"Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."
This proverb offers an important piece of advice, especially for today's uncertain times. As Glenn explains on his Thursday Fox News 5 p.m. broadcast, it's important for you and your family to always have hope for the future, but to be prepared to face life's uncertainties.
Are you prepared? Here's a useful guide from Glenn on what you can do:
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- No refrigeration, plan for emergency assuming no electricity.
- Be nutritious, there may be some more physical activity required (i.e. Blizzard requires more shoveling)
- Keep calorie count
- Recommend you start with 2-week supply of food
- Good no-cook food items
- Energy bars / breakfast bars
- Peanut butter
- Tuna packages
- Canned pasta
- Dried fruit / canned fruit
- Dry milk
- Instant coffee
- V-8 juice
- Plan around the way you already eat.
- Build around 3 categories of food
- Grocery store goods: often inexpensive, and it's all familiar stuff. (i.e. mac & cheese)
- Freeze dried foods: lightweight and don't take up much room; more expensive, but priced out per serving, it's budget-friendly.
- Bulk dry food: rice, beans, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, cornmeal, wheat, dried milk, etc.; it will be the backbone of your food storage and last up to 20-30 years.
- Don't stock up on it unless you know you like it.
- Look at ingredients. You don't want something high in sodium or preservatives.
- Pay attention to shelf life. Take a look at package, can. Soup doesn't need water and store this for a few years. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes - 1 year max.
- Easiest way to store is by using cleaned out 2-liter soda bottles. You can easily clean out with hot water, drop of soap. Rinse thoroughly. That type of plastic is safe for storage.
- Recommend 2-liter soda bottle per person, per day. For consumption and washing.
- If a situation where water is an issue, be sure to have stash of paper plates & freeze dried meals.
- If you can heat water, then at least you can enjoy a hot meal (i.e. mac & cheese, pasta, soup)
- 5 main enemies to storing food
- Temperature: ideal is 40 degrees - 72 degrees. For every 18 degrees above 72, food will lose it's nutritional value by half.
- Humidity: Store food off the floor and away from outside walls.
- Pests: Keep food in air-tight containers; clean up food particles on the shelves or floor.
- Oxygen: Use oxygen absorbers, rotate food, vacuum packing food to reduce oxidation.
- Light: Keep your pantry area dark. if food is in clear containers, keep them in labeled boxes with lids.
- Look for places where you can de-clutter (I have water bottles stored under my kids' beds)
- You can store food in bin under a bed, clear out space in closet and designate a shelf.
- I recommend pieces of furniture that can double as storage (i.e. bench that opens up with a storage component - especially good for small homes).
- Store in a place that you won't be dipping into constantly.
- Items like toilet paper can be bulky but can be stored in garage, attic, shed, etc. Moisture will affect it but temperature won't.
- Non-food items, purposefully 1-2 weeks supply.
- Go through entire day and jot down every non-food item used -- soap, shampoo, contact solution, etc. -- and buy extras of those.
- Keep easily organized in buckets (i.e. dental, laundry, etc.)
- Give serious consideration to how your family will cope when power is down -- communication, entertainment, pet care, keeping things cool in the home, etc.
Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation
Storage information: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/store.html
Drying information: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/dry.html
Canning information: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html