Why is a Three-Month Food Stor­age Base Impor­tant?

It’s like this. You’re sit­ting on your couch, binge-watch­ing the lat­est sit­com or show on Net­flix, Apple TV, or Prime, when an emer­gency announce­ment inter­rupts. A mega-storm is on its way. (Replace with World War III is on the way if you like). Pan­ic hits, you rush to the store for more toi­let paper and paper tow­els, but holy crap (pun intend­ed)! The shelves are already emp­ty. Now, would­n’t it be nice if you had a base of at least a three-month food stor­age base neat­ly stacked up at home? That’s right. No pan­ic, no rush, just a calm assur­ance that your fam­i­ly will not starve in the short term in the event the mega-storm is worse than expect­ed… 

Hav­ing a three-month food stor­age base is like hav­ing a lifeboat when the ship sinks. For some of you read­ing this, you’re like “No S#!t…” I digress… A three-month food stor­age base pro­vides a buffer that shields you and your fam­i­ly from imme­di­ate hunger in the face of dis­as­ters, both nat­ur­al and man-made. From hur­ri­canes to pan­demics, job loss­es to extend­ed pow­er out­ages, a food stor­age base ensures you can sit out the cri­sis and wait for help or for things to return to nor­mal.

Now, some might say, “But I have a week’s worth of gro­ceries at home, isn’t that enough?” or “FEMA only rec­om­mends two weeks of food stor­age in the event of a dis­as­ter…” Well, in some cas­es, it might be enough food. But let’s be hon­est, when dis­as­ter strikes, a week is a drop in the buck­et. And if you’re think­ing about depend­ing on your hunt­ing or for­ag­ing skills, keep in mind that those super­mar­kets you see emp­ty dur­ing a cri­sis,(?) They’re the mod­ern equiv­a­lent of hunt­ing and for­ag­ing grounds. When dis­as­ter strikes, every­one will be hunt­ing and for­ag­ing.  Those squir­rels that run around your back­yard… They’re stew for someone’s fam­i­ly, like it or not.  

Assessing Your Family’s Nutritional Needs

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts (or should I say cans and pack­ets?) of build­ing your food stor­age base, let’s take a moment to talk about nutri­tion. Because, let’s face it, sur­viv­ing on a diet of instant noo­dles and canned soup for three months isn’t the best idea unless your goal is to win the “Scurvy Sur­vivor” award.

Your fam­i­ly’s nutri­tion­al needs will depend on a vari­ety of fac­tors, includ­ing age, gen­der, activ­i­ty lev­el, and any spe­cif­ic health con­di­tions. A bal­anced diet typ­i­cal­ly includes car­bo­hy­drates, pro­teins, fats, vit­a­mins, and min­er­als. While plan­ning your food stor­age, try to include foods from all these cat­e­gories.

Remem­ber, in a sur­vival sce­nario, two indi­vid­u­als or a mar­ried cou­ple, for instance, may pos­sess vary­ing degrees of expe­ri­ence and skill, but this does not nec­es­sar­i­ly deter­mine their chances of sur­vival, as these can be remark­ably equal. Even though one may be more skilled in areas of sur­vival than the oth­er can mean lit­tle with­out prop­er nutri­tion. This is because sur­vival encom­pass­es more than just the skills and knowl­edge one has accu­mu­lat­ed. Although these are unde­ni­ably cru­cial ele­ments, a vital fac­tor comes into play: nutri­tion and dai­ly calo­rie intake. To suc­cess­ful­ly nav­i­gate the chal­lenges and obsta­cles posed by a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion, it is imper­a­tive to keep one’s body well-nour­ished and in good health. By doing so, an indi­vid­ual equips them­selves with the ener­gy and strength need­ed to per­se­vere and ulti­mate­ly sur­vive.

More­over, the men­tal and emo­tion­al com­po­nents of sur­vival should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed. Stress, fear, and anx­i­ety can often play a sig­nif­i­cant role in sur­vival sce­nar­ios, and an indi­vid­u­al’s abil­i­ty to man­age these emo­tions can be just as cru­cial as their prac­ti­cal skills. Some­times, a pos­i­tive mind­set and the abil­i­ty to stay calm under pres­sure can make all the dif­fer­ence in a crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion. So, while expe­ri­ence and skills are undoubt­ed­ly valu­able, the impor­tance of nutri­tion, men­tal for­ti­tude, and emo­tion­al resilience can­not be over­stat­ed when it comes to sur­viv­ing against the odds.

