There has been much hype recently regarding long term storage of food in case a catastrophic event disrupts the food supply. Grocery stores rely on a constant flow of incoming trucks to keep their shelves stocked. Emergency situations may lead to mass buying of food staples which can result in the depletion of their inventory within 3 days if the supply lines are cut (popularmechanics.com). Disaster Relief Supply, an online dealer of emergency preparedness and disaster recovery products, encourages having a minimum of a 7 day supply of emergency foods and water (1/2 gallon per person per day) for each member of the family.

The MRE meal kit includes everything to keep the body fed and hydrated. Most kits even include heaters to warm the food to normal eating temperatures. The shelf life of a MRI is rated for 2 years in extreme conditions (longer in normal or cool storage).

Dry foods (granola type food bars) are a step-up in shelf life lasting 3 to 5 years. This type of food is usually available in 1,200, 2,400 and 3,600 calorie packages. An added bonus for this food type is most selections are US Coast Guard approved and can be stored on a boat as well.

Freeze dried foods have the longest shelf life ranging from 7 to 25 years (depending on the packaging). Freeze dried foods are available as vegetarian pasta dishes to full meat entrees. Recently Wise Foods has introduced freeze dried fruits, vegetables, and deserts to round out their 25 year food supplies. These foods require the addition of hot or cold water (depending on the entrée) to rehydrate the food so a clean water source is necessary.

All food types can save lives during an emergency. Disaster Relief Supply suggests customizing a food supply to fit lifestyles, preferences, and budgets.

photo: Disaster Relief Supply

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  • Granola bars are great. I usually keep a stash in my backpack when traveling, for long travel days when food options are scarce.