Food Security Preparedness

selective focus photo of plant spouts

What To Do Before Disaster Strikes

Natural disasters as well as human-made disasters can leave us in a state of panic which can quickly lead to chaos and violence. Many people do not have more than a few days food on hand at best, most of it stored in a refrigerator or freezer without a back-up power source.

Many people do not know how to preserve food so they are left with one of two choices in this event – eat it or toss it. Many people do not even know how to cook without a stove.

So what is one to do? The first step is to put together an emergency preparedness plan. Once the plan is in place, follow through with it. Here are some things to learn now before you need to!

Grow A Garden

Learn how to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs. Learn how to identify them in the wild as well. Remember that many plants look similar but one can be poisonous while the other is edible, so if in doubt, do not eat something from the wild.

If possible, learn to garden year-round. You can grow many vegetables indoors under grow lights or even outdoors in a cold frame. Try growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other warm weather crops under grow lights and plant lettuce, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach and carrots outdoors under cold frames. While it is true, if a major disaster struck you may lose the crops, you will at least know how to start over with new crops. In the meantime the crops you grow will save you money.

Learn To Preserve Food

Learn how to can or dehydrate food. There are other methods of food preservation but these two are the most common ones. Dehydrated food can be stored in a freezer to keep pests out. You can also store it in metal cans so if there was an earthquake or similar disaster, the cans with the food in them would not break. Feel free to seal the cans or at least the food in the cans in freezer bags to further secure the food from being lost in the cans should come open.

If you can, think of ways to keep your cans from breaking. For example, store the cans in sealed boxes such as plastic tubes or wooden crates that can be set on the floor. Wrap the sides of each jar with a thick layer of newspaper or cloth. While this may seem a bit extreme, it should keep the jars from breaking.

Be sure all the food you preserve are properly labeled, dated and sealed.

When canning food, if you do not have enough jars of food to fill the canner, fill some jars with clean, filtered water or distilled water and can them too. This will help you build up a supply of clean, uncontaminated water for emergency use.

Fresh Meat Sources

Learn how to fish and hunt now. These are valuable skills that may come in handy. Get a gun and learn how to use it safely. Buy a butchering knife set and learn how to butcher meat.

Buy a good book on the subject of butchering and preparing fresh meat and keep it handy. Remember if there is no electricity the only way you will have to preserve meat is through canning or natural storage methods such as curing. Keep the books in your disaster preparedness kit so you know where they are if you need them.

Survival Preparedness Kits

Put together a disaster preparedness kit. One that you can take with you on the run, one for your home and one for each vehicle you may take. Stock up on things such as kerosene, gas, wood, oil lamps, lamp oil, matches, an axe, food for your family or livestock and medical supplies.

Don’t forget extra blankets and at least one change of clothes. Start stockpiling everyday needs such as toilet paper, detergents, soaps and shampoos. Think about the things you use everyday and begin to purchase extra.

If you have a still, put this with your emergency supplies. You will be able to use this to purify water if you need to!

Emergency Medical Supplies

A first aid kit is great, but what happens when your kit runs out? Stock up on extra items such as band-aids and anti-biotic cream. Read through natural herbal medicine. Learn the herbs to use and how to use them. You may want to start making tinctures and salves ahead of time.

Grow your own herbs for the purest product. Do not spray them, grow them organically.

By thinking ahead, storing enough food for at least a year – two if possible – you will find yourself ready for whatever emergency situation comes your way. Remember when storing supplies to put the oldest to the front and continue rotating, so the newer items are always in the rear.

Finally, make sure your home is secure and a safe haven in the event of a disaster. Have pre-cut wood on hand in the event you need to board up windows and doors, install a wood burning stove and learn how to use it including how to cook on it.

Preparation and knowledge can lead you through any disaster. The more you know, the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to be caught off guard.