When you are sheltering in place, plan on staying in a shelter, or being stuck out on the road, food and water are your top priority in any disaster situation. You can make it without power and many comforts, but you cannot survive without water and food.
Food storage doesn’t have to be expensive. It can comprise items your family is already eating. Before buying all the water, bread, and milk, you can get your hands on figuring out how long you want to prepare. Have at least one week’s worth of water and food storage in preparation for a natural disaster. You will not only have to ride out only the storm but also the time before help and supplies can make it to you.
Start with your water supply. Hopefully, you will continue to have running water, but don’t depend on it as your only source of drinking water. Instead, buy water bottles, or fill up milk jugs and soda bottles to ensure you have enough clean water to drink safely. You can make it much longer without food than without water. Water should be your number 1 priority.
Next, think about non-perishable food that your family will eat. Choose food that you can eat as is. Crackers and peanut butter are a good choice, as are canned beans, soups, and the likes. Canned tuna or chicken makes for an excellent protein source. Bread is another good option, along with your favorite non-perishable sandwich toppings. Finally, don’t forget granola bars, protein bars, nuts, or beef jerky that you can eat right from the package.
If you have a camping stove or a grill outside, you may also be able to heat and cook some foods. Instant oatmeal, coffee, hot chocolate mix, soups, and even instant rice are great options if you can heat water when the power goes out.
Lastly, stock up on favorite treats like chocolate, chips, pretzels, cookies, and the like. It will make getting through those tough disaster days a little more bearable.
Start with a list of things you know your family will eat and something you’ll use up even when you don’t need them during a disaster. From there, start round it out with things that will keep you full and healthy, and pick those up as needed. For example, you may regularly eat a canned vegetable or chicken noodle soup but aren’t a big fan of tuna. Keep a small supply of the soups in your pantry at all times (rotating through them as needed), and pick up a few cans of tuna.
Talk to your family about your survival food supply and let them have input into what you should stock and keep. Giving them a sense of control and responsibility will ensure everyone is happy with the meals available when things get serious.