3 Days from Starvation

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Theories & Ideas

If your family is like most American families these days, you make multiple trips to the grocery store every week.  You make pit stops on the way home from work or errands to pick-up items that you may need for supper that night.  The bread you picked-up 3 days ago is not as fresh as you as like.  The kids have slammed down all the breakfast cereal in 3 days instead of the 7 you planned for.  The convenience which we all take for granted is great.  This is truly a great time to live!

Now think about how long your family can survive without those quick stops and trips.  Could your family survive longer than a week on what you have in your cabinets?  Ok, I’ll admit that most of our families won’t starve in 3 days, but we will hear a lot of griping after those 72 hours.  But, past those 3 days those choices we all enjoy will be severely curtailed.

prepping last minute

Now, just image if the all the grocery stores didn’t open after those 3 days, maybe the stores didn’t open after a week.  What if those grocery stores never opened again?  What would you do?

Most grocery stores, as most of us have learned by now, only maintain roughly a 3 days’ supply of goods within the store or local area.  So after 3 days of not being resupplied from some points unknown, the shelves will be bare.  Now what if the power has been out for those three days?  Everyone’s “fresh” or frozen food will be gone.  The grocery stores will not be open and if they are they won’t be able to complete any transactions.  Even if they can complete transactions, what will they have to sell?  After those 3 days the shelves are now empty.  So, if you are thinking that you will be able to go to the store and get what you need you are fooling yourself.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a public awareness campaign which tells us that we need to “build a kit” that can sustain us and our families for 72 hours during an emergency.  The FEMA website (Ready.gov) even includes a list of items they think we should include.  The whole premise of the 72 hour emergency kit is that FEMA should be rolling in with disaster supplies within the first 72 hours.  Now let’s look at past performance of this federal agency.  During large scale disasters (Katrina and Sandy) it took much long to move assistance into the needed area.  There are several reason why this occurs, but it should tell you that you are a fool to count the federal government to swoop down and rescue you and your family in your time of need.

So, let’s image that because of demand, the power companies are suffering from brown outs nationwide.  Yesterday, it in the western part of the US and the day before the southeast, who knows what area will be affected today.  Once the heat of the day has built up, the power fades and dies away.  But you aren’t worried, the local news has done a great job of getting the word out that this may happen and has told everyone that the power should be back up later that evening business’ begin to close for the day.  You expect to be eating sandwiches with the family on the back deck tonight for supper, but that’s ok, a little family time will be good.

At 9 pm the power still isn’t back on.  The house is like an oven, so everyone in the neighborhood is outside.  Your next door neighbor has an old battery operated radio and has been listening to oldies on some forgotten AM station.  During the news break at the top of the hour, you overhear that the power is out over the western 2/3rds of the country and is failing more each hour.  Restoration times are unknown at this time, but the newscaster is sure that it will be back on by morning.  You are thinking the power being out is now a pain, but you might as well enjoy the night air and break out the sleeping bags to spend the night outside instead of in the oven of the house.

The next morning as the sun begins to break over the fence, you wake-up stiff and in need of a cup of coffee.  You go to your kitchen and begin to make a pot and you notice that the power is still out.  You think no problem you’ll just pop out to the local gas station and pick-up some coffee and donuts, but wait they don’t have any power either.  You begin to wonder “how much longer can this last?”  Later that day you set down with your other half to figure out what to do.  The kid’s aren’t minding the lack of power much, but the situation is beginning to get annoying as the heat continues to build.  The neighbor with the radio said he heard that it was a nationwide blackout this morning before his batteries died.

So goes the next couple of days.  After a solid week of no power, the cabinets will be looking empty.  So what will you do?

If you were smart, you would have been stashing back food all along.  If this was the case, then your family would be fed, but then you would have another set of worries.  So now that you agree that it is a good idea to begin to start preparing or “prepping” as it is known what should you get first?  The following is just a small list to get you started.

  • Rice – It’s easy to cook.  Buy a 50 lbs bag.  You can survive along time of one cup of rice a day.  I know, I have done it before.  Besides, rice also travels well for bugging out.

  • Dry Beans – Much like rice, beans pack a lot of value for the punch.  Beans are easy to pack, but require a little more prep time that rice.

  • Canned meat – I know most people these days won’t even hardly touch canned meat however, when you are hungry and your body is craving protein you can’t beat it.  Again, the small cans are easy to pack for bugging out and the large cans will easily feed a family of 4. I would plan on at least one small can per person per day.  Or 30 small cans a month per person.

  • Canned Fruits & Vegetables – Everyone can eat something from a can.  Corn, green beans, peaches, or pears, everyone likes something out of a can.  Plan for at least 2 or more cans per person pre day.

  • Oatmeal and Other Processed Gains – Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat and other processed grains are easy to cook and most people will eat them.  Most are now dehydrated so warm water and time is all you will need.  The bags of this type of food are light weight and easy to pack for traveling.

  • Other nice to have items

  • Honey- Honey is a miracle food really as it will never go bad if you keep it dry and cool.

  • Salt – Again, salt will never go bad if you keep it dry and helps the flavor of anything.

  • Vitamins – Always a good idea to pack away.  Vitamins will help to ensure that you are getting the nutritional you need.

All the items listed above can be obtained fairly cheaply and you local discount store and have a long shelve life.

Another recommendation is to mix it up.  Don’t buy 60 cans of green beans and peaches.  Too much of a good thing will make you sick!  Remember, variety is the spice of life.

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