We have talked about preparing a 72 hour emergency kit and what to pack, but what happens if the incident is longer that 3 days? Living in a big city has major advantages with easy access to grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and other essential services, but what happens when a major disaster occurs and these easy options are no longer available to us? Preparing an emergency food supply list is an essential step to being prepared for large scale emergency situations.
Storing Your Emergency Food
Urban dwellings tend to be smaller, and for high rise residents, this is especially true. You may not have space in your apartment to store your emergency food supply, so I would recommend renting a locker in your apartment building if there is one available, or investigating leasing a near by storage unit. Or, if all else fails, you can hide your supplies in the back of closets and under the beds. Considering that space is at a premium, make smart choices when purchasing your non-perishable items and focus on foods that pack the most nutritional punch. Aim for high protein, high fiber canned goods and stay away from the junky stuff.
Create a Budget
Your list could be quite long, and expensive, but not to worry, you don’t have to break the bank and purchase all at once. I would suggest, however, storing at least three days of water (1 gallon/4 litres) and food for each person in your household to start. From there, you want to work at building your stockpile with each grocery shop, keep an eye out for sales and coupons, and budget a weekly amount to invest in your supply. If you only have $10 a week to invest, that’s OK, you can make good progress if you are consistent.
- Instant Oats
- Canned Fish/Chicken/Turkey
- Peanut Butter/Nut Butter
- Canned Chili
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Canned Vegetables
- Powdered Milk or Nut Milks
- Granola bars and trail mix
- Protein or meal replacement powders
- Canned soup
- Sugar, salt, pepper and seasonings
- Cooking oil
- Sports Drinks
- Dried Fruits
- Water – lots of water! Remember, each person in your household needs 1 gallon, or 4 litres per day.
Ideally we are shopping for foods with long expiration dates based on nutritional value vs personal tastes. You can still eat tasty meals, but stocking up on Zoodles and Cheese Whiz is probably not the best choice. A good variety of foods covering the main food groups is key to staying healthy during an emergency situation. The good news is, these foods are affordable, easy to store, and widely accessible. Be sure to review your stockpile every 6 months to check for expired goods.
Don’t neglect the other essentials too. Toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, tampons, toothpaste are all important stores to have on hand and should be worked into your preparedness budget.
Have any questions, or items to add to the list? Let me know in the comment section below.