My prepping is pretty off and on again. I'm obviously much better prepped than the average Joe, but I sometimes fill in gaps or do things in spurts like a lot of people also tend to do. For example, in 2008 when it looked like there was going to be a potential complete financial system collapse I went full bore and started getting some preps taken care of. In hindsight nothing that I bought or did was stupid. I didn't panic buy, I just bought a lot of stuff that was on the back burner for a long time to fill in holes in preps. However, the point is that I'm not the guy with a spreadsheet and a well detailed plan for everything prep related. I'm a little OCD on a lot of things, but generally not on prepping where I'm a little more lackadaisical.
Now one of the things that I bought was bags
of rice from local grocery stores. I bought them with the intention of eventually sealing them with mylar
and oxygen absorbers and putting them into buckets for long term storage. I should emphasize eventually
, because that was well over two years ago and I still haven't done it. I've been an all out procrastinator on it, because there really isn't any deadline or urgent need to get it done quickly. Bugs in general aren't a problem here for sealed grains, and white rice seems to last a long time on the shelf without long term storage treatment. Still, bugs are always a potential problem and I could see rice go to waste if bugs/rodents got into it.
So this has made me think about a long term food storage setup for the procrastinator type... a plan of action that would have gotten done easier and more all at once without a shit load of steps and continued work. I generally think 2-3 weeks food storage is fairly adequate, but 2-3 months would be even better. Past a few weeks of general food shortages, I would think specific items would be lacking more than food in general in most SHTF type situations. In that type of situation having your own supplies would give you variety, food you like and can cook yourself, and somewhat proper nutrition(vs government cheese, FEMA type food, foreign ration bags
, or whatever is left in grocery stores or is allowed to each person from rationing rules).
First, a few cases of MRES. These are self contained, don't require much water, require no cooking, and can be easily thrown into a car for getting out of the city. I would rotate one case out a year or so to keep two relatively fresh cases on hand at all times. I've basically been doing this already, keeping MRES on hand as grab and go food. Alternately totes can be filled up non-cook food like peanut butter and crackers, soups in cans, ravioli, etc... but putting them together and rotating them and keeping them fresh requires more work and attention than monthly eating a single MRE and annually ordering a new case.
Water. I generally don't see water being cut off for more than a few weeks, but treatment could go downhill and orders to boil or general water quality could definitely go down.
military 5 gallon ones containers, these are nice as discussed here: viewtopic.php?t=12019
Keeping a half dozen or so 5 gallon containers filled should suffice for short term water use, and they are equally easy to grab and go with as are mres. For long term water issues a big berkey filter with black filters would probably be more than sufficient: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... vi-content
or http://www.amazon.com/Big-Berkey-Water- ... B003W5VBL2
I might also think about stocking a little calcium hypochlorite http://www.azpartsmaster.com/Products/S ... 11510.aspx
as talked about on this page http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/ ... ect-water/
in case the water situation gets really, really, bad.
Long term food. If I could go back again, I would consider buying pre-bucketed rice: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... 77&topnav=
Now, I'm not necessarily endorsing that, because it isn't clear if that is mylar
packed or just in a bucket. However, you can buy mylar
packed rice for a similar price. That bucket of rice gives you about 35 days worth of calories at 2000 calories per day: (376*190)/2000.
Products like the following give you prepacked meal pouches that are already set up for long term storage. They would be easy to add things to, and would give you easily made meals with some variety. I'm sure they aren't the tastiest, and I know they aren't the healthiest(trans fats and artificial ingredients), but they are a good lazy man's solution:http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... 77&topnav=http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... 77&topnav=
Ultra long youtube review of one of the above buckets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r64FpgYBR2Y
I would probably buy some canned meats to add to some of the meals above and/or go over rice.http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-241 ... eef/Detail
I've tried the beef chunks and they are pretty decent. You can make a pretty good gravy with them... They would definitely beat going meatless and could be added to the prepackaged meals in the buckets above. You could also get canned meats from the grocery store(getting too labor intensive!).http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-269 ... %2C/Detail
Having some fish in the diet is important IMO for essential fatty acids. Canned salmon, kippered herring, sardines, etc would be a good thing to fill in this gap. Now we are getting labor intensive and this takes some motivation, but you'd probably want to stock up on these from the grocery store.
Having fruits and vegetables in your diet is important. Fresh beats canned, but we're talking long term storage here. Mixed fruits, pineapple, any other canned fruit, spinach, kale, collard greens, etc, etc. Once again you're probably going to have to make a few trips to the grocery store for this, but its necessary in order to have a rounded food supply.
Since we have plenty of natural gas domestically I doubt long term cooking would be a problem, but for short term disruptions some propane burners and a couple of tanks of propane would be smart to keep around.
Pretty much everything listed here stores perfectly for a decade or two. MREs should be rotated, water should probably be rotated(but probably would be fine through a berkey even if it wasn't rotated), everything else should be fine if kept sealed and in a dry and cool place. Keeping some extra spices and condiments on hand might be a good idea, but for the lazy among us that requires rotation, and honestly while I could see some spices from overseas becoming scarce in a chronic shtf situation, I don't see all spices disappearing for a long period(probably just your favorite ones). Most of this you can buy, put on a shelf in a cool, dry, and dark place and not have to worry about your food situation for a long time.
This has been a lot of typing for a guy like me. I think I need a nap.