What Do You Need if a Disaster Lasts More Than 2 Weeks
If you look through our previous blog posts discussing Disaster Preparedness, or review the gear that we list on our Disaster Preparedness page, you’ll notice that we advocate planning for a 3 day to 2 week period where you need to be self-sufficient.
Obviously this overarching timeline drives what you need to plan for and what kind of gear you need to have stored away to support your plans. However, because of the recent COVID-19 impacts on “non-essential businesses”, we relooked our gear list to see if there were any other items that you might want to purchase ahead of time to allow for events lasting last longer than 2 weeks.
If you already have all of the gear on our Disaster Preparedness list, then what you need most to be self-sufficient for more than 2 weeks is more food. However, this is a slippery slope since you then have to decide how much more food and what kinds of food to add to your 2-week supply. Short of becoming a full-blown “prepper” the best answer is to probably purchase more freeze dried meals (we like the Mountain House Classic bucket and Breakfast bucket), purchase more of the same non-perishable food items that we already recommend, and augment this supply with some canned vegetables and canned fruits.
You might ask why we didn’t originally advocate storing canned vegetables or fruits for a disaster. Well, we didn’t put them on our 3 day to 2 week list because their dietary necessity is low in a short duration emergency (when compared to your body’s need or protein), because most people already have either enough fresh vegetables/fruits in their refrigerator, frozen items in their freezer, or canned items in their pantry to last for a few days, and because the stable shelf life of canned vegetables/fruits is shorter than other foods. But, if you need to plan to be self-sufficient for longer than 2 weeks you’re going to need vegetables and fruits – both for a healthy diet and for taste variety.
Consequently, to prepare for a disaster that lasts more than two weeks, we would add some of the following foods – in quantities that support whatever duration we thought was prudent – to our Disaster Preparedness supplies:
Canned Vegetables (generally have a shelf life of 3 to 5 years)
- Artichoke Hearts
- Carrots (dehydrated)
- Diced Tomatoes (shelf life of ~2 years due to its acidic nature)
- Green Beans
- Green and Chili Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
- Vegetable Medley
Canned Fruits (generally have a shelf life of ~18 months)
- Applesauce (like Go-Go Squeez)
- Fruit Cocktail
- Fruit Slices (dehydrated)
- Mandarin Oranges
- Pie Filling
Here’s a good article from Happy Preppers on “37 Foods to Hoard: Survival food storage you can get from the grocery store”:
And, if you want to find out how long food will last, here’s a great website for that: Still Tasty – Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide:
Aside from these food additions there was only one other piece of gear that we identified which would be useful in a disaster situation that lasted longer than 2 weeks; a Dental First Aid kit. So we’ll talk about that in our next blog.
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