One of the things I want to concentrate more on in 2011 is preparedness. I’m not talking about digging bomb shelters or buying 2500 pounds of freeze dried foods- just being prudently prepared for the things that might crop up in the near future.
Around my house, food is basically my domain. My husband (and now my kids) cook the occasional meal (or, um, not so occasional lately, between the bedrest, the childbirth, and the MegaVirus of Doom) but the grocery shopping, meal planning, and majority of the preparation fall to me. Yes, they cook, but I tell them what to cook and buy all the ingredients for it.
Naturally, then, one of the first places for preparedness in my mind starts with food. Somehow if the children are fed and the adults have a stomach full of warm food, it makes any problem easier to face. FEMA recommends keeping 72 hours worth of supplies (food and water) on hand at all times.
Imagine if you were in New York City during the recent blizzard. None of the streets were passable. Even if you could have walked to a store or a bodega, there’s no guarantee it would be open. Several neighborhoods in NY remained unplowed for weeks, and the mayor told people not to drive.
Would you be able to feed the family under those circumstances?
Go for easy meals with lots of shelf-stable ingredients. Spaghetti with jarred marinara- yes. Coq au vin- no. In an emergency, you want to be able to whip something up quickly with a minimum of dishes to wash.
I plan my 72 hours of food with the thought that we might not have electricity. This was the case after Hurricane Ike, and it’s likely an emergency might take the power grid down temporarily.
- If the power goes out, I can still use my stovetop because I have a gas stove. I’ll need to keep matches handy, though.
- If the gas goes out or is unsafe to use, we could boil water on the charcoal grill and cook out there.
- If bad weather won’t let us use the grill, and the stove and the electricity goes out, we could use our camp stove in the garage (well ventilated, of course!)
Other options might be to use those little cans of sterno that caterers use to keep food warm, a backpack stove, or even a solar oven. Have a backup for your backup plan!
My challenge for you this week is to put some thought into what you would eat, stocking the pantry if necessary so that you’ll have 72 hours worth of food. That’s 9 meals (plus maybe some snacks). Write your emergency meal plan down and always keep the ingredients for these meals, minimum, on hand.
Tell us about it or blog it and link up on next Friday’s Prudently Prepared post.
Note: this does not necessarily have to be portable food that would go into a evacuation or emergency kit, but could rather be food and a meal plan for sheltering in place or in case of an emergency that keeps you home, such as flooded roads, a blizzard, or even if your car breaks down.