The following article has been generously contributed by Kent Arnspiger of Off the Grid Ready.
Most grocery stores have approximately three days worth of food on their shelves; and as experience has shown, when a known emergency event is coming, these shelves will be depleted rapidly within a matter of minutes. So, to prepare and secure your families survival a food storage plan should be part of your overall emergency preparedness planning. Living in an urban area presents unique challenges to preparing for these events; one of these is growing your own food for food storage in the event of a long term emergency.
Growing your own food takes several components to be successful including using heirloom seeds, having plenty of fertile land, large amounts of clean water, the knowledge and the time to grow the foods. You also have to control pests and diseases that can wipe out your crops, plus your growing season needs to be right in order to have success. Some advantages to growing your own food include: itâ€™s typically healthier, taste better, fresher, offers a wide variety, great source of natural nutrients and can be fun and rewarding. However, the shelf life of fresh food is measured in days, unless proper storing and preservation methods are used. Even then the shelf life is relatively short and requires knowledge, the right materials and time to successfully complete.
A major concern of having a garden in your yard in a long term survival event is that it can make you a target to thieves as itâ€™s hard to hide fresh growing plants, especially in an urban area. This could be similar to placing a sign outside your house saying â€œwe are prepared, come take our stuffâ€. People, who would rather take from others, than to prepare for themselves, will look for these types of signs as easy victims for their own selfish needs. So what should we do?
Growing your own food can be accomplished on a smaller scale by growing plants inside your dwelling in planters and pots. This will not provide enough food in itself, but will provide variety and fresh nutrients in your diet. Unfortunately, this will also limit what you can successfully grow; for example corn, grains and other sun loving plants will not do well inside. But, herbs, lettuces, and other delicates should do well.
With this in mind, we recommend a large portion of your food storage supplies come from prepared long term food storage products. The range of prepared foods should included grocery supplies of canned vegetables, fruits, meats, fish and meals. Dried foods such as noodles, rice, legumes, seasonings, spices and dried herbs should be well accounted for and acquired as well. All of these items can be purchased in small quantities as part of your regular trips to your local grocery store and should be well stored and rotated as part of your regular meal preparations.
Another source of prepared meals is freeze dried and dehydrated foods from manufactures that specialize in long term food storage. These manufacturers typically offer a wide variety of meals including breakfast and other entrÃ©e meals that are better tasting than what you would finds years ago and provide well balanced nutrients. I personally prefer the smaller packages of complete meals as they are easy to prepare and reduce the amount of waste from preparing too large of a quantity when refrigeration is not available. These meals are easy to prepare using hot water, can be ready in minutes, are typically easy to store, are very light and have an extended shelf life of as much as twenty-five years. Plus they are a quick way to get started as they can be purchased in small quantities and will rapidly start to increase your food stores. They do require space to store and should be rotated and used first in, first out as with other food products to account for their expiration. However, the advantages of prepared food storage far outweigh the negatives and should be a major portion for effective long term urban survival.
Many urban dwelling individuals can help prepare and secure their family by adopting a balanced food storage plan of small growing operations, adequate grocery items and by acquiring prepared food for storage that includes freeze dried and dehydrated foods. All of these items can be purchased in smaller quantities on a regular basis to rapidly build your food stores. One other item to start acquiring is water filtration systems and water storage items, but this will have to be another message at another time.
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Off The Grid Ready (http://www.otgready.com) is your premier source for Emergency Preparedness, Survival Packs and Survival Kits you’ll need when emergencies occur and we go off the grid. We also carry Emergency Kits, Disaster Preparedness, Food for Storage, Water Filtration, Water Purification and Camping Equipment to help prepare you and your family for most disasters you will face