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  • Getting Started With Your Year Supply of Food

    Why Have a Year Supply of Food?

    Having a year supply of food is more than just for hunkering down and waiting for the next apocalypse to blow over (although it certainly could be used for that, too). Having a year supply of food in your emergency storage can help see you through many a turbulent time.

    Empty ShelvesThink about it. Job loss can happen to anyone – anytime, anywhere. Without a steady income, providing food for your family can be downright difficult. But with a year supply of food storage, you and your family can still eat healthy and well until a new job can be found.

    Likewise, disasters can block truck routes, damage crops, and otherwise make getting food to the grocery store or to your pantry. Or have you ever seen store shelves be emptied right before a hurricane or blizzard? Having a year supply of food can help you remain relaxed and comfortable when the world around you is buzzing in chaos.

     

    What to Look for in a Year Supply of Food

    Your food storage should be based on calories per day rather than amounts of servings. One serving could range from far too small to provide the proper energy and nourishment. By making sure your year supply is focused on calories, you’re ensured to have enough of what you need to keep you going.

    Of course, you can get nearly the same amount of calories from a candy bar as you can from a full, home-cooked meal, but the meal will undoubtedly be more filling. So while you’re counting calories, make sure they will sustain you through to the next meal. Empty calories like those found in sweets may taste good, but they won’t be very useful in the long run.

    Young  father and his daughter having breakfast togetherAdults generally require between 2,000 and 2,800 calories per day. School-aged children typically need less, ranging from 1,600 to 2,500 calories per day. For children between the ages of 1 and 2, they will need approximately 1,000 to 1,400 calories per day. Of course, there may be certain situations that will require you to tweak these numbers to fit your needs, but on average, this is what you’ll need in terms of calories per day.

    You’ll also want to have a variety of foods to provide different health benefits. Some food, like pasta, provides lots of carbohydrates which are a necessary part of your daily diet. Likewise, foods with good amounts of vitamins and minerals will also help maintain your health. Fruit, vegetables, meat, and other foods are all viable options for your year supply.

    If you’re not sure where to start, that’s OK. A year’s worth of food is quite a bit. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken it all down into different categories and various other options. Keep reading to learn more about how you can easily get a year supply of food that fits your needs.

     

    Varieties of Year Supplies

    Homemade Plus Year Supply Homemade Plus Year Supply

    When creating your own year supply from scratch, doing the math and figuring out just exactly what – and how much – you need might get a bit confusing. To make things easier, we’ve created a variety of pre-constructed year supplies so you can get all the food you need and want without the extra effort. And, since your aptitude for cooking won’t change in an emergency, we’ve organized our year supplies by how the food is prepared.

    Love cooking and making homemade meals? If so, the basics are all you need to whip up delicious meals for you and your family, which makes the Homemade Year Supply or Homemade Year Supply Plus the options of choice. These year supplies give you all the cooking and baking essentials you need to create homemade meals from your tried and true recipe book.

    Not a fan of cooking and prefer boxed dinners and pre-cooked meals? If that’s the case, our Convenience Year Supply is the way to go. The meals in this year supply simply require you to add water and your food is ready to it in no time. It also comes with fruits, vegetables, and desserts, helping to round out your meals.

    Maybe you enjoy cooking from scratch but still enjoy a nice, quick meal as well. Featuring both just-add-water meals and ingredients for cooking and baking, the Variety Year Supply might very well be the option for you.

    Everyone has different tastes, which is why we have a variety of year supplies to choose from. Each of the year supplies mentioned above contain 2,000 calories per day, however there are also options for supplies with less calories should you like. There are other options for a year supply of food, including  buckets and even a year’s worth of grains and legumes, so be sure to check out all your options here so you know what’s best for your circumstances.

