You are right in the middle of this paragraph and the lights go out, your computer shuts off, phone won’t work, nothing electrical will do anything. That’s one scenario, how about something a little less dramatic. A winter storm knocks out power, or a hurricane, any event that has the ability to disrupt the power grid; how long will your food hold out? We do have the benefit this time of year in the northern latitudes that we can use the cold weather to save perishables, but even with what you have in the freezer how much food do you have on hand? I think probably most people could make it a week or two, most in our community would be okay for up to 3 months, but there are a select few that could survive indefinitely. What makes these people different?
First, perhaps we should look at stockpiling food. We all have limited space to store food and provisions and I for one don’t want to live in a house that resembles the isles of a grocery store. A simple Google search for food storage reveals that anyone can purchase 1 year of dehydrated food for one person for less than $1500US. If you have the resources, this is probably a pretty good backup plan, but seriously who wants to live on dehydrated food for a year. Even if you enjoy the taste and consistency of dehydrated food, in the long run its supply is finite and will eventually come to an end.
The only way to survive indefinitely is to create an infinite food source. How do we create an inexhaustible supply of food? We do it through planning, knowledge and preparation. Storage, though important isn’t enough. To begin with we need to acquire the knowledge and skills of the common person 100 years ago. We need to learn how to grow our vegetables, hunt our meat, we need to know how to make cheese, preserve the food we grow, smoke and salt the meat we’ve hunted. We need to learn how to live without refrigeration. Food storage is the way we will survive in the lull between harvests and should be done in a way that doesn’t depend on electricity. I’m not saying you shouldn’t keep fresh meat and vegetables at home or even frozen food, in fact I encourage you to do just that. The odds of the power grid going down for a considerable length of time is extremely remote. However, in the event that it does, we should be prepared and have a plan for it.
In my opinion a layered approach will work best for food supply. The above mentioned dehydrated food would be a good base. If one were to purchase, say a one year supply and use it as a supplement for a family of 4, so basically 3 months supply per person. Then another 3 months in canned and dry goods. Also a rotating one month supply of meat and 2 weeks rotating supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some possible additions are flour, sugar, oatmeal, honey and even a couple hundred pounds of wheat. This will get you by for 6-8 months.
As long as there are no disasters, you are now prepared for any short term emergencies that you and your family may face. In later issues we will go over gardening, hunting and other survival skills.