Whether you find yourself in the middle of a disaster or in the middle of nowhere, it is important you have food and nutrition with you to fuel you and your family. There is a possibility that you will be unable to purchase food since people may stockpile at the last minute before a disaster, such as a hurricane, so it is best you have stock ready at home.
Considering the differences of disasters, it is ideal to have a survival food stock good for long-term disasters or a six-month supply. However, these foods must also have a long-shelf life and are ready to prepare and eat.
Whether it is eaten under normal circumstance or in a disaster, comfort foods can help boost your spirits and reduce stress. While chocolates and other comfort foods have slightly a long shelf-life, there are four specific comfort foods that can be stocked for a long time and can be used for flavoring.
- White or brown sugar/sweeteners (double check their production and expiration date)
- Rock or iodized salt
- Honey, molasses or maple syrup
- All types of alcohol
Long-term survival food/ingredients with a long storage life
Aside from comfort foods, your food stock should have the best ingredients you need for easy-to-cook meals with the longest storage life. Here is a guide as to which ingredients can help you survive in cases of emergencies or disasters.
- Hard/soft grains—If properly sealed in vacuum packs and at the appropriate temperature, grains can last from 8 to 12 years. Notable hard grains are dry corn, millet, buckwheat, and spelt. Soft grains, on the other hand, include oats, rye and barley.
- Beans—Similar to grains, beans have a long shelf life if properly stored, and can last from 8 to 10 years depending on the quality and type. Some examples of beans you can put in your stockpile are lima beans, lentils, mung beans and garbanzo beans.
- Pastas, flour, rice—You will need carbohydrates and additional energy when it comes to disasters so it is essential you have these included on your list. Depending on their production life and storage, these can last 5 to 8 years. Include white rice, pasta, and white flour on your list so you can make hearty meals for your family even in disaster situations. White rice can be stockpiled for 10 years. Consult your local supermarket or granary if you want to purchase other types of rice.
- Oil—Food would taste a lot differently if you add oil to it. Coconut oil is one of the oils with the longest shelf time of up to 2 years.
- Hard crackers or biscuits—If stored in a dry location and free from potential moisture, crackers can have a long shelf life and retain their crisp factor. If you want to purchase whole-wheat crackers, they are also good as these crackers have extra fiber that would satiate hunger. However, it is important to remember that these have a shorter shelf life.
Short-term survival foods for short-term disasters
If you want a separate pack for short-term emergencies, there are some good foods with a relatively long shelf-life that will remain fresh. For short-time disasters, it is best that it is easy to cook and prepare. Here are some examples you can consider for your short-term disaster stockpile.
- Canned meals such as tuna, meat (spam/sausages), vegetables, fruits
- Spreads such as liver spread, peanut butter, cheese
- Instant coffee
- Black or herbal tea
- Instant noodles
- Candy like gobstoppers
- Milk—It can be canned and powered
- Dried herbs or spices in powered form
- Bottled water good for three days
- Sport drinks to assist in restoring electrolytes and quench thirst if there is no clean water.
Multi-functional survival food items
Aside from being ingredients for food preparation, survival foods can also be used for other uses. Here are some examples you can use these food items for other usage.
- Oil—Cleaning blade, making fire or oil lamps, unsticking zippers, hair care, removing splinters
- Apple cider vinegar or vinegar—cleaning items and medicine as vinegar has antibiotic properties.
- Baking soda—cleaning stains, medicine
- Honey—Medicine for cough, cleaning wounds and antibiotics.