     

    Other Food Storage Options

    If purchasing an entire year supply of food all in one go isn’t financially feasible, take it in stride with monthly payment options. Known here as Prep As You Go, we send you a portion of your year supply each month for a year. This lets you pay in smaller installments, much like what you might do when buying a car – only without the interest rate. Then, after a year, you’ll have that year supply in its entirety. Prep As You Go is an affordable option in getting your emergency year supply together without a lot of hassle.

    However, sometimes a year supply of food isn’t necessarily the best option for you, such as when your finances won’t allow it, or your home or apartment is too small. In such instances, smaller might very well be better. Consider investing in a 6 month supply of food, or even a 3 month supply, which is still far superior to none at all.

     

    In the end, what it all boils down to is how much room you have, what your budget is, and your personal preferences in preparing food. No matter what those answers are, however, there is always room to prepare. Whether it’s a full year of food on hand or just three months, your preparations will help keep you safe and comfortable during the hard times.

    Click here to purchase your own Year Supply and be prepared for anything the future has in store!

     

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  • Storing Food Safely in the Summer Heat

    Author Carol Lynn Pearson once imagined a disastrous food storage location in her book, “The Model Mormon Mother’s Notebook.”

    “Crib mattress sprouting!” she wrote. “Find other places to store wheat.”

    Actually, below a crib might not be the worst place to put long-term food storage, if it’s done right. Now that the summer heat is here, it’s time to consider if your long-term food storage is in a safe location.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends storing nonperishable food in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

    “Never put (canned goods) above or beside the stove, under the sink, in a damp garage or basement, or any place exposed to high or low temperature extremes,” the USDA advised.

    summer heatIt’s especially important to store food correctly during the summer for several reasons. First, high temperature can cause food to break down faster. A general rule of thumb for chemical reactions is that reactions double their rate for each temperature increase of 10 degrees Celsius. There’s too much variability for that rule of thumb to apply constantly. But, heat will cause food in storage to break down faster. This breakdown changes food’s appearance and flavor, and can cause nutrient loss.

    In addition, many types of canned foods contain bacteria called thermophiles, which prefer high temperatures, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They don’t grow under normal storage conditions, but do and can cause spoiling at high temperatures (50-55°C). That’s 122-131°F, but the USDA says temperatures above 100°F can damage canned goods. The USDA recommends keeping food at temperatures below 85 °F, and most experts prefer below 70 °F.

    “The risk of spoilage jumps sharply as storage temperatures rise. In fact, canned goods designed for use in the tropics are specially manufactured,” according to a USDA fact sheet.

    Exposure to sunlight can cause rapid temperature changes, as anyone knows who’s touched a metal slide during the summer. These rapid transitions are also bad for food storage. Also, light can cause nutrient loss and a change in appearance for food in glass containers, according to Jan Rasmussen from the University of Minnesota extension service.

    Frozen cans can have more acute problems. As liquid inside a can freezes, it expands. That can cause the can to bulge, creating microscopic holes large enough for bacteria to enter. Cans are unsafe if they are frozen, thawed, and refrozen, according to the USDA. Frozen cans can, however, safely be defrosted in the refrigerator.

    “If the canned food is still frozen, let the intact can thaw in the refrigerator before opening. If the product doesn't look and/or smell normal, throw it out. Do not taste it,” the USDA fact sheet advised.

    Shelves - summer heatAlso important: keep food storage off the floor. First, it reduces the likelihood of pests getting into the home and food. Second, cement floors can be damp. Cans and metal lids on glass jars are usually made of steel and can rust on a damp surface. Rust puts tiny holes in cans, which can allow bacteria to enter. Discard heavily rusted cans or those with rust inside. Rust that a paper towel can wipe away is not serious, according to the USDA.

    With canned goods, watch for these warning signs: loose or bulging lids on jars, dented, swollen or leaking cans, or food that smells bad or looks cloudy when it shouldn’t.

    “If the cans look ok, they are safe to use,” the USDA fact sheet said.

