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Friday, June 25, 2010

Survival Foods - 3 Options You Have to Prepare For Emergency

In times of distress, natural disaster or even terrorist attacks, survival foods are one of the most important things to have on hand.

Having enough food to eat will help you and your family survive most emergency situations. Survival foods can also help you in case of a job loss or in the case of an illness or pandemic where you don't want to leave your home.

Most people today are taking steps to make sure they have a supply of survival foods on hand. What are your options? Here are 3 different types of survival food to consider with advantages and disadvantages of each:

#1 Can or Preserve your Own Food

If you are the Martha Stewart type, have hours of free time, or have nothing better to do on the weekend, then canning or preserving your own food might be for you.

The advantage to this option is that you can choose what kinds of foods to have on hand and preferably choose something you'd actually enjoy eating. You might also save a bit of money doing it this way as well.

The disadvantage is of course time. If you're like most people, you don't have much free time after work and the thought of preserving food all weekend doesn't excite you.

Plus you have to be aware of the shelf life of this food - probably around 1 - 2 years at best. So you'll have to make sure you eat your preserved food and add in some more newer foods as time goes by.

#2 Dehydrated Foods

You can dehydrate your own foods with a food dehydrator. This option gives you a little more variety and again, you get to choose foods that you like to eat.

Many of the higher end food dehydrators have timers so you can "set and forget", which make things a little easier. I consider dehydrated foods more of a short term food storage item, as you should (according to some sources) consume them within 1 year of making them.

Experts also recommend that any dehydrated meats be placed in a freezer to help them from spoiling.

You may also need to place your newly dehydrated foods in the freezer right after dehydration for a few days to help reduce the possibility of insect contamination.

Again the two issues you may have with dehydrating food is preparation time - which can be long, and shelf life - which can be quite short.

#3 Freeze Dried Foods

You can also buy prepackaged freeze dried food that is easy to stack and store.

Freeze dried meals that are easy to prepare are one of your best options for survival foods. Most meals only require you to add water - which in an emergency situation might be all you have.

Plus in a true emergency if you have young children, the simpler the meal is to make, the better. You can ask them to help (this will also keep them distracted from the problems outside).

And contrary to how the name sounds freeze dried foods can taste remarkably good. Some companies have made their freeze dried foods almost to gourmet levels.

For example you can get Chicken a la King, Italian wedding soup with meatballs, vegetable stew with beef, and even blueberry pancakes.

Plus unlike the two options above, some freeze dried survival foods have a shelf life of 25+ years (depending on storage temperature). So as a long term food storage option they fit the bill.

Basically all you do is store them in a cool dry spot, and inspect them on a regular basis.

So those are 3 options for having survival foods on hand in case of emergency. No matter how you choose to prepare yourself, it's important that you do take some steps to have food on hand should you be stranded in your home and/or unable to find food.

Being properly prepared can mean the difference between barely surviving and thriving should the worst happen.

Want more options? See Survival Foods for more suggestions and tips on emergency preparedness.

Or visit Food Insurance for freeze dried foods with a 25 year shelf life.

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