Survival Food Planning For The Whole Family
Many people question what kind of survival food planning should be stockpiled for survival and what will I need not only for myself but for my whole family?
It’s all about how to turn a shelf full of food into survival food. This post is for all those who want to start prepping but aren’t sure where to start. All prepping begins with a particular disaster in mind. You need to get yourself into thinking about survival in terms of a crisis in your area.
So let us look into what disaster planning and food rationing you and your family will need to get through a particular crisis.
Identifying And Rank Disasters
All survival food prepping should begin with details of a disaster in mind. If you haven’t yet given yourself to thinking about survival in terms of a crisis and the area you are living in, now is the time to start.
Disasters type dictate what you are going to need, how you prepare yourself and family, how you plan, whether you stay, whether you leave (bugging out), how you get out, whether you stick together and whether you split up.
However, let’s go back a step.
What is a disaster or a particular crisis? A disaster could be any event that cuts you off from the security of modern infrastructures such as electricity, or local supermarket in such a way that you’re well being might be affected and you are wishing for some of that survival food you did not think about.
That is an incredibly broad definition, but it’s one that serves us well as prepping survivalists.
This means that losing your job could be a disaster. If your government doesn’t provide assistance, without an income you are cut off from the chain of food supply and from the medical system.
The disasters become more and more serious from there on, all the way up to the incredibly unlikely……get ready for it…….. attack of zombie aliens.
Some disasters are natural, some man-made.
To know how to prep and how to plan, you have to make a list, whether physical or mental, of the disasters that could happen to you and your family.
Make note of how likely those disasters are and just how bad they would be. Also, note the most likely duration of each disaster you’ll plan to encounter.
Now make an ordered list of those disasters, prioritizing according to what’s the worst-case scenario and most likely to happen to what’s least critical and most unlikely.
Your Survival Food Planning Guide
One of the easiest ways to determine how much food to store is by counting calories. After all, they’re the way to track what energy our bodies can use from food.
Simply multiply the number of calories your family needs in a day to survive with the estimated length of a disaster.
But that isn’t quite enough. This way, you could be getting very high-calorie foods that are not filling at all. You will end up eating more than you need and running out too quickly.
You could also make the mistake of buying enormous vats of food made for industrial kitchens. Unable to use it fast enough, you’ll let the food spoil, leaving you with fewer calories than your family requires.
The key is to create a sample meal plan and to establish some ground rules.
If your aim is to store food for a whole year, you don’t have to create a meal plan for every single day of the year.
Think instead of meals for 15-20 days or so and write those down. If you already have some preps, use those to design your meal plan. Take a full day’s calorie count into account.
Once you have those 15-20 days planned, you will see exactly how much of your preps will go into actually making food for your family.
You will also see exactly how much your family is allowed to eat per day without risking running out of food prematurely.
This is where some ground rules come in. You are not allowed to eat more than you can support. That’s the basic rule, but it can be phrased differently.
If you stock up food, snacks, and sweets for more than what you expect to use, for example, your ground rules might be “only two snack foods per person per week.”
Food rationing evokes images of difficulty and war, but that doesn’t have to be the case when you’re properly prepared.
The first step towards feeding yourself and your family in an emergency is knowing your possible scenarios. Any security achieved through prepping without this step is essentially won by luck.
Disaster Preparedness With Survival Food Planning
Once you know what might and could happen, play that scenario out in your head, leaving nothing to chance.
Now that you have considered food shortage in great detail, let’s get down to business!
How can you keep your family fed in an emergency? Rely on these preps:
Know your emergencies
Again the first step toward survival food planning for yourself and your family in an emergency is knowing your possible scenarios. Any security achieved through prepping without this step is essentially won by luck.
By being aware of the types of disasters that could strike you, what they would mean for your food supply and their likelihood, you are able to prepare for them.
Ideally, you would only need to prepare for the longest and most difficult of the disasters that could plausibly strike your family, but few people can organize such extensive preps quickly.
Instead, be aware of even the smaller situations that could strike you and which ones are most likely. I am talking about common scenarios such as suddenly being without any income.
Start by preparing for those less life-threatening, but still food supply-endangering, situations, and then grow your supplies to cover greater disasters long-term.
That way, if something that is less serious but more likely happens before you achieve full zombie apocalypse readiness, you are prepared to handle the minor set-back.
Calculate your needs
Don’t prepare via hit or miss. Look seriously at the needs of all of your family members and take them into account.
If you don’t know how much each person eats on a daily basis, keep food diaries to calculate your caloric intake and how many meals you need daily to feel full.
These days it’s easy.
Use an online calorie calculator to check what you ought to be eating to maintain your current body based on your age, gender, weight and activity level. There are even apps with barcode scanners to easily track your meals and snacks.
As a sidebar, I lost a lot of weight using an app like those. It’s good to be in shape if you are needed to protect your family.
To ensure that you don’t consistently go over your planned intake, create a sample meal plan based on your preps.
