Following up from the other post:
The point here is to make sure you are comfortable and well-nourished following an emergency, have good options, and of course don’t have to pay out the nose for price-gouged goods.
Here’s a basic list of recommendations for any plague or boogs (keep in mind you can always be MORE prepared) and more or less what I have. You can always do more:
- Rice – 100 lbs
- Pinto Beans – 25 lbs
- Condensed milk – 2 cases
- Canned Corn – 2 cases
- Cheerios – 4 boxes
- Kodiak pancake mix – 2 large boxes
- Beef Jerky – 24 servings
- Whey Protein – 2 bags (220 servings)
- Nuts (Various)
- Olive oil and other cooking oils
- Water – 2 cases bottles plus at least 25 gallons of pure water
- Tabasco or similar for seasoning
- Protein bars – 2 boxes
- Dried fruit (I have craisins and cherries)
This is enough food to feed my family for quite awhile, or my extended family for less time (I know they won’t prepare at all, so I take care of them), and this doesn’t include my regular food inside, which should last for two weeks on its own. These are all things we would eat eventually anyway, meaning buying this food is not wasted money if nothing bad ever happens.
Rice and beans are really easy to cook – just boil some water. Pancakes are also easy – put your griddle over some fire. You can make adequate pancakes with just water, but condensed milk will make them a bit heartier.
You will also want some airtight containers to store your grains if you are like me and live in the country. Mice can be a problem.
Notice that I don’t just include rice and beans. Those are energy staples but will not provide adequate nutrition. In a food scarcity situation protein is what is hard to find. Whey powder, an excellent bodybuilding supplement, is an extremely cheap and easily stored form of protein for emergencies. You just mix it with water – no cooking required – and it will provide enough protein for an entire day under survival conditions. The condensed milk is another good source, and is very cheap. There is protein in beans, but it is incomplete, as with most plant sources, so it shouldn’t be your only protein source. The pancake mix I use also has a modest amount.
I also include oils and fats, because these thing provide lots of energy, improve the taste of food, and will keep for long periods.
More expensive on the list, but good with good optionality, are highly transportable foods: nuts, beef jerky, cheerios, bottled water and some protein bars. If you have to evacuate due to flooding or some other event, its easy to pack some bags full of nutritious food for your family that should last at least a few days.
For water, the bottles should not be your primary source. Rather, you should have a few big bottles (the kind from coolers) handy, along with something bigger. A really cheap water storage system is a rubbermaid trashcan, which can be filled almost all the way up and covered to prevent mosquitos. You can just dip out the water you need for cooking or bathing. It will sour after time, though.
- Vitamin C tabs
- Flax or Flaxseed oil
- Gatorade or powdered electrolyte mix
- Metamucil and Citrucel (for those allergic to wheat)
This might require some explanation.
Dry goods are not dense on micro-nutrients. A multivitamin is very cheap, you can it take anyway, and will keep you from suffering vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin C is valuable because it is a nutrient that is easily lost when fresh fruit is not available. Cheap supplementation will prevent scurvy.
Ground flax of flaxseed oil is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are easy to be deficient in when you don’t have access to fresh food. Again, I use flax anyway. This is just some extra.
Gatorade will replace lost electrolytes and also provide some energy. This is important if you live somewhere hot, like me.
Fiber supplements are very important to avoid constipation and bowel issues from loss of fresh fruits and vegetables, which can happen immediately. Like other things on this list, I would use them anyway as part of my general diet.
- Children’s Tylenol syrup
- Sudafed and ephedrine (broncaid)
- Pepto Bismol
- Lotramin AF (or any topical anti-fungal)
- Bacitracin topical antibiotic
- Diflucan if you can get it
- Augmentin or similar wide-spectrum antibiotic if you can get it
- Insulin, if needed
- Zophran (anti-nausea)
- Albuterol or other bronchial dilator
- Any prescription meds
- Prednisone if you can get it
Obviously, any prescription medication you need you should ensure you have extra of. Diflucan you can often get extra of when you get antibiotics from a doctor (particularly if you are a woman) and will treat a host of fungal infections. Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavinate) is harder to get, obviously, but it is still a very effective broad-spectrum antibiotic that will treat 90% of possible secondary infections. Otherwise, this is first aid stuff. You should have it anyway.
Keep in mind insulin starts to lose its effectiveness after 30 days outside the fridge.
- Generator (3500 watts +)
- Toilet paper (extra large case)
- Feminine hygiene products (extra cases)
- Extra toothpaste / toothbrushes
- Paper towels
- Large wash basin + washboard (if you can find one)
- Batteries – at least 100 of whatever you use a lot of
- Sterno cans
- Propane – 2 bottles and a stove/grill that uses it
- Gasoline – 10 gallons
- Motor oil
It’s a really good idea to have a generator. I have a generator and a portable A/C for when the power company decides my area should not have power and it is 100 degrees outside. We have medically fragile elders and this is important to us. If you have a gas siphon, you can get more fuel for it from your cars.
Propane, obviously, should be used for cooking. If you already have a gas grill, you can use that to heat water with a few modifications. My grill has a standard pot burner, so that’s what I would use if I lost power and gas to cook my rice.
Otherwise, this is just extra stuff you would use anyway.
I also recommend that you are always armed, whether it is an emergency or not. Everyone should own at least one gun and know how to use it.
If you don’t own any guns, you should start with a 12 gauge shotgun. Pump action is low maintenance, has a large enough magazine, and is easy to operate. Have at least 200 rounds of bird shot on hand along with at least a few boxes of buckshot and slugs.
Besides defense in the case of looting or other social breakdown, a shotgun can be used to gather food if things go bad for a long time. I live in the country, so it wouldn’t be too hard for me to go shoot wild fowl for protein every single day. If you are in an urban environment, there will be an abundance of pigeons that are good eating, along with seagulls and crows that are unpleasant to eat, must be very well-cooked, but will do in a pinch.
You can also hunt larger game with a shotgun if you are in a rural or wooded environment. However, this is best left to a good rifle. A .223 is sufficient for small game and a .308 or similar is sufficient for all other game. Make sure you have lots of ammunition.
Most people these days are too domesticated to even think about killing and eating an animal, but I thought I’d throw it out there.
If you are one of those people who says they don’t need a gun, or thinks guns are bad, mmmkay, you’d best get over yourself.