Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Survival and Preparedness Plan {Food Storage}...

39 degrees - 9:01 pm - raining...

Now is the time for deliberate, rational thought and planning for becoming more self-sufficient by creating a survival and preparedness plan.  This is particularly important in today’s world where we are so dependent upon others for food and much less self-sufficient than we used to be.  This is obviously a smart thing to do, considering the importance of food and the consequences that come from the lack of it. 

True preparedness is all about balance.  Having 500 cans of freeze-dried meals but no extra stored water, for example, is a recipe for disaster since the food requires water for preparation and not everyone has a 100% reliable water source.  Firearms and ammo are also part of a well thought out survival and preparedness plan but shouldn’t take the top spot. 

Food storage is one of the first things that people begin to consider when starting their survival and preparedness plans, however, a lot of people being to get overwhelmed when thinking about how to get started and what to do first.  They have no game plan and only see it as a mountain of a project.  But it really is a simple thing to do, when you take it one step at a time.

First of all, start with the basic food that you eat on a daily basis.  These would be canned goods, basic staples (sugar, flour, cereal, etc.), bottled water and other things you keep stocked in the pantry.  Every time you go to the grocery store to purchase something you’ll be using that week, buy two or more instead of just one of that item (remember, we’re talking about pantry goods, not things that need kept in the refrigerator).  By doing this, you will slowly begin to increase the food you have and use; you want to aim for a three-month supply of food.  You must also remember to put the new cans in the back and use the older cans first.  This will ensure you are always rotating your food and minimize waste.

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Here is a quick list of the top foods to stock up on...

Water --- You can never have enough water!

Wheat --- Once ground, it’s the building block for varieties of bread, tortillas, flat bread, pizza crust and more. 

Rice --- On its’ own, it’s a side dish.  Mixed with herbs and a vegetable or two, it’s a simple main dish.  It’s a great meal-stretcher when topped with, or served alongside, main dishes such as a stir fry.  {Note:  brown rice contains oils which will become rancid after six months or so.}

Dried Milk --- Without electricity, fresh milk will go bad in hours.  In an emergency situation, fresh milk will be difficult to come by unless you own a cow or a goat.  Dried milk provides not only milk to drink, but milk to use as an ingredient in other dishes.

Salt --- Stock up on table salt at your local Costco.  It’s inexpensive and has multiple uses.

Beans --- Buy canned beans and dry beans in different varieties.  They are versatile, economical and a good source of fiber.

Tomatoes --- Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato puree, etc.  Watch for them on sale and then grab a few dozen cans.  They’re the basis for salsas, soups, stews, and sauces.

Other Canned Veggies and Fruits --- These will help provide important nutrients, variety to your recipes, and have a very long shelf life.  If you can’t stomach canned veggies, try dehydrating your own or purchasing freeze-dried.

Peanut Butter --- High in protein, whether it’s by the spoonful or on a piece of bread.

Oil --- Without oil, you’re pretty much stuck with boiling your meat and veggies, unless of course you want to cook your food on a spit over an open fire.

Dried Pasta --- Another meal stretcher and a kid-pleasing dish any day of the week.

Sugar (white) and Honey --- I’ve known women who were ready to kill when deprived of sugar for too long (me included)!

Water --- Whether you buy bottled water or try canning your own water, this is a must for any kind of survival situation.

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Here is a more indepth (but still a barebones) list for food storage...
 
There are categories along with the weight in food you need. Under each category are the basics this weight should be distributed into. It is up to you how you distribute it. In the space provided before each item write the amount in pounds you have of each item.  {Note: This is for one averave adult male. For an average adult woman multiply the amounts by 0.75. For children ages 1-3 multiply it by 0.3. For children 4-6 multiply it by 0.5. For Children 7-9 multiply it by 0.75.} 
 
Grains—400 lbs
___ Barley ___ Multigrain ___ Sprouting Seeds
___ Cereal ___ Oats, Rolled Quick ___ Wheat
___ Cornmeal ___ Oats, Rolled Regular ___White Rice
___ Flour ___ Popcorn ___ Pasta Noodles

Milk/Dairy—75 lbs
___ Canned Milk ___ Condensed Milk ___ Powdered Milk
___ Dried Eggs ___ Canned Sour Cream ___ Powdered Sour Cream
___ Dried Cheese ___ Cheese Spreads ___ Powdered Cheese
___ Infant Formula (If Applicable)

Juices/Beverages—25 lbs
___ Apple Juice ___ Cranberry Juice ___ Grape Juice
___ Baby Stained Juice ___ Dried Juice Mix ___ Tomato Juice
___ Cocoa Drink Mix ___ Kool Aid

Fats/Oils—20 lbs
___ Canned Butter ___ Mayonnaise ___ Powdered Butter
___ Cooking Oil ___ Olive Oil ___ Salad Dressing
___ Margarine ___ Peanut Butter ___ Shortening

Meats (Canned, Dehydrated or Freeze Dried)—20 lbs
___ Beef ___ Beef Jerkey ___ Fish (tuna, crab, shrimp)
___ Ham ___ Pork ___ Chicken
___ Pepperoni

Fruits and Veggies—90 lbs Dried, 370 qts Canned
___ Apple Chips ___ Pineapple ___ Carrots
___ Applesauce ___ Raisins ___ Onions
___ Appricots ___ Tomatoes ___ Mushrooms
___ Peaches ___ Celery ___ Peppers
___ Berries ___ Potatoes ___ Pickles
___ Fruit Cocktail ___ Corn ___ Asparagus
___ Olives ___ Peas ___ Yams
___ Pears ___ Spinach

Beans & Legumes—90 lbs
___ Pinto ___ White ___ Nuts
___ Pink ___ Kidney ___ Sprouting Seeds

Sugars—60 lbs
___ Corn Syrup ___ Syrup ___ White Sugar
___ Honey ___ Brown Sugar ___ Powdered Sugar

Auxiliary Foods—As Needed
___ Baking Powder ___ Crackers ___ Pancake Mix
___ Baking Soda ___ Cream of Tartar ___ Pectin
___ Cake Mixes ___ Roll/Bread Mixes ___ Pie Fillings
___ Vitamins ___ Instant Breakfast ___ Gelatin
___ Cookies ___ Instant Yeast ___ Salt
___ Cornstarch ___ Muffin Mixes ___ Survival Bars

Spices & Condiments—As Needed
(any spices and condiments you regulary use)

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Being prepared is all about doing the best that you can, where you are, and with what you have!  Preparedness is more a way of life and a perspective than a purchase or an event.  Even long time survivalists are constantly tweaking and looking for ways to improve... something!!

Here are a few pictures of some food storage pantries...





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