    According to the USDA fact sheet, canned foods are safe indefinitely if not exposed to temperatures below freezing or above 90 °F. High-acid canned food like tomatoes and some fruit will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months; low-acid canned food like meat and vegetables will for 2 to 5 years.

    Keep food storage in a climate-controlled area away from windows and moisture (we recommend storing your food at temperatures less than 70 °F). Put dry goods in plastic or glass containers or cans to keep rodents and bugs out. Put newer food storage items behind older ones.

    And maybe avoid crib mattresses.

     

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  • 3 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Surviving an Earthquake

    Christchurch, New Zealand - March 12, 2011: surviving an earthquake

    Earthquakes—as well as other natural disasters—scare us because of their randomness. We never know when something might happen. And once a disaster strikes, along comes death and destruction.

    Despite the fear that comes with natural disasters, you shouldn’t necessarily spend your time worrying about when the next earthquake might come about and end your life. In fact, you have a greater chance of dying by comet impact (1 in 20,000) or even from an accident at home (1 in 26,000). According to Dartmouth, the odds of dying in an earthquake in California (where those things are quite common) is 1 in 2,000,000.

    If you’ve ever entered a giveaway with 2 million entries, you quickly realize your chances of winning are not good. Likewise, your chances of surviving an earthquake are extremely high with those odds. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t still be prepared. A little forethought can be the reason you make it through.

    Although there is a randomness factor as to when an earthquake will strike, you can still stack the deck in your favor. When the random event happens is moot; what matters is what you do to prepare for it. By minimizing the randomness, you’re more in control, and better able to protect yourself and your family.

    Here are five things to do to beat Mother Nature at her own game.

     

    Prepare Your Home

    surviving an earthquake by mounting a TV

    If you were to shake your entire house, what would fall down? Pictures on walls, bookshelves, and televisions are the first things that come to mind. Essentially, tall, heavy, and expensive objects should be secured, be it through putty (i.e. for vases or stand-up decorations) or wall mounts (i.e. for bookshelves or televisions).

    Move potential hazards away from your bed. This means if you sleep underneath a shelf, don’t load it with heavy objects that could fall on you should an earthquake happen during the night. You can also secure your cupboards with safety latches (just like the ones you use to keep your toddlers out of the cutlery drawer), thus keeping the plates, cups, and other things housed up there from falling and injuring anyone underneath.

     

     

    Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

    Drop Cover HOLD ON, NELLY! Image courtesy of Shakeout.org

    Don’t try and run. Chances are you’ll just be knocked off your feet by the shaking anyway. Instead, drop to the ground, take cover under something sturdy (like a desk or a table), and hold on until the shaking stops. If there is no convenient sturdy object to hide under, taking cover in an inside corner of a building is the next safest place to be. Drop down and cover your neck and head with your hands and arms.

    If you’re inside, stay there! Don’t run out. In a story in the LA Times, two women fleeing a building during the 2003 Paso Robles earthquake were killed when bricks fell down on them. Had they stayed inside, they would have been just fine.

    If you’re in your bed, do not get out. Stay there, hold on, and cover your head with your pillow. Getting out of bed could put you at risk of both falling objects as well as broken glass and other debris on the floor.

     

    Have Emergency Kits

    Following a disaster, what might life be like without an emergency kit? Without one, you could be out of food, water, or supplies to help keep you warm at night with no power. First aid supplies are very useful, especially to patch up cuts, wounds, and other injuries sustained during the disaster. Once the earthquake stops, medical personnel will be focusing their time on the most critically injured, so if you’re not on that list, you’ll be fending for yourself for possibly days.

    Make sure you have an emergency kit that fits your needs. You can get a pre-assembled emergency kit, or make your own from items you get yourself. The pre-assembled kits should have water pouches (or other form of portable water), as well as food and gear to at least cover the basics.

     

    While the odds of surviving an earthquake is high, you can increase your chances even more by being prepared well in advance. Take time today to evaluate your emergency preparedness plan and supplies and make any changes and acquisitions you need to be ready for anything.

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

     

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