If there is something vital that we have all learned from the previous year, it is undoubtedly the fact that nothing in this world is inevitable and that anything is possible to happen. The year 2020 proved to us how tough times can get and how our lives, habits, and routines can easily be turned upside down. We never know what will happen in the coming days and months.
Because of this, we must all be better and pull ourselves up from those experiences. We now know how uncertain life can get, and so we must prepare for what is about to come. As we were placed on a lock down, we realized how important it is to make sure that we have enough food because we can be unsure as to when we can go out.
Experts suggest that a second wave is most likely to happen, and when it does, we must be prepared and have all the things we need. Food must be at the top of this list, but if the lock down lasts longer than we expect, how much of it shall we store? Say, for a 6-month total lock down, what is the most ideal quantity of food to purchase while ensuring not to hoard?
We answer this question and many more in this article. We will be providing a list of the food you should store in anticipation of a 6-month total lock down, tips in coming up with a survival food list, alongside the quantity of these said necessities. Moreover, we will also be breaking down the ways you can store your food to make sure that it does not go bad and that it will last you until the lock down ends.
How Much to Store
As for the quantity of food to store to prepare you and your family for a 6-month lock down, it will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, the bulk of these necessities will depend on the number of people in your household. This will be the first thing you must ask yourself before hitting the grocery and deciding how much to buy.
Another factor that will determine how much you should store is if there are any kids, elderly, and pets in your family. Each of them has a different set of needs in terms of food to facilitate their diet. Also include this consideration prior to your purchase.
There are different food options you can choose from when deciding which ones to store for a 6-month total lock down. Whatever your food options may be, always check whether it fits the criteria for long-term stored goods. Firstly, your stocked food must have a long storage life. You must anticipate that you will be needing to stay at your homes for quite some time, so you must choose those that will take time before it gets spoiled.
What to Store
1. Canned Goods
Most people select canned goods like spam as a survival food, noodles, and other similar varieties as these do not quickly get spoiled and have a longer shelf life. However, when you learn how to explore your options and learn how to make use of what you have, you can come up with a good meal that will not leave you satiated.
When purchasing, also consider buying those that will require little to no cooking, less water, and no refrigeration. Unforeseen circumstances like a power interruption must be regarded as which may cause your easily spoiled items to go bad. It will be better if you buy food items that do not require refrigeration to be on the safer side.
2. Baby Food and Special Diet Food
For households that have babies, make sure that their needs can be met and sustained until the end of the lock down. The same goes for those who have family members that or on a special diet. These cases must carefully be attended to and made sure that whatever you store is sufficient as you will be restricted from going out for the entirety of that lock down period.
3. Pet Food
Also, remember to look after your pets and their welfare. Meet their needs and ensure that it will last them long. As for other specifications, avoid buying highly salty or spicy foods as it may require you to increase your water consumption, making you run short of supply.
How to Store
One important thing to do when storing your food for a long time is to continually check its expiration dates. Most people look past through these details without knowing that they are already spoiled. Usually, home-canned foods last for a year before it goes bad.
Additionally, some canned and dried goods can be stored longer with the right conditions. The most ideal temperature ranges from 40° to 70° F. Meanwhile, the best locations are cool, dry, and dark places.
When storing your canned goods, also remember to keep them away from heat-emitting appliances. Ranges and refrigerator exhausts increase the probability of stored food to get spoiled. Also, distance your food from gasoline, oil, and other petroleum products as these may affect their smell.
To avoid rodents and insects from attacking your food, it will be best if you store them accordingly. Use mylar bags, boxes and paper cartons as storage items and make sure that they are appropriately wrapped and stored. Airtight containers are also good alternatives to ensure the safety of your food.
Emergency Water Supply
Aside from storing food, it is also equally as essential to make sure that you have ample water supply for emergency purposes. It will be most ideal for keeping at least one gallon of water per day for every member of the household. Also, set aside another gallon per day for each of your pets.
Another thing to consider when storing water is the current climate condition. You would need to keep more during a hot climate and for members of the household that are pregnant and sick. Also, remember that those that were sold at a store contain an expiration date, and other stored water must be replaced once every six months.
For water intended for cleaning and sanitizing purposes, set aside a bottle of unscented liquid household bleach. This mixture will help you disinfect your water to make it safer for you and your family. Store this bleach in areas with a temperature around 70°F or 21°C.
Staying healthy and safe during the entire duration of the lock down should be everybody’s top priority. This can only be made possible if you nourish your body and take in nothing but clean stuff. Opting for bottled water bought from stores is both the safest and most reliable way to store emergency water supply.
When choosing for a storage container, buy those that are food-grade, which are available in surplus and camping supply stores. Do not forget to thoroughly clean and sanitize your containers before storing water to ensure the safety of those who will consume it. Also, label those that are intended for drinking and those for cleaning to avoid confusion.
Making sure that you have enough food supply in case of a 6-month total lock down is very important. Food is a necessity everyone must have, and if you are looking to buy supplies for your entire household, be mindful of the tips we have provided above. Consider all of the things you might need, alongside some steps you must do to maintain the safety of your food supply.
Remember that with all these things that you need to do and secure, it will help if you only buy within your needs. Hoarding is the cause of shortage for other people, and we do not want other people to go hungry while we get too much of what we can actually consume. Also, do not forget about your pets and make sure that they have enough food to last for the whole six months.
*Photos by Annie Spratt