Including What You Need to Have On Hand to Bake
Lately there’s been a lot of discussion about the Coronavirus (e.g. COVID-19) and what precautions people should take to protect themselves from catching the virus. As with most other potential disasters we believe that everyone needs to be prepared for at least a week – and preferably two weeks – of social/economic breakdown due to events like tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, power grid outages, etc., The Coronavirus situation is no different.
As the first step in protecting yourself you need to have all the essential gear purchased and stored in your house ahead of any disaster striking since supplies can quickly disappear from local stores. To make matters worse, during a disaster supply chains can break down prohibiting the delivery of new critical food, medical and repair items to your area. Our list of essential supplies that we think you need to have on hand to prepare for any disaster (augmented by other gear that you probably already have for Camping or Hiking), fall into 9 main categories:
You can see all the items that we put into each of these nine categories on our Disaster Preparedness page. You can even download a PDF file with that has a complete listing of all the gear to help you with your shopping.
So that’s the essentials that you should have on hand to prepare for any short term disaster. Now here’s an “advanced” tip. In many disaster situations your house will still have power and you will be able to cook using your normal stove top burners and oven. In other cases you may lose power completely causing any items in your refrigerator/freezer to spoil and forcing you to cook on a camp stove. In both of these cases you may find that you don’t have perishables like milk or eggs on hand to bake or make other recipes. Luckily, there’s an easy fix to this problem – adding powered milk and either freeze-dried eggs or a powdered egg substitute to your Disaster Preparedness stores. Having these two simple items on hand can greatly increase your cooking options.
In our case, for powdered milk, we keep Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk in our supplies. The powdered milk is fortified with vitamins A and D and a 9.63 ounce canister makes 3 quarts of milk when you add water. You should be able to buy Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk at your local grocery store or at Amazon.
For eggs we use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Egg Replacer. This egg powder is made from potato starch, tapioca flour, baking soda and psyllium husk fiber. There’s very little flavor in the mix so it doesn’t interfere with any recipes that we’ve tried. It’s also gluten free in case that matters to you. As an alternative you can always use freeze-dried eggs from companies like OVA Easy or Mountain House – just make sure that they don’t have bacon bits, ham or peppers in the mix if you’re using them to bake – since that can make for a very unpalatable muffin (we have both of these in our supplies too - just not primarily for baking). We can purchase Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Egg Replacer at our local grocery store, so you may be able to find it in your local area – if not you can buy it at Amazon. You can probably find freeze dried eggs like OVA Easy Dehydrated Egg Crystals at your local outdoor store or you can buy them at Amazon.
Whatever you do, plan ahead and if you can’t afford to purchase all your Disaster Preparedness supplies at one time then make a prioritized list and purchase them a little at a time. You’ll sleep a little better, even if you never need to use them – and you’ll be really glad if you do ever need them.
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