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Food for Survival and Emergencies


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How much food do you need to survive? How much food should you have on hand for emergencies? What kind of food?

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Food for Survival and Emergencies

  1. 1. Food We can perhaps survive three weeks without food. But it isn’t good to try.
  2. 2. Food A person can go several weeks without food. That, however, is stretching it. I’ve gone eight days without any food; interestingly I stopped feeling hungry after a few days. However, the ability to function begins to degrade. When our output exceeds our caloric intake these are the symptoms: -physical weakness -confusion, poor judgment, and disorientation -weakened immune system -inability to maintain body temperature which can lead to hypothermia, heat exhaustion/stroke
  3. 3. Food The Coast Guard has determined that with fresh water people can survive in a life raft 8 to 18 days without any food. The Coast Guard also believes you need a bare minimum of 800 calories a day for survival; but that’s sitting in a life raft, not being very active and just focused on pure survival. Note that number when I discuss emergency ration bars further on.
  4. 4. Food Bottom line: have a minimum 3 day supply of non-perishable food for each member of your household. The same in your Grab-n-Go bag.
  5. 5. Food Checklist
  6. 6. Non-perishables for three days minimum. Food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Don’t have food that will make you thirsty. Plan for infants and special dietary requirements. Note expiration dates. Click on image for a good supply from the company that made our Long Range Patrol meals in Special Forces. It’s what we have on hand and in our grab-n-go bags. Also good for camping. FOOD
  7. 7. I recommend investing in some emergency ration bars. They are a bit expensive, but you won’t mind the outlay when you need them. The ones I list all are 3600 calories, which in a survival situation equals 800 calories a day for three days. They contain a mixture of salt, carbohydrates, fat, protein and are usually enriched with daily requirements of minerals and vitamins. Some reasons to have these: 1. They have a five year shelf life, so you can store them. 2. They’re compact (but heavy) 3. They’re ready to eat (no cooking) 4. They can withstand wide temperature swings, which helps with storage. 5. They don’t make you thirsty. FOOD
  8. 8. I have ration bars in my vehicles, my Grab-n-Go bag, and in my ERP. I recommend storing some at work. Even just one packet in each place makes a big difference; and it’s less than two cups of extra-whatever-latte-frappe you order at Starbucks. Some things to consider: -Put them inside a large ziplock bag, because once you open the packet, the bars aren’t individually sealed. -They are emergency rations, not to be used if other rations are available. -They are designed for survival not activity. -They’re heavy so many don’t put them in Grab- n-Go bags, but I think the weight is worth it. FOOD
  9. 9. I have a variety of ration bars (click on each for link): ER Bar Grizzly Bear Emergency Food Rations DaTrex 3600 Below are some before going into a ziplock bag and into my Jeep. FOOD
  10. 10. FOODSomething to consider if you have time to prepare is trail mix, or what we called GORP in Special Forces. We were among the first to start putting M&M into regular mix. There are a number of varieties, but it's quick energy. However, the shelf life is limited. There are many variations. Having high protein bars is a quick source of energy and doesn’t require cooking. Click on images.
  11. 11. A small, portable stove. I use the MSR Dragonfly for camping and my grab-n-go bag. Make sure you have plenty of fuel. Click on image. FOOD
  12. 12. Pots to cook in with utensils. A simple set up that I use is below. FOOD
  13. 13. Food Expiration Dates There are several terms stamped on food. This is what they mean: SELL BY: How long a store should display the product for sale. This is a guide for the store. It is optimum quality date, but food is still edible for a while after. BEST IF USED BY OR BEFORE DATE: This is only about quality, not safety. GUARANTEED FRESH DATE: This usually refers to bakery items. They will still be edible after that date. USE BY DATE: This is the last recommended day to use the product at peak quality. It is still edible after this. PACK DATE: This is on canned and packaged goods. This actually might not be clear as sometimes its in code. It can be done by month-day-year as MMDDYY. Or it could be Julian calendar for the year, which means January is 001-0031. December would be 334-365.
  14. 14. Food Expiration Dates Foods not to eat past their expiration date? Eggs. Deli meat. Mixed greens. Alfalfa sprouts. Oysters. Shrimp. Raw ground beef. Berries. Soft cheese. Chicken. So how long is food usually good for? Milk: a week after Sell By. Eggs: Three to five weeks after you buy them. Double-grade A will go down a grade in a week, but are still edible. Poultry and seafood: Cook or freeze within a day. Beef and pork: Cook or freeze within three to four days. Canned good: High acid foods such as tomato sauce can last to 18 months. Low acid such as canned green beans can last for five years. However, do not store these in a hot space. A dry, cool place, is best.
  15. 15. Getting Food Scavenging Phase The primary way to get food in a high mild to extreme emergency is to scavenge. Remember, though, that others will be doing the same. Think through the food distribution network. Don’t go for the obvious targets like stores. Move up the chain. Distribution centers. Abandoned trucks. Crops still in the field.
  16. 16. Gathering Food Unless you are an experienced hunter, consider trapping. It’s quieter and more effective. You can set multiple traps that are passive, while hunting requires activity. One of the most important things to have in your Grab-n-Go bag are snares. I keep snares in all my G-n-G bags, in my cars and in my house and ERP.
  17. 17. How To Use A Snare Anchor your snare. Use wire, such as from a coat hangar, slide it through the loop, and tie it around the base of a tree or post. Make sure the wire can’t be pulled apart or unwound by the animal as it fights the trap. Find a stick as the stand for the snare. Prop it up between the anchor point and the loop for snare. Have the slide lock of the loop about a half inch in front of the support. Essentially you’re hanging a noose down over the trail. Once you’re in place, push the stick down into the ground fixing it in place. The loop must be at the proper height for your target—where it’s head would go into the loop. This is from 3 inches to 10 inches off the ground. Set multiple snares to increase your odds. This is another way trapping is more effective than hunting. Check your traps every day. The animal will be dead because the sliding lock closes around their necks and either cuts off circulation or breaks their neck during their initial struggle to get free.
  18. 18. Food But let’s hope it doesn’t get to that. Get and keep a three day supply of food in your home. More if you can. This will make you more prepared than 60% of American households!
  19. 19. Print Book
  20. 20. The book on the left is how you prepare NOW. The book on the right, is your guide to surviving an emergency or catastrophe given you’ve prepared. The handbook in the center is a discounted, distilled version of both books with the most important basics - click on cover for any. Print Book
  21. 21. I highly recommend getting at least one print copy of the survival manual. During an emergency you can’t count on an eBook. It’s pocket-sized— shown next to my trusty, old Ranger Handbook. I keep one in the glove compartment of each car, in every Grab-n-Go bag and also give them as gifts— the gift of life. Click on image for print version Print Book
  22. 22. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret, and feeder of two yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had over seventy books published, including the #1 bestselling series Time Patrol, Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world he now lives peacefully with his wife and labs. Sort of. Free book below available HERE