The title I picked up while watching an intriguing docu-drama on the History Channel called “After Armageddon.” A good show illustrating what a global pandemic might look like and the challenges of life in the years after the event. I am not one for these doom and gloom movies but this show had a panel of contributors which made it all the more interesting.
The term “9 Meals To Anarchy” was used by survival instructor Kevin Reeve (don’t know the man but I liked the expression) when referring to how most people in the U.S. only have a 3-day supply of food on hand at home. During a disaster, after the grocery stores empty and your 3-day supply of grub is gone, then things fall are gonna get ugly for the unprepared.
Brings up the point of how much food to have on hand in your house? It all depends on YOUR living arrangements- are you in a house, apartment, dorm (with roommates), cabin, senior living center, etc…. I tell people in my urban survival classes to strive for 30 days if possible (again space dependent) at the minimum and then build up from there. I have some friends who live in a small town with a population of 200 who keep a 6 month supply on hand while others I know have 2 years. Adjust for your lifestyle, space, and budget but at least go beyond this often-touted three-day supply of food that is bandied about.
What kind of food, you say? There are three main areas to gather up:
1. Canned Goods (especially veges like corn, green beans, etc…)
2. Dehydrated or Freeze-dried (jerky or backpacking-style meals from Mountain Home)
3. Dry Goods like rice, beans, lentils, oats, millet, quinoa and so on.
We have a blend of all three at home and the above is identical to what we eat on a regular basis. Don’t just buy a 60-day supply of MREs. Your body is already going to be stressed to the max during an urban crisis and will need some decent, comforting foods so stock up on chow you normally consume. Plus MREs, to me, have a serious Gag factor!
Lastly, don’t forget to look at how you are going to cook your meals when the grid is down for a week. That’s the nice thing about the dehydrated and freeze dried foods is that they can be quickly rehydrated with a few cups of boiling water. The rest of the food can be heated on a campstove or campfire.
Buy a few extra cans, grains and supplies each time you shop and you will be on your way to increasing your food supplies and avoiding the “9 Meals” predicament. Your belly (and family will thank you). Oh, and don’t forget about your four-legged friends and their food requirements.