Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Self Sustainability and Disaster Preparedness with Food

Food is important!!!  There are tons of views on food preparedness everything from I have years worth of canned and dry food to I am just going to hunt for everything and finally I am not going to do anything.  Where you fall on the spectrum is up to you but I have decided that I am in the middle on the issue. 

I have a couple of big issues in regards to self sustainability and preparedness in regards to food.  One is that I know absolutely nothing about gardening, dehydrating, canning, and very little about hunting!!!  Second is that as a military member if I have a year worth of back-up food I have to move that to my next location and that much food is heavy, also will eat into my weight allowance quickly.  I do not have the room the room to garden on a large scale and living in D.C. makes it very difficult to hunt, even if I got a Virginia hunting license I could not keep a gun in D.C. without extensive registration requirements.  This was enough to discourage me initially but finally I came up with a plan.     

The Plan
The first thing I had to realize was that in my situation it had to be a long term plan.  I also had to divide the plan into small pieces because the amount of information out there is amazing.  I will admit I am a research-aholic and almost to the point that I afraid to do anything because I do not fully understand something.  So where did we start????

First Piece
The first piece was to start collecting foods to get to the initial goal of 72 hours.  It was while we were deciding what to buy first we read something to the gist of the average house is three days away from going hungry (notice not starving) and we initially thought that cannot be write but after looking at the food on hand we realized that very well could be true because we stop at the commissary a couple of times a week. 

There is more and more information available every day for preparedness food.  START SIMPLE!!!  You do not need to run out and buy the expensive dehydrated foods that will last for the rest of your lives.  This is how we did it and it works for us but you need to find out what works for you.

We built buffer of 3 days food for our family.  We took our normal shopping list and added an extra day worth of food with each paycheck, which means it took us 6 weeks to get the 72 hours extra food.  This way it does hurt the wallet so much.   I believe this is a great approach because it keeps your food rotating in and out. 

Once we had a surplus of three days worth of food, we started to pick up foods that will last longer term things like dried beans and rice.  Once we get settled in Texas we are going to buy a chest freezer so that we can start stocking more meat and I will hunt more aggressively to start stockpiling that meat as well. 

Second Piece
We realized that we need to learn long term storage techniques.  So we bought a dehydrator and we are learning to dehydrate food.  Mostly jerky so far but some fruits and vegetables as well.  We plan to learn how to can food once it warms up and our garden starts to produce.

Third Piece
We decided that our third piece of the puzzle would be for me to learn to hunt better and for me to spend more time hunting in general next fall.  Also we decided that my wife needs to learn to hunt as well because if something happens to me she needs to be capable of stepping up for our girls.  We will move to Texas in August and at that point I will start working with her on hunting and hunter safety.  The good thing when it comes to hunters is they are rarely shy when it comes to teaching people to hunt.  My father-in-law, who was a professional hunting guide for 10 years, has agreed to help me refine my skills and fill in the gaps teaching my wife.  Another benefit of teaching her to hunt is that it doubles the amount of meat we can put in the freezer.          

Fourth Piece
The fourth piece is learning to garden.  I will cover the fourth piece in detail on my next blog since this was gone on so long. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and please ask any questions!!!!   Please feel free to leave feedback.  Thank you for reading my blog!!!


  1. Welcome to Texas. Oh I know you are not here yet but that is ok. We have just recently moved from NC to the Texas panhandle and are loving it. Can't wait to read about your journey.