Regardless of whether you would view yourself as a "survivalist" or not, the fact that storing some back-up supply of emergency water and food is a sensible concept seems to be fairly clear. You might not be very concerned about an imminent apocalyptic scenario, but the probability of bad weather producing a shortfall of available food is very genuine. In fact, there are any number of alternative circumstances which might cause this.
At the very least, you should maintain sufficient food and water to hand in your home for three days. In a perfect world this should be of a type which can be eaten when there is no power available for cooking - unless you have some option of preparing food when the power is out that is. In addition to requiring no power to prepare, it should also need no power to preserve the food - i.e. it should require no freezing or refrigeration, neither of which will be attainable in the event of power outages.
A large amount of the food items that you will need for an emergency rations will very likely already be available in your kitchen or pantry. Tinned meat and fruit are excellent options. Peanut butter is a good, energy packed, nutrient source. Nuts and cereals are also excellent items for inclusion. You should gather these and stock them somewhere safe for when a calamity strikes. Plan to have an adequate amount of food and drink for at the very least three days for all members of your family. If at all possible, you should keep your emergency food items in a suitable storage container which is both airtight and watertight. You really should also incorporate a manually operated can opener in your emergency gear. You can, if you want, get pre-prepared emergency food kits which come provided in a sealed canister. These can often possess an extremely extended shelf life, which is ideal for what you need.
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There are many varied circumstances which may trigger a shortage of food. Terrorism is a continuous anxiety for lots of people, but adverse weather is a more prosaic, yet just as devastating possibility. It seems to be that "freak" weather events are becoming ever more the norm than ever before.
Part of the problem is that, as well as leading to food shortfalls as a result of panic buying, extreme weather events will often make it a lot more challenging to replenish even after the crisis has passed. Transport networks may be operating at much lowered functional levels.
There may well also be power supply failures, something which could be particularly troublesome in cold weather conditions. The overall effect is to magnify and extend the timescale of any crisis.
If you are the kind of individual who worries about unexpected emergency events - power blackouts, communication failures, transportation network issues, bad weather - that kind of stuff, then you ought to take some measures to set your mind at rest. There might not be a lot that you might do to avoid such calamities happening, but you can undoubtedly render it much easier to get through them should they occur. Getting a disaster preparedness kit together is a lot easier than you imagine, and it will really help you a great deal if a disaster does occur - and it will provide you comfort even if no emergency situation transpires. A few long shelf life food and water items, a few medical supplies, emergency communications gadgets and a few simple tools are all that is required. You most likely have a bunch of the items already. It may be no more than a matter of collecting them and stashing them in a secure and safe manner.
Your emergency food rations should include a hand operated tin opener to allow you access to canned goods. If you have youngsters, it would definitely be sensible to include some candy and chocolate. Youngsters can get fractious when not given their usual freedom, a few treats may perhaps make things easier for all the family - and sweets can be a fast source of energy for all members of the family if required.
Try to avoid very salty items as these will make you raise your required rate of water intake. In terms of consumption, a large adult male will require round about 2,800 calories daily. An adult female will need approximately 2,000 calories daily and kids will be in need of between 1,500 and 2,000 calories daily depending upon their age. It may be worthwhile to allow a slightly greater calorific intake to compensate for potentially higher rates of physical exertion due to the emergency event. In the event of cold weather, extra calories will assist individuals to maintain more body heat.
Extreme weather conditions can give rise to power interruptions and disrupt transport system effectiveness considerably. We do often get a little more forewarning these days, which is great, but it can frequently lead to panic buying of food and other materials in advance of a forecast extreme weather event. Often, by the time an event transpires, the provisions purchased will already have been eaten and many people will be back to their "pre-warning" level of food supplies.
It makes a lot of sense for family groups to always keep their own unexpected emergency food reserves in readiness for an emergency situation. Sufficient food and drinking water for all member of the family for a minimum duration of three days, and possibly longer, is a sensible level for most people - and one which doesn't take a large amount of time and effort.