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Emergency Food Preparations

We had a blizzard last night. Just about 4 inches of snow, plus several drifts much taller. Luckily it didn't knock out our electricity or gas or anything else. Unlucky for others, many people are very cold, hungry and concerned about when they will be found, and how.

We hope people are prepared for emergencies, but just in case, we thought we'd share a few tips with YOU!!
  1. Stock up on low-sodium canned goods, like: fruits, vegetables, pre-made dishes like pork-n-beans, juices, broth, tuna, canned ham, etc.
  2. Stock up on dried fruits, snack items, flour, rice, beans, oatmeal, grits, cornmeal, all-vegg powder and other such items. The green-can parmesan cheese lasts a long time without refrigeration, so we keep lots of these on hand.
  3. If you have a membership to Costco or Sam's, buy the big bags of rice, beans, salt, sugar, cornmeal, olive oil and honey. If you don't have a membership, surely you have a friend who does.
  4. Mark the purchase date on each.
  5. Store your supplies in a cool dry place. Anything that's not canned might need to be made "mouse-and-bug-proof" so get used icing buckets from your local bakeries, clean and dry, and fill. Include a few bay leaves (bugs hate these) and dessicant packets (to take out residual moisture). Seal. Label with contents and expiration dates.
  6. Use your supplies regularly, replacing the next time you grocery shop. That's called "rotating your stock". Plus this will get your family used to eating these foods, and you'll get practice cooking them.
  7. Collect easy recipes that use these foods (you will find many on this blog since that's basically the purpose!). Print them out and store in a notebook with the foods and supplies.
  8. Sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, baking potatoes, onions, garlic, winter squash and some other produce will store for a while in a cool and dark place. Keep each separate, especially apples away from carrots and potatoes. When these go on sale, buy lots!
  9. Store lots of dried foods. We have: parsley, spinach, onion, garlic, celery, tomato, mango, blueberry, blackberry, banana chips, apple dices, squash, carrots and more. Remember to drink lots of water when eating these.
  10. Water: an absolute requirement. Some say 1 or 2 gallons per day per person, which includes enough to wash, brush your teeth, cook, rehydrating food, etc.
  11. Make sure you have at least 3 weeks worth of all supplies. Remember other non-foods like toilet paper, matches, cooking fuel, baby wipes for hygiene, extra changes of clothing, cooking pans, batteries, radio, pet food, candles, presciption medicine, first aid kit, blankets, etc. Be sure to include can openers, disposable dishware/flatware/cups, solar oven, camping stove/fuel. Normally we don't keep paper plates, etc. because they aren't good for the environment but there are times when it's a good idea, like when you want to minimize cleaning. DON'T get styrofoam because they don't disentegrate.
  12. If you don't have a way of cooling foods, you'll need to make sure to only cook what can be eaten in an hour or two. You could keep a cooler with some of your supplies in the supply area.
  13. Cooking: Plan several meals where cooking is not required. When you can cook, remember cooking indoors on camping stoves is not safe unless there's proper ventilation. You could also cook over your fireplace-fire. Grill outdoors. Or, in warmer weather, use a solar oven.
  14. To minimize cleanup, cook/grill "Foil-Pockets" made with heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray the foil, add your protein, veggies and possibly a starch, seasonings, then seal and cook. Eat straight from the packet/pocket.
Note: We're compiling a complete e-book using stored foods and the grain-rotation diet. It should be available by January 2009.

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