You don’t have to believe the world is coming to an end or have a bomb shelter in your backyard to be prepared for emergencies. While some people may look at self-described “doomsday preppers” with a wary eye, plenty of what they do makes practical sense for possible emergencies.
One of the smartest things preppers, survivalists and other end-of-the-world types do is keep a supply of shelf-stable food. It’s a wise move, especially if you’re in an area that experiences hurricanes, tornadoes or any other storms that come with great risk.
You don’t have to have three years worth of food in a shelter or bug-out house, but having a three- to seven-day supply of freeze-dried or dehydrated meals accessible certainly isn’t a bad idea.
Here are some other things you could do:
Create your own emergency food
You can take a tip from survivalists and create your own emergency food for much less than pre-packaged meals will cost you. Just buy a case of Mason jars and a supply of oxygen absorber packets. These packets are available only for about 50 cents each. As the name implies, oxygen absorber packets remove oxygen from the container and prevent food from going bad.
All you need to do is fill a Mason jar with the food you want to preserve and place a packet on top. Foods prepared in this way have a shelf life of up to five years. When the a hurricane hits and/or you lose power, you will have a supply of food ready to go for yourself and your family.
Have a basic survival kit
Survivalists are known for their ability to survive in the wilderness and live off the grid, but you don’t have to be a prepper to build a basic survival kit. Regardless of whether you’re traveling or you get stranded somewhere, a thermal blanket can keep you warm, while a set of road flares can track down help. Both items are must-haves in your kit.
Use the earth
If you are a smart shopper, you probably have plenty of canned goods in your pantry. You may be counting on that stash of green beans and peas to get you through the next storm, but what if the downed power lines take out your electricity? That lack of power will stop your electric can opener in its tracks.
Survivalists know all they need to open a can is a block of concrete. Take the can, place it upside down and rub it vigorously over the concrete block for a few minutes. Squeeze the sides of the can near the top, using a gentle but steady pressure. The top of the can should pop right off, and you can enjoy your stash of canned goods until the power comes back on.
Survivalists sometimes get a bad rap, but you can learn a lot from them. Being prepared is a smart thing to do no matter what your life, religious or political views are, and you will be glad you took these steps should you find yourself in an emergency situation.