Go one step further
If you really want to make sure that your family is going to be fed, go a little beyond your calculations.
Prepare for a few extra days. Prepare more snacks. Take the irregularities into account. People get hungry; a couple of food ideas might spoil. Life isn’t picture perfect so prepare to supplement your initial plan.
Store canned goods
Canned goods, whether store-bought or homemade, are an excellent way to ensure that your family can eat in an emergency.
Cans can be dented and glass jars can be broken, but overall, they are pretty durable. Canned foods won’t spoil from damp conditions, and they can be eaten cold if the need arises.
Store dried goods
Dried foodstuffs can often be a far more economical option than canned goods, and they are a great complement to store together.
In addition to your dried grains, from rice and potatoes to pasta and the many varieties of beans, don’t forget about the tastier dry foods that can be reconstituted.
A great variety of vegetables can be dried and then reconstituted for soups or stews. Dried mushrooms may add little in terms of calories, but just what you need in terms of flavor and minerals.
The same is true for many other dried goods, such as spices and seaweed.
Don’t forget all of those dry staple goods that you are used to having, from cornflour to baking powder.
Foreign staples you might not usually store can also come in handy. Chickpea flour, for example, can be turned into instant protein-rich hummus, a versatile dip or spread.
Store dry prepared foods
Dry foods that are ready to eat are not just the domain of those poorly prepared souls who scurry to the supermarket the moment a crisis is announced.
Many of them are, but there are some with a longer shelf-life that should definitely qualify as prepping food. Or, well, snacks.
You shouldn’t expect to get a large percentage of your calories from snacks, such as meal replacement bars, rice cakes or potato chips, but don’t underestimate the snacks!
They can give you quick energy when you feel too tired. They can raise your spirits. And yes, they can feed you and your family.
Store ready meals
What about ready meals? Some survivalists do all their prepping in the form of military rations. That’s fine, however, it might be too expensive an option for most.
Even if it would be far too expensive for you to prepare large quantities of ready meals, consider these in your survival food planning checklist. The variety will keep your family from developing food fatigue.
And they will last up to 25 years. By then it should just be you and your spouse left at home. (Maybe)
Not to mention that there may be times when you can’t cook, and in an emergency, there is no option to order delivery pizza or Chinese take-out.
How To Prepare Survival Foods
Grow your own
Growing your own food is the most secure way to feed your family. Not everyone will have space or ability to grow all of their own food, but even a little bit helps.
And raising chickens also falls into this category. If you have some extra room on your property, consider this option.
If you grow some portion of your own food, you will also be able to carry on feeding your family once your preps have all run out.
Try bartering for survival food
Sometimes all the prepping in the world isn’t enough. Something will run out. If you have prepared something to trade for either money or food, you’ll be better equipped for long-term survival. Not everyone is reading this food survival planning guide!
Prepare for alternative cooking methods
Unless you are prepping only ready meals and snacks, you must make sure not to make the largest food prep mistake in the books: not having a way to prepare your food.
Take into account how much time and fuel you will need or all this survival food planning will be a serious waste of time.
If you are storing dry beans, for example, remember that dry beans, even when left to soak in water overnight, take up to one hour of cooking.
If you are serving those beans with regular rice and some tomato sauce, you are looking at upwards of an hour and a half of fuel for one meal.
Write down a quick bullet list of likely events for those top scenarios.
This is an important step. This is what you will develop your plan from, and these are the eventualities you must be prepared for.
If your city would most likely be evacuated in a certain disaster, for example, build your plans appropriately around the evacuation.
If medical centers will be busy for months after some of the infrastructures come back, as is the case in many severe storms, then you need to plan for that.
Making an emergency plan
Sit down and decide what will be done in each emergency, working your way down a list of questions.
Will you stay at home? Will you leave? If you go, where will you go, and how will you get there? What will you need to prepare in order to evacuate? Where will you meet in order to leave? Where will you meet if you can’t leave together? If you are going to stay at home, what preps need to be made to facilitate that? At what point will you stop trying to stay? Will the children have to be sent elsewhere for safety?
Everyone who will be affected by these plans needs to be aware of them. Sit down and go over your plan with your family.
Making an emergency checklist
Some people are cool as a cucumber in a crisis. Others forget everything they ever learned about emergency management.
Make emergency checklists so that you’ll be prepared no matter what personality you have. These also help several people stay on the same page and work more efficiently.
Your list for bugging out and your list for bugging in are going to be different.
If bugging out, for example, you might hide valuables, turn off the utilities, collect your important papers, lock and bar doors and windows, set the rabbits loose and collect your 7-hour kits.
You will also want a more general plan checklist. This one is not to be used in an emergency, but rather on a regular basis to ensure that you are prepared for an emergency.
Such a list will include an inventory of how much water and food to store, what toiletries and first-aid you need, what communication supplies you’ll use and how many batteries to stockpile.
It will also list the necessary skills that you will have to keep up to date, like first aid and CPR.
Whatever strategies you choose and plan to go with, remember to plan redundancies!