking Archive is probably a good place to start.

    I also found the LDS prep book: http://www.green-trust.org/freebooks/Preparedness.pdf (theological differences aside, I greatly respect their food storage stuff);

    I also found a thread on another forum which gives a lot of good information to get you started thinking: The Oil Drum: Campfire | Household Dry Food Storage Guide.

  14. #13
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    Array Hopyard's Avatar
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    I've thought a great deal about this but not acted.

    First off, WATER, WATER, WATER. You need at least 1 gallon of drinking water per person in the household for each day of a lasting emergency. Bottled water takes up lots of space, and isn't cheap, but it is convenient. Mix your purchases with some soft drinks and gatorade; but keep in mind you need water to prepare meals.

    A stove-- not relying on the gas company. Propane tank and one burner. To heat water.

    Rice, oatmeal, other cereal products to heat and eat. These are inexpensive and store well in the original containers.

    Canned meats and canned fish; plan on at least 1, 4 ounce protein meal per day per person.

    Canned no water needed soups. Can be consumed without cooking if need be.

    High calorie snack foods-- marshmallows--don't melt, provide lots of energy.

    Condensed or evaporated milk- sweetened. Canned. Long shelf life. Protein source.

    Packaged baked goods like Famous Amos cookies. Good shelf life in original containers. Fat source. Keep kids happy with snacks.

    VITAMIN Pills. You won't be eating a normal diet so buy your favorite multi-vitamins. Even if your diet ends up restricted to 1600 calories a day and you lose 10 pounds over a month, you want your nutrition balanced.

    Stock some "Ensure" or similar liquid diet foods. They provide water and nutrition and are convenient.

    Cooking oil. Stores well, high calorie. Even if you don't cook with it you can add some to oatmeal or rice or other starchy food to get some calories and the fats your body needs. IN worst case you can drink a little for the calories.

    I think that were I to do this, I would plan on one can of Ensure per person per day; then maybe rely on 2 ounces of canned meat or fish and the evaporated milk for the rest of the daily protein.

    Just stay away from stuff that needs refrigeration.

  15. #14
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Think in terms of 'camping'...in your home.
    No power...no water (from the tap)...empty stores.
    How long could you last?

    Stock pile enough food/water for several months...this is a given.
    There are tons of list on this forum that will get you thinking about the minor items that are still important.

    I'm sure that someone else will post some threads...
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  16. #15
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    Array sigmanluke's Avatar
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    I am a "Mormon", and our church teaches us to be prepared. They recomend, or whatever you want to call it that we have a year supply of food and water along with first aid type stuff. I am definately not there, but I figure I have 5 or 6 months worth for my 5 person family. We bottle fruits and veggies during growing seasons, can dried foods (potatos, onions, beans). Even things like peanut butter are a good source of protein and store pretty well, honey stores well too, and can be used in cooking in place of sugar.

    Water stores well in used 2 liter pop bottles after being boiled, and Coleman camping stoves are a great way to cook. they use "white gas" and some are able to use nearly any fule type, (gasoline, deisel, propane, white gas, karosene, etc.)
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