Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Month One Preps, Part Four: Three Month Supply of Food

In my last few posts I have tried to illustrate what I've accomplished during my first month of prepping. It doesn't feel like I've done very much because I see all of the shortcomings of my plans and I know how far I have yet to go. Plus there's the whole issue of my desire to spend money on preparedness vs. Hubby Dear's gazelle-intensity to pay off his vehicle. I'll wear him down yet, LOL!

The last item I have to discuss from my month one preps list is a three month supply of food. Basically, this is normal, everyday food, not designed for long-term storage. What do you eat regularly? You should store three months' worth of that food.

Some people include frozen foods in their three month supply. I'm kind of ambivalent about that. If I'm storing food for a minor emergency - job loss, quarantine, etc. - that is fine. But if the power goes out, a three months' supply of fresh or frozen food will quickly spoil.

In addition to food, it is recommended that you store up at least three months of non-food supplies. These are items like toilet paper, diapers and cleaning supplies. I have decided to go above and beyond these recommendations and build a year's supply of non-food items. The only exception to this is diapers. With two children in diapers, a year's supply would be HUGE. I could definitely get better about storing diapers and formula, though.

The best explanation of how to store three months of food is from the ladies at Food Storage Made Easy. You can read about it here. They have a wonderful Excel spreadsheet that helps you calculate just how much you need of any one item. It is also available as a print-out if you do not have Excel.

Another helpful resource is this Three Month Supply List from

Obviously I'm not going to be able to build up an entire three month's supply in one fell swoop. I am buying a few extra items each time I go to the store, however, and they will build up. I'm having a kind of hard time with this. We do not eat a lot of canned food besides beans and tomato products. My children are so used to eating only fresh or frozen vegetables that they refuse to eat canned veggies of any kind - even home canned green beans. It's taking some extra thought on my part to plan three months of shelf-stable meals we'll all enjoy.

And then there is the problem of where to store it all. But I'll tackle that in a future month.

Month One Summary:

1. Get Hubby Dear to back-up the computer
Status - Still need to do this.
2. Create emergency kits for both vehicles
Status - Hubby Dear's vehicle is complete. I need to figure out how to fit it
all in my van.
3. Make Bug Out Bags for our family
Status - Complete
4. Buy a large box of N-95 Masks
Status - Complete
5. Buy a crank flashlight/cell phone charger
Status - Complete
6. Create Emergency Binder and Preparedness Binder
Status - Complete, though I continue to find and print off useful articles for
my preparedness binder
7. Stock up on 3 Month Food Supply items
Status - In progress
8. Start saving cash and add to Bug Out Bags
Status - In progress. I've got a measely total of $34 at the moment and will
continue to add to it each month.

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