It’s another cold Saturday morning as I sit once again wait for the doorbell to ring and my Survival Coach John to arrive. Today John will be reviewing my plans for having enough food to survive 30 days without leaving my home.
I will lead with a quick review of the situation at hand as their is no public utility services available such as electric power, natural gas, water, internet and TV or trash pickup. This is all due to a small earthquake that shook the region and has severally damaged many of the major connections to all of these services. Roads are damaged and trying to get out of our neighborhood is impossible.
The doorbell rings and I quickly move to answer it as I know that John’s time is limited to just 15 minutes for each session. “Good morning, John.” “Good morning, Bill.” “Bill, we left off last Saturday with the topic of water supply, how have you done so far with this topic?”
Wow, I didn’t know we were going to do a review but I told John that I followed his suggestions and have an ample supply of drinking water along with a method of saving grey water. John said “excellent! As discussed last week water is the most important detail of your 30 day journey.”
John said, “Let’s move on to the subject of food.” Most people are under the impression that survival is all about long term food storage with products like Mountain House foods. These are typically dehydrated meals that can be placed into 5 gallon buckets and have a long shelf life of sometimes up to a year. This is fine if you are the Dooms Day Prepper type, but I am hear to tell you that unless society completely breaks down there is no need for these things. What we are going to discuss today is a simple plan of food storage for making sure that you and your family can eat the foods you enjoy each day for a total of 30 days.
John handed me a blank notebook and gave me a new homework assignment. Bill, I want you to first go through your refrigerator and pantry and write down exactly what foods your family eats on a typical day. This would include all three meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also want you to write down a few items which you consider “treats” like snacks.
This not about trying to store a bunch of food that you will never eat and one day have to get rid of and replace, but more about storing more of the foods that you already eat. After you have formulated this list I want you to go through each item that you know will not store due to lack of refrigeration or freezing. Remember, you will not have the power to run a large cooling device such as a typical refrigerator or freezer. Of course this wouldn’t be true if you had an alternative source of energy but this is a subject we will discuss in the future. But for now find those items and figure out a way of coming up with an alternative. For example fresh fish can be replaced with cans of tuna fish or canned salmon.
Next I want you to dedicate one full page of this notebook to developing a meal plan for just one day. Do the same with a total of 30 pages and you should have a good idea of what your food storage should look like. Just remember these are foods that your family is already eating and will continue to eat. For example: Most families make a meal out of a pound of spaghetti and large jar of sauce. The problem is that we purchase just what we need for a week, but if we simply purchase extra or enough for a month then we are on the right track. Basically you will creating your own store right in your home of those foods you already eat. As I remember you set up shelving in your garage just for this purpose. The foods in your store will be foods that you will use and resupply even when there is no emergency.
After you develop your 30 day meal plan I want you to sit down with your family and discuss each meal with them. Is this food really something you will eat each day for 30 days, and will you actually enjoy it. With all the entertainment we have filling our homes our daily meals are just something of a routine we go through each day. Without all of that entertainment our meals will become the highlights of our day and it is important that there is a certain level of comfort in each meal.
Now we are going to quickly get into the subject of meal preparation. I want you to research a few things before purchasing any cooking tools. Camping, RV’s and food preparation in the early 1900’s. A food heat source is obviously the gas grill we typically have in our back yard but do you have a way of making something like pancakes on it? Does it have a side burner for boiling water? Do you have enough propane to make it through 30 days?
Most RV’s or Motorhomes have a stove/oven combination that utilized propane. Many junkyards that have these old retired campers on them would be happy to sell you one of these stoves for just a couple of dollars. Imagine having the ability of baking your own fresh bread so you have something to put your peanut butter and jelly on.
As you go through your 30 day meal plan I want you to actually think about what you will need to prepare each meal from cooking sources to pots, pans, utensils. Can you use paper plates and plastic forks and knives instead of using your precious water to wash plates and metal utensils. It is up to you.
Remember, I am not here to tell you exactly what to do. Each family is different and a plan of attack has to be carefully developed by the family. You and your family might not like breakfast cereal where another family could eat it for breakfast every day.
One other subject I want you to think about while developing your meal list is the fact that you cannot have any left overs if you have no way of storing it in a cool place. I highly suggest making sure that you are preparing just enough food for each meal without going overboard. The last think we want to do is waste precious food.
Bill, that’s all I have for you today. Work on that meal plan and we will meet again next Saturday to discuss our next subject. “Thanks John, I certainly have a great deal to think about” “I look forward to meeting with you next week and discussing developments of the subject of food.