Today’s post is by Chet over at foodinsurance.com.
When something unexpected happens and your family needs to evacuate your home, either by car or on foot, a proper 72-hour kit can provide everything you need to sustain yourself for up to three days. Many people tend to overburden their kits with food—forgetting that they are for survival, not gourmet dining.
Because 72-hour kits must be packaged in containers small enough to be carried, such as a backpack or plastic tote, it’s important to choose food that is both easy to carry and nourishing. Remember to include food items that you and your family will actually eat, and don’t underestimate the power of a few comfort foods to ease stress during what could be a difficult and traumatic time.
Here are five long-lasting, easy to carry foods essential to a lightweight 72-hour kit:
1. Beef jerky: Long-lasting and delicious, beef jerky is a survival kit staple. It has a long shelf life, doesn’t require cooking and is packed with flavor. As an added bonus, jerky contains high levels of protein and zinc. Jerky is also high in sodium, however, which can increase your thirst, so eat it sparingly.
2. Canned foods: Adding canned foods to your 72-hour emergency kit gives you a range of meal options, such as tuna, soup, stew, chili or pasta with sauce. Look for low sodium options with high nutritional value. Don’t forget to include a can opener. Some traditional canned foods are even available in vacuum-sealed pouches—so look for variations of tuna, stew and other ready to eat foods packaged this way for a lighter weight alternative.
3. Energy bars: Whether you invest in high-calorie survival bars or the basic granola bars, these can give you a burst of energy when you need it most. Choose those bars with higher protein and calorie content and put in a range of flavors for variety, such as coconut, peanut butter or banana nut. Make sure the bars are individually wrapped for maximum storage advantage.
4. Trail mix: Buy commercial trail mixes or make your own, but the best blends for survival kits mix dried fruits (such as raisins or cranberries), sweets (small chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolate) and nuts (such as almonds or peanuts). Trail mix provides you with several nutrients and lots of calories in a salty-sweet blend of crunchy goodness. Portion out homemade blends into doubled-up, zippered plastic sandwich bags for easy portability.
5. Drink mixes: Gain extra physical and psychological advantages with a range of drink mixes. Ideas include packets of hot chocolate mix, cider mix, instant tea, fruit drink mix, powdered milk and breakfast shake powders. You’ll need to stay hydrated in an emergency situation, and these mixes can entice you to keep on drinking, plus provide much-needed calories.
Cycle through your 72-hour kit every six months to check that your food items haven’t expired and replenish where necessary. When an emergency occurs, you’ll be glad you prepared your 72-hour kit with all the items you’ll need to survive and thrive during the next few days.
This guest post is written by Chett Wright of Food Insurance, a supplier of emergency