A good friend of mine, Adam, was in New York when Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance.
The streets were shut down… the power was out… grocery stores were picked clean in a matter of a few hours… and everyday citizens were literally digging into trash dumpsters looking for food.
But being a “prepared” type of guy, he wasn't all that worried.
He had some extra water… he was safe and secure in his home… and he had a small stockpile of food to keep him fed while the city was recovering.
That was until his “friends” came over.
In no time they had devoured his supplies – in fact, all of his BEST supplies – and in just one day he was struggling to even keep himself fed after his buddies went through his stockpile like a pack of teenagers at a pizza parlor.
It taught him a valuable lesson about surviving, which we can ALL use in these days of “food shortage” talk.
Your 5-Step “Grid Down” Disaster Food Response Plan:
Ok, first let's assume that you're not stupid enough to run out to the local grocery store to try to wrestle some little old lady for the last box of oatmeal.
Grocery stores are where the panicked “unprepared” zombies will go because they didn't plan ahead.
Fist fights will break out and potentially even full-blown riots and looting.
You need to take your “survival food planning” seriously and if you don't have ALL 5 steps below covered, you can't wait on this, ok?
You may even want to print this email out and put it somewhere you can instantly whip it out when you need it.
Now, let's get started… *BOOM*… the power is out and you don't know for how long.
Here's what to do…
Step 1: First To Spoil = First To Go
Look at your produce and in your refrigerator to identify the most perishable foods you have right now.
Think about the “meal” you can make with just these foods that will also give you a good combination of protein (helps you feel “full”), carbohydrates (for energy) and fats (for long-term energy and also for feeling “full”).
Try to keep it “healthy”, but your primary goal right now is to consume the foods that will spoil first without refrigeration.
Be creative with things like mayonnaise or other high-fat items that are going to spoil very quickly but can help you mix something up that will give you a lot of calories from the fats that you can use for long-lasting energy and feeling “full”.
BTW… this includes your garden produce also, which would be on-going if you can continue to gather from it during a crisis and it's not destroyed by a disaster.
Step 2: Hit The Freezer
Your freezer food will last the longest of your perishable supplies in your refrigerator, so hit these after your fridge perishables.
Start with the smaller, non-processed packaged foods because they will defrost first.
Then move on to the larger foods like large cuts of meat.
If you know how to preserve foods (canning, salting, etc.), now is the time to do it as they begin to defrost in order to extend the lifespan of what you have.
Step 3: Mmmm… Preservatives!
Highly-processed and preservative-filled foods are horrible for your health – but hey… man can't live on tree bark alone, right?
These foods (like boxed macaroni and cheese, raman noodles, potato chips and other snacks, etc.) typically have the longest shelf-life.
Search your pantry to plan out your meals, using these foods first.
Step 4: Canned Goods And Staples
Canned goods and staples like dried pasta, rice, dried beans, etc are some of the easiest foods to store away and can last a very long time while providing a bulk of food.
But their NOT the “saviour” of your stockpile by any means.
Many of these foods can be ruined by moisture (like if it's hot and humid out and you have no air conditioning) or other outside elements that can take a long shelf-life and destroy it (more on this in a minute).
And make sure to look at expiration dates!
Even canned goods have a limited shelf life (unlike what most people think).
Ok, one more step…
Now, it may seem from this plan so far that you'd be squared away for several days and not have to worry, right?
Not so fast there Sparky…
There are any number of things that can go wrong that can throw your entire response plan out the window…
A disaster can destroy your entire stockile in one strike… the disaster can go longer than expected… your friends and extended family can strain your supplies… you can even be attacked by looters or just plain old ticked-off citizens who will do anything – including beg, borrow or STEAL – to feed their families.
Plus, you may be forced to evacuate your home to get to safety and in that case, you can't take those perishable foods with you and your pantry of canned goods and sacks of rice won't be practical.
That's why you need…
Step 5: Have A Long-Term “Mobile Stockpile”
This one requires you to plan right away, so take this seriously…
It's the #1 thing you can do to be ready for ANY crisis that gets thrown at you.
Everyone needs to have a stockpile of dehydrated or freeze-dried survival food (NOT military MRE's!)
I don't care if you call yourself a “prepper” or not.
Having a stockpile of “survival food” is a critical necessity these days. Period.
It's a “one-and-done” investment that I think every serious “protector” needs to take action on to sleep better at night.
I know I do.
Evaluate where you stand right now based on this action guide and don't wait around on filling in the gaps.
“Waiting” is for “victims”.