The Basics of Food Storage: Shelf Life and Rotation

Let’s talk about the life expectan­cy of your food stor­age, shall we? No, not in a “how long before it starts walk­ing on its own” kind of way (though that’s impor­tant too), but in terms of the shelf life of the foods you’re stor­ing.

Dif­fer­ent foods have dif­fer­ent shelf lives. Some foods, like canned goods and dried beans, can last for up to 20 — 30 years if stored prop­er­ly. Oth­ers, like cer­tain types of grains, might have a short­er shelf life. It’s impor­tant to under­stand the shelf life of each item in your food stor­age so that you can plan for rota­tion.

Rota­tion is the process of using old­er items before they expire and replac­ing them with fresh stock. It’s like a relay race, where the old­est can of beans pass­es the baton to the fresh­est can, ensur­ing a con­stant sup­ply of edi­ble food (and pre­vent­ing any unex­pect­ed zom­bie food out­breaks).

Building Your Food Storage Base: Staple Foods and Non-Perishables

Now onto the fun part — or the part that feels like play­ing Tetris with cans and box­es, depend­ing on how you look at it. Build­ing your food stor­age base involves select­ing sta­ple foods and non-per­ish­ables that will form the back­bone of your sur­vival meals.

Sta­ple foods are foods that form the basis of a diet — think rice, wheat, corn, and dried pota­toes. These foods are usu­al­ly car­bo­hy­drate-rich and pro­vide a good deal of ener­gy. They’re also usu­al­ly quite fill­ing.

Non-per­ish­ables, on the oth­er hand, are foods that last a long time with­out spoil­ing. This includes foods like canned goods, dried foods, and foods pre­served in oil or vine­gar. The great thing about non-per­ish­ables is that they often also include a vari­ety of fruits, veg­eta­bles, meats, and even dairy, allow­ing for a bal­anced diet even in sur­vival sit­u­a­tions.

The trick in build­ing your food stor­age base is to find a bal­ance between the two. You want to have enough sta­ple foods to pro­vide ener­gy and sati­ety, but also a good vari­ety of non-per­ish­ables to ensure nutri­tion­al bal­ance.

Meal Planning With Your Food Storage Base

Meal plan­ning with your food stor­age base is like play­ing Iron Chef in your kitchen, with the added chal­lenge of lim­it­ed ingre­di­ents and no option of run­ning to the store. It’s about being cre­ative with what you have and mak­ing sure that your meals meet your fam­i­ly’s nutri­tion­al needs.

Plan­ning your meals ahead of time also helps in mak­ing sure that you use your food sup­plies effi­cient­ly. This means no waste and every meal counts.  Cre­ativ­i­ty will also play a key role in your meals. You have to learn how to make the best out of what you have avail­able while ensur­ing that each meal you pre­pare meets the nutri­tion­al needs of your fam­i­ly. This is cru­cial as prop­er nutri­tion plays a vital role in main­tain­ing ener­gy lev­els and over­all health, which are para­mount in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion.

In addi­tion to pro­mot­ing cre­ativ­i­ty and ensur­ing nutri­tion­al needs are met, plan­ning your meals ahead of time also helps you use your food sup­plies effi­cient­ly. When we say effi­cient­ly, we mean that you min­i­mize waste and ensure that every meal pre­pared counts. Wast­ing food is not an option when you’re in sur­vival mode.

Now, it’s impor­tant to note that when you’re in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion, being picky about your food is a lux­u­ry you can’t afford. How­ev­er, this does­n’t mean you’re resigned to eat­ing bland and unap­pe­tiz­ing meals. With prop­er plan­ning, you can have a vari­ety of tasty and nutri­tious meals that will not only sus­tain you but also lift your spir­its. Food, after all, can be a great com­fort in chal­leng­ing times.

Note that when build­ing your food stor­age plan, you should take into account the com­mon spices you enjoy when cook­ing today… Don’t under­es­ti­mate the men­tal and moral boost you can get from famil­iar and com­fort­ing smells and tastes dur­ing stress­ful sit­u­a­tions

Remem­ber, a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion is not the time to be picky. But that does­n’t mean your meals have to be bor­ing. With a bit of plan­ning, you can still have a vari­ety of tasty and nutri­tious meals.

Storing and Organizing Your Food Storage Supplies

Now that you’ve got your food sup­plies, where do you put them all? Stor­ing and orga­niz­ing your food stor­age sup­plies is like play­ing hide and seek with cans and pack­ets. But instead of seek­ing, you’re mak­ing sure that every­thing is easy to find and access when need­ed.

Prop­er stor­age is cru­cial to ensure the longevi­ty and safe­ty of your food sup­plies. This means stor­ing food in a cool, dry place, away from sun­light and extreme tem­per­a­tures.

