The most basic component of any preparedness program is food. Disasters and emergencies occur all over the world daily that result in people desperately looking for food. These disaster can include Mother Nature wreaking havoc via hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts – to more localized problems such as power outages, riots – and suddenly becoming unemployed. The knowledge that you can feed your family will certainly help reduce the stress caused from most any emergency and allow you to concentrate on other things.
FEMA recommends having at least 3 days worth of food on hand at all times. This is certainly a good start however many disasters can create a need much longer than this. Having 30 days worth of food on hand for every member of your family is a realistic and logical goal to shoot for. A “vision” I have used to motivate me when I think about spending the money on food storage are my kids. My worst nightmare is seeing my kids suffer when I could have done something to prevent it.
Here is my Sam’s Club grocery list for a 30 day supply for a family of four:
[ ] Rice – 50 pounds. Rice is incredibly inexpensive and stores well. Buy a couple of 25-pound bags or one large 50 pounder.
[ ] Beans – 16 16.5 oz cans. Bush’s Baked Beans are available in individual cans typical for a serving for four however they also sell larger #10 sized cans cheaper. The larger can’s allow more servings for a cheaper price – however once opened the entire can must be consumed within a day or it will go bad. I recommend the smaller 16.5 oz. cans.
[ ] Canned Meat – 30 13 oz. cans. This is where the food storage will get a little more pricey. Sam’s carries a brand called “Daily Chef” and has several options as far as sizes go. Go for the smaller size as the chicken can be mixed in with the rice to make it go further. Protein is incredibly important thus this chicken is needed. Those 30 cans provide 15 meals(with rice) for all four family members(each can is serves two people).
[ ] Canned Vegetables – 40 cans. Same as the canned meat 40 cans will be spread over the 30 days. I suggest getting a variety of types to mix up the meals and add flavor.
[ ] Canned Fruit – 40 cans. Use fruit like dessert. 40 cans is 2-3 cans per person per week. Great for morale. Want more? Buy more!
[ ] Pancake Mix – “just add water” – 2 10-pound bags. Breakfast!!! Advertised as 80 servings per bag which equates to 20 days for four people. I wouldn’t count on it as the serving size is pretty small so pick up 2 of the 10 pound bags. Pancakes anyone? Don’t forget a couple large containers of syrup down the same aisle.
[ ] Spaghetti – 2 6-pound packages. A 1 pound package of spaghetti provides four people 4 ounces each for a meal – plus sauce. Spaghetti is simple to prepare and stores well. Don’t forget to throw in a couple large containers of sauce(Ragu is my favorite!). 2 6-pound packages provides for at least 12 complete meals for 4 people.
[ ] Beef Stew – 24 15 oz. cans. Each 15 oz. can provides 2-3 servings when mixed with the rice. A supply of 24 cans equal 18 individual meals for all 4 family members. Excellent source of protein and energy.
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Remember – this is a basic food supply for a family of four for at least 30 days. It can be customized and added to however you wish. Want some soup? Add it. Want some ravioli? Add it. Want some peanut butter? Get it.
The important thing here is to have extra food stored away JUST IN CASE.
Do not forget about water. A family of four people will need at least 120 gallons.
Do not forget to include a method of cooking.
Let me know if you have any additional suggestions.
Take care –