No matter where you live on earth, there is some kind of catastrophic event headed your way. It may not come next week, or even this year, but eventually it’s coming. Some areas have more than others, there are places where hurricanes happen several times a year and the same for tornadoes, then there are the giant earthquakes predicted for the West Coast in the future. Suffice to say, it doesn’t hurt to be ready for whatever could happen and then if it doesn’t, you’re really not out that much money. For food, lots of people like the Meals Ready to Eat that the US military uses, but they can be expensive to keep on hand and they do expire, so you have to keep buying new ones and eating the old ones. Really, there are a bunch of nonperishable foods that last almost forever, and cost very little to buy. Here are some of the best, most filling, and how to store them.
Dried Beans Are Filling, Cheap, And Easy To Store
There are actually hundreds of different kinds of beans and related legumes that can sit on a cupboard shelf in an opened package and still be edible years later. However, for your emergency stockpile of foods, you’ll want to store them in sealed containers like glass jars with tight lids. Sealed in plastic vacuum pouches is another great way as well, those vacuum sealers are available on the internet for a good price.
When stored correctly, dried beans can last almost indefinitely in a cool dark place. It’s better that you rotate them out and eat them, replacing with new stock at least yearly. Beans are high in fiber, protein, carbohydrates and are very filling, plus, they are one of the least expensive foods you can buy.
Other dried goods, such as rice, peas, carrots, oatmeal, and pastas, also have incredibly long storage times, especially if you keep them in sealed glass jars. They just need to be re-hydrated and they are ready to eat. Keep a couple of sauce pans in plastic bags near your emergency foods, plus a little butane camp stove.
Cereals Like Cornflakes, Wheaties, Rice Puffs
These can last up to 10 years, again they should be kept in a tightly sealed container. The cereals that tend to last the longest are the basics that don’t have a lot of sugar, molasses, fruits or other additives. Keep them dry and sealed up and they are good for a very long time.
In order to eat your cereal, you should also stockpile some dried pasteurized milk which will last for up to 10 years if kept sealed and dry.
Peanut Butter and Other Vacuum Sealed Products
Peanut butter lasts for years on the shelf even after it’s been opened, but for your emergency foods, get a new unopened jar and it will stay fresh for up to 10 years. It’s another one of those items that you should just keep extra unopened jars on hand and keep replacing until disaster strikes, that way it’s always fresh.
Other canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and juices have a lifetime of up to 10 years as well. They should be the vacuum sealed cans that don’t need any refrigeration. Some stores have annual canned food sales where you can get great discounts and that’s a good time to buy.
There are complete checklists of emergency foods, lighting, clothing, blankets, batteries, and hundreds of other needed items you should have on hand. Some are more important in some disasters than others and you’ll have to decide what the most common disasters in your area are so that you are ready when they hit.