Survival Basics

Building up your food supply

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Next to water, which we covered in our first installment, food is bar none the second most important consideration during a survival situation, perhaps with shelter taking a close third place. This week we’ll expand upon the concepts that we introduced to you in the American Family Survival eBook. For those that haven’t seen it, we’ll give you a little background.

As with water, it’s recommended by several federal and countless state and local agencies that each home possesses an emergency food supply. Like water, the number usually thrown out there is 72 hours or three days, but if you think about that for a moment, that should be as much food as a normal family home has on hand anyways! Three days worth of food isn’t much at all, but remarkably, some families continue to keep the pantry bare and head to the store every other day to buy food for dinner. As a nation, we’ve really gone away from being self sufficient, and the trickle down effect goes all the way down to our food, and more importantly, our food supply.

To understand why three days worth of food in a survival situation is nowhere near adequate, you need to understand the way our supermarkets are stocked. Supermarket chains, on average, also keep a three day food supply of the most common items they keep on their shelves. Things like milk, bread, eggs, meat, and other perishables are stocked about three days deep, and that’s it. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The American shopper desires ultra fresh food on a near constant basis.
  • An elaborate supply chain keeps supermarkets stocked via massive central distribution centers which house the stock for multiple supermarkets in a given area. These distribution centers rely on a daily fleet of diesel powered trucks that need to deliver the food to the supermarkets so they can restock.
  • Due to the efficiency of modern food distribution, a JIT (just in time) model has developed over time whereby at any given time a great portion of the nation’s food is currently rolling down an interstate highway on its way to a supermarket. If that truck doesn’t make it, the supermarket will be severely impacted.

It’s a great system when it works, but it can easily be overwhelmed by natural or manmade disasters, acts of terrorism, or a multitude of other events. The message we are trying to send to you is that you should not rely on your local supermarket to feed you during a disaster – they may not have the food!

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