5 Important Questions Answered About Food Storage
For Emergency Preparedness

When the world was hit with the COVID-19 crisis, panic buying at grocery stores highlighted how unprepared Americans are when it comes to having an emergency supply of food.

In fact, a national polling commissioned by DisasterChecklist.org shed some light on America’s lack of preparedness. Out of those polled, 78% said they didn’t have enough water and/or food at the start of quarantine to adequately meet their needs. Among 18 to 34-year-olds, it was even higher at 88%! That’s a whole lot of uncertainty.

We’re here to make home safety easy for you. So now that we’re entering tornado, flood, and hurricane season, let’s take some time to put together your emergency food supply. First, let’s get to the crux of why you need emergency food in the first place.

1. Why Should I Stock Up On Food? 

These are our top three reasons out of many:

Insurance in Case You Can’t Get to a Store in Time

The idea of long term food storage can seem so drastic when we have a fully stocked grocery store right around the corner. However, when disasters are on the horizon, supermarket shelves are overrun and end up empty in a matter of hours. Food storage is one the best insurance policies you will ever buy. And best of all, unlike other insurance policies, you can still use it even if you don’t ever really need it. Disaster or not, our bodies will always need to be nourished.

Because Even Grocery Stores Can’t Get Their Supplies

Depending on the severity of the disaster, there may be disruptions in the supply chain and grocery stores may not be replenished as quickly. As a result, you will have to rely on whatever food you have at home to survive sometimes for days, but in other cases, it may be weeks or even months.

Peace of mind

Having an emergency supply of food will alleviate stress during an already difficult time. Imagine the comfort and security your family will feel knowing that, no matter what else might be happening, at least you will be able to keep yourselves full and happy.

2. How much food should I store? 

According to FEMA and the American Red Cross, you should store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. While this is a good start, remember, this is the absolute minimum. With food storage, more is always better.

You can increase your family’s safety and well-being during a crisis by going beyond three days and moving to one week, two weeks, or even a whole month. How? Start simple and small and build up. When you go grocery shopping, buy a little extra of anything that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Little by little, it will add up over time and won’t feel like a daunting task or costly chunk of change.

3. Where should I store my food?

Before you start buying food, you need to consider where you will put it. This will have a big effect on how much you’re actually able to store. If you have a small apartment with little storage space, you’re going to have to get creative. If you live in a bigger house then this might not be an issue for you. 

What to look for:

  • Cool location with minimal changes in temperature (between 40 and 60 degrees) 
  • Dark room away from direct sunlight
  • Dry place away from moisture, and standing or dripping water 
  • Good ventilation 

What to avoid: 

  • Never store food in any container that's been used for non-food items and avoid storing food next to any chemical compounds like gasoline, chlorine, or paint.
  • Avoid attics, outside sheds, laundry rooms, and bathrooms due to moisture, humidity, and changes in temperature.

4. So what are freeze dried foods? 

Freeze-dried foods are made by freezing the food and then putting it in a vacuum that eliminates the moisture. This is what makes them stand out from other emergency foods on the market:

Nutritional value

Freeze-dried foods are made by freezing the food and then putting it in a vacuum that eliminates the moisture. This is what makes them stand out from other emergency foods on the market:

Shelf life

Invest once and you won’t have to think about your emergency food storage for a while. Refrigerated, frozen, and canned food just don’t last as long as freeze dried alternatives. Depending on the brand, freeze dried food can last over 20 years (sometimes up to 25 years) and does not need to be rotated like other foods, making it perfect for emergency home storage.

Versatility

There’s an old saying: “Store what you eat and eat what you store.” That might seem a little vague, but it is the one rule you need to keep in mind when you start buying extra food. The last thing you want during disasters is to eat food that you have never had before.

Plus, let’s face it, those emergency food bars are not that tasty. You might be thinking, “If we’re hungry, we’ll eat anything, so who cares?” While this is true on a level, you still want to focus on foods that everyone in your family will enjoy. Plus, having good food will help boost morale during those tough situations.

The magic of freeze dried foods is that it works great for almost all of our regular go tos including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, ice cream, and even fully-cooked meals! Plus, you can even build your emergency food storage plan based on your dietary needs. For example, check out this gluten free bundle!

Gluten Free Food Kit 

Ease of preparation 

Freeze-dried food is already cooked, so all you need to do is rehydrate and heat it. How? Open the pouch or container, remove the oxygen absorber, add water, heat for 10-15 minutes, and ENJOY! 

5. Can I get an emergency food kit that’s ready to go?

Definitely! Now that you know the ins and outs about freeze dried food, you’re ready to stock up on your supply. Check out these options!

Want to assemble your own emergency food stockpile?

Check out the harbor app for our full list of grocery items you need.

No matter what: don’t worry, be ready.