Orga­niz­ing your sup­plies makes it eas­i­er to keep track of what you have and what you need. It also makes it eas­i­er to rotate your stock and ensure that noth­ing goes to waste.

Tips for Budget-Friendly Food Storage

Build­ing a three-month food stor­age base can be a bit of a strain on the wal­let. But it does­n’t have to be. You can build it your­self or go to some­place like My Patri­ot Sup­ply and sim­ply pur­chase a three-month sup­ply of food.  Although, if you do, you may want to aug­ment it with oth­er foods you can enjoy along­side it if you need to dig into it… With a few smart strate­gies, you can build your food stor­age with­out break­ing the bank.

First, look to buy in bulk. This is often cheap­er than buy­ing small­er quan­ti­ties. I.e. that 50lb bag of rice at Cost­co or Sam’s Club will cost much less than 25 2lb bags over­all… Sec­ond, look for sales and dis­counts. You’d be sur­prised at how much you can save this way. Third, con­sid­er grow­ing your food. Even a small veg­etable gar­den can pro­vide a valu­able addi­tion to your food stor­age.

Remem­ber, food stor­age is not a one-time expense. It’s a con­tin­u­ous invest­ment in your fam­i­ly’s safe­ty and well-being for the long term, should you need it.

Essential Equipment for Food Storage

In addi­tion to the food items that you will store, it is also vital to have the right equip­ment on hand to ensure your food stor­age is effi­cient and easy to use. The neces­si­ty of prop­er equip­ment can­not be over­stat­ed; think of it as hav­ing the right tools for the job, which can sig­nif­i­cant­ly sim­pli­fy the process.

First and fore­most, you will need con­tain­ers for stor­ing your bulk items. These con­tain­ers should be air­tight to pro­tect the food from pests and mois­ture, which can cause spoilage. You might con­sid­er invest­ing in food-grade buck­ets or glass jars with tight-fit­ting lids to store items like grains, beans, and pas­ta.

A reli­able can open­er is anoth­er essen­tial tool, espe­cial­ly if you have a sig­nif­i­cant amount of canned goods in your stor­age. It might seem like a small thing, but try­ing to open a can with­out a can open­er in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion would be frus­trat­ing and poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous. There­fore, hav­ing a few can open­ers, includ­ing a man­u­al one, is a wise deci­sion.

If you have opt­ed to store whole grains, a man­u­al grain mill is a valu­able piece of equip­ment to con­sid­er. Whole grains have a longer shelf life com­pared to their processed coun­ter­parts, but they need to be ground before con­sump­tion. A man­u­al grain mill would allow you to grind grains into flour for bak­ing bread, mak­ing por­ridge, or oth­er uses. Hav­ing this abil­i­ty adds ver­sa­til­i­ty to your food stor­age, giv­ing you more options for meal prepa­ra­tion.

While the food itself is undoubt­ed­ly the star of your food stor­age, hav­ing the right equip­ment can make a world of dif­fer­ence in terms of effi­cien­cy and ease of use. Invest­ing in the prop­er con­tain­ers, can open­ers, and per­haps a man­u­al grain mill will go a long way in ensur­ing that your food stor­age meets your needs and expec­ta­tions.

Food Storage for Specific Dietary Restrictions

If you or any mem­ber of your fam­i­ly has spe­cif­ic dietary restric­tions, don’t wor­ry. Build­ing a three-month food stor­age base can still be done. It just requires a bit more plan­ning and con­sid­er­a­tion.

For exam­ple, if you’re gluten intol­er­ant, you might want to store rice and corn instead of wheat. If you’re veg­an, you’ll want to focus on plant-based pro­teins like beans and lentils.

The goal is to ensure that every­one in your fam­i­ly can eat healthy, bal­anced meals, regard­less of any dietary restric­tions.

Having a Solid Three Months of Supplies and Skills is (IMHO) Crucial Before Scaling Up to Longer-Term Preparedness Goals

When you have suc­cess­ful­ly built up a three-month food stor­age base, pat your­self on the back, for you have laid a sol­id foun­da­tion essen­tial for sur­vival. But remem­ber, this is just the begin­ning of your pre­pared­ness jour­ney. Secur­ing a robust three-month sup­ply of essen­tials, cou­pled with the nec­es­sary skills, is a piv­otal step that must be in place before you can con­fi­dent­ly move on to achiev­ing longer-term pre­pared­ness goals.

It is cru­cial to approach the process of build­ing a com­pre­hen­sive food stor­age base with the mind­set that it is akin to run­ning a marathon, not a sprint. The jour­ney to being ful­ly pre­pared is incre­men­tal and should not be rushed. It is not some­thing that can be accom­plished in one fell swoop.

To make the process more man­age­able, it is advis­able to set real­is­tic and achiev­able goals. Take each step one at a time, and be patient with your­self as you work towards build­ing up your sup­plies. It is impor­tant to remem­ber that pre­pared­ness is not a race. The goal is not to be the fastest but to be thor­ough and metic­u­lous in your plan­ning and exe­cu­tion. With ded­i­ca­tion, con­sis­ten­cy, and a clear plan, you will find that you are well-equipped and ready to face what­ev­er chal­lenges may come your way.

Replenishing and Maintaining Your Food Storage Base

Once you’ve built your food stor­age base, the work isn’t over. In fact, it’s just begin­ning. Replen­ish­ing and main­tain­ing your food stor­age base is an ongo­ing process, like mow­ing the lawn or doing the dish­es.

This involves reg­u­lar­ly check­ing your sup­plies, rotat­ing your stock, and replac­ing any items that have been used or that are near­ing their expi­ra­tion date.

Remem­ber, a well-main­tained food stor­age base is an effec­tive food stor­age base. It’s not just about hav­ing sup­plies, it’s about hav­ing usable sup­plies.

Three Months of Food Storage is Portable

One of the strate­gic ben­e­fits of hav­ing three-month food stor­age is its porta­bil­i­ty, which is cru­cial in sit­u­a­tions where you might need to evac­u­ate your home for an extend­ed peri­od. This mobil­i­ty aspect ensures that you have the essen­tial food sup­plies you need to sus­tain your­self and your fam­i­ly until you reach your bug-out loca­tion or an alter­na­tive safe des­ti­na­tion.

When we talk about porta­bil­i­ty, we mean that your food stor­age should be orga­nized and pack­aged in a way that makes it easy to load into a vehi­cle, such as an SUV, along with your bug-out bags and oth­er essen­tial sur­vival gear. This requires a bit of pre­plan­ning to ensure that your food sup­plies are not only prop­er­ly sealed and pro­tect­ed but also packed in con­tain­ers that are easy to han­dle and trans­port.

To max­i­mize the porta­bil­i­ty of your food stor­age, con­sid­er using con­tain­ers such as plas­tic bins, stur­dy box­es, or even large duf­fel bags to orga­nize and pack your food sup­plies. These con­tain­ers should be clear­ly labeled and orga­nized in a way that allows you to quick­ly and effi­cient­ly load them into your vehi­cle. The goal is to be able to evac­u­ate your home and be on the road as quick­ly as pos­si­ble, with the con­fi­dence that you have the nec­es­sary food sup­plies to sus­tain you and your fam­i­ly dur­ing the evac­u­a­tion.

Fur­ther­more, when prepar­ing your food stor­age for porta­bil­i­ty, it is essen­tial to con­sid­er the types of food you are stor­ing. Opt for light­weight, non-per­ish­able, and easy-to-pre­pare food items that won’t take up too much space and can be eas­i­ly trans­port­ed. Canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, gra­nola bars, and freeze-dried meals are excel­lent options to con­sid­er for your portable food stor­age.

Hav­ing a portable three-month food stor­age can be impor­tant and an inte­gral part of your pre­pared­ness plan depend­ing on your geog­ra­phy. It pro­vides you with the flex­i­bil­i­ty and assur­ance that you will have the nec­es­sary food sup­plies dur­ing an evac­u­a­tion, enabling you to focus on reach­ing your bug-out loca­tion or alter­na­tive des­ti­na­tion safe­ly. With care­ful plan­ning and orga­ni­za­tion, you can ensure that your food stor­age is ready to go when you need it most.

Conclusion: Peace of Mind for Any Situation

Build­ing a three-month food stor­age base may seem like a daunt­ing task. But with a bit of plan­ning, a dash of orga­ni­za­tion, and a sprin­kle of per­se­ver­ance, it’s an achiev­able goal. And the peace of mind it pro­vides is worth every effort.

In the end, a three-month food stor­age base is more than just a pile of cans and pack­ets. It’s a life­line in uncer­tain times. It’s the assur­ance that no mat­ter what hap­pens, you and your fam­i­ly will have the means to sur­vive. And that, my friend, is price­less.

So whether you’re a sea­soned prep­per or a begin­ner just start­ing out, I hope this guide has pro­vid­ed you with some valu­able insights and prac­ti­cal tips. Remem­ber, pre­pared­ness is not about liv­ing in fear, it’s about liv­ing with peace of mind. So get start­ed on your food stor­age base today, and ensure your fam­i­ly’s well-being in any sit­u­a­tion.

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