How To Prepare For Disaster – A Survival Guide For Your Family Part 1

Prepare-2-216x300BulkMany of us have the tendency to think that we will never face a really serious disaster or emergency.  But those who have been through a difficult ordeal know that it is those who are prepared that have the best chance to survive a crisis.

This article is the first part in a three part series on how you and your family can be prepared if disaster or emergency strikes.

It is not difficult.  In fact, it can be easier than you think.

In this guide, we break the preparation process down into 4 checklists. Begin with step 1, and work your way through step 4.

Step 1 – Build an emergency pantry that can provide you and your family with food for a year. I know that sounds like a lot.  But it is much better to be over prepared than under prepared.  You will want to only buy food for your emergency pantry that will keep very well.  Ideally you will want to stock it with food that can keep for several years.  This emergency food pantry will give you peace of mind that if disaster or emergency does hit, you and your family will have plenty to eat.  Consider it to be an insurance policy.  We take out insurance against all kinds of disasters that might happen.  It is very good to have some “food insurance” as well.

Step 2 – Once you have your main emergency pantry, start work on a “working pantry”.  In your “working pantry”, you will regularly rotate your food so that you eat the oldest first and that way your working pantry stays fresh.

We will discuss steps one and two more further down in this first article.

Emergency Pantry

Step 3 – You will want to make a plan for what you and your family will do for water in the event of an emergency.  This usually involves a couple of considerations.  Number one, it is always good to have at least a small supply of water stored away in case of emergency.  Secondly, you need to have a plan in case your current supply of water is cut off.  We will discuss this step quite a bit more in the second part of this series.

Step 4 – This final step involves preparing your home in case you are out of power or you can’t get to the store for an extended period of time.  There are practical steps that you can take right now to prepare your home for an extended emergency situation.  We will discuss this in the final part of this series.

Getting back to building an emergency food pantry, one of the best things to do is to stock up when you see food items on sale.  If you pay full price for everything, building an emergency food pantry is likely to stretch your budget a little too thin.  If you wait to buy your emergency food when it is on sale, it will be much easier on your budget.

Checklist 1

Consideration 1 – You will need to gather some metal containers, or durable plastic containers that mice cannot chew through.

Consideration 2 – Oxygen absorbers are great for keeping your food from going stale, so get as many as you think you may need.

Consideration 3 – Think about where and how you will store your food.  It is best to have a dedicated area for your emergency food pantry, and it is suggested that this dedicated area be in a clean, dry place.

When you are building your emergency pantry, it is a good idea to try to focus on foods that are dried or freeze dried if possible.

The following are some suggested foods for your emergency pantry…..

Nuts- Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Cashews
Instant Oatmeal
Instant Rice and Potatoes
Dried Soups
Spaghetti- Spaghetti is perfect because it stores flat. You can buy 300 packages easily, and it doesn’t take up much room.
Dried Beans
Dried Meats
Canned Peaches, Canned Pears
Dried Fruits- Buy yourself a dehydrator and you can do this yourself.
Granola Bars
Dry Cereals
Peanut Butter
Dry milk
Powered Juices

Once you have established your long term emergency pantry, you will want to focus on building your “working pantry”…..

The goal is to store up a one year supply of food in your working pantry, and to rotate and use the food in that pantry.

As you go to the grocery store, grab a few extra items each time and slowly build it up.  You don’t have to do it all at once.

In addition, you can store food grown in your own garden and add it to your working pantry.

The goal will be to add food back to your working pantry as you eat it.  Always try to keep about a one year supply of food on hand.

If you follow these steps, you will not only have plenty of food for your and your family no matter what emergency may come, but you will also have plenty to share with others.  Being able to help others in a time of great need can be a tremendous blessing in itself.  Imagine how much someone could have helped out during Hurricane Katrina if they had an emergency pantry and a working pantry such as we have discussed in this article.

It is always better to be prepared.  Don’t let disaster and emergency sneak up on you.

  • http://gOGGLE Bill

    I live in Canada and when you see a government wevsite telling you to “Get” I think a person would be wise to take heed and do so, in an emergency it wouldn’t take long for the grocery stores to be wiped out and then what would you do if you were not prepared. (STARVE?)

  • Tuinmeubelen

    i was eaten up by snake once when i was doing gardening but we do not have something to get the things all right..fortunately my neighbour brought some cure for was a home remedy and that took me to a safer position..its always necessary to keep the cure things..we do not have that big cure area but yes we have now all emergency kits and tools..

  • Kimberlyn

    We started using thrive food storage from shelf reliance; they sell rotating shelves so that you are always using the cans that are closest to expiration first. It saves us from having to throw out expired food that has been pushed to the back. They have high quality freeze dried and dehydrated foods, foods that you would want to eat, even when there is not an emergency. I use them in daily cooking; and the best part…they deliver it to my door!! I just take (whatever amount I choose) from my grocery budget and put it toward thrive foods and building my home store. It is awesome! I still shop sales and buy them of course, but it helps me to work on the foods that have a long shelf life.

  • frank m.

    I liked your post and started my own prep. I have another source for 25 year shelf life food, which you can actually make money with.

  • gourmet grocery store

    Nice that you have shared this one. You gave us the idea on how to prepare for disaster in order for us to survive when emergency comes :) I will keep this in mind.

  • Charlotte

    It’s also a good idea to take advantage of produce when in season.I freeze blueberries and make blueberry jam that will last a year. I dehydrate bananas and strawberries and make bread & butter pickles when cucumbers are cheap and cut and freeze peppers for future cooking.

  • Charlotte

    To store food take all food out of cardboard boxes and use vacation & seal or Mason jars with oxygen absorbers that you can purchase on line. Pasta stored this way will last for years.
    Always date your food, and rotate your supply.

  • Charlotte

    To store your eggs…..dip uncooked egg in shell in mineral oil and let excess oil drip off and then
    Place back in egg carton. Do this for each egg. Date the carton and I place the carton in a grocery bags because the carton can get a little greasy. Place the carton in a cool dry place.I live in the south so my carton goes in the refrigerator and I use vegetable oil instead of the mineral oil because I know it won’t go rancid with refrigeration. Each month flip the whole carton over as this protects the integrity. Of the egg yolk.The oil prevents oxygen from getting to the egg.
    I just had eggs purchased on sale in April and they were fine.

  • Charlotte

    I just purchased 8 oz cheese bars on sale for $1.39.
    You can purchase cheese wax on Amazon for about $5.00 that can be used on several pounds of cheese.just melt the cheese in a pan that will be used for this purpose only and coat each bar with wax. You may have to repeat with a second coat. Let the bar dry and then mark each bar with the kind of cheese and the date.The wax keeps oxygen out and the cheese will last years.

  • Carol

    I believe that the cheese WAX was to be melted, not the cheese itself.

  • LSessions

    The eggs will be fine but after a month or so they will absorb the taste of the mineral oil through the shell. (Yeck!)

  • LSessions

    I live in the USA and the government is telling us that there is no danger. (In other words, GET PREPARED for something REALLY bad!)