Have you checked your cabinets recently? How much food is inside? Although these contents vary for everyone, only the barebones basics are typically present in this instance: a bag of rice, some flour, a tin of baking powder, a few cans of soup or vegetables, and spices. For everyday, on-the-go needs, this is normal – after all, planning too far ahead for food may make some items go bad – but have you ever considered what you would do if a disaster hit?

You’re not alone or unique in this scenario, as the average household typically has less than a week’s supply of food on hand. When the power goes out or a natural or personal disaster hits, the small amounts of these basic items aren’t sufficient, however. Isolation by snow, a flood, a hurricane, or an earthquake may mean help might not reach you for a few days. Although a freak happening, a natural disaster has the possibility of cutting you off from others – and shutting you off from resources many simply take for granted.

Preparation beforehand is absolutely necessary – even for those who don’t live in areas prone to disasters. Building up a survival food storage lets you be prepared for these instances, and should also be a lifestyle. Running out and buying a large supply of canned food preppers goods isn’t sufficient enough, however stocking up on emergency survival foods over time gives you a well-rounded selection, a fuller pantry, and a clearer plan.

Initiating your plan for emergency preparedness starts with the basics: grains, beans, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and seeds. Over time, the accumulation of these products in your pantry should result in a year’s supply. But, on the other hand, you shouldn’t survive alone on bread and milled grains after a disaster hits, and combining these standard items with dehydrated and freeze-dried food products results in a well-rounded diet.

Finding the right kit of emergency survival foods gets this step out of the way. Manufacturers like Alpine Aire, Provident Pantry, and Mountain House Foods put together such survival food kits, all of which contain #10 cans or pouches of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. Foods by Alpine Aire, in particular, retain 98-percent of their original nutritional content and are packaged in cans made from heavy-gauge steel with food-grade enamel coating inside.

Preparation with foods by Alpine Aire and other manufacturers varies. In general, all products will need water. Freeze-dried foods simply need to be mixed with a small amount to rehydrate in a few minutes, while some dehydrated items should sit overnight. Additionally, emergency survival foods by Alpine Aire come as prepared meals or as individual ingredients. For the latter, rehydrated grains, proteins, and vegetables just need to be heated to form a meal. On average, following the instructions with kits by Alpine Aire and other manufacturers yields a diet of 1000 to 1800 calories per day.

Another factor to consider for long-term food storage is the lifespan of all items. Individual basics, such as grains and dehydrated milk, may not last as long as foods packaged in prepared kits by Alpine Aire. Freeze-dried foods in cans may last as long as 30 years, while dehydrated items five to 10 years. But other factors need to be considered, such as the quality of the food and its exposure to heat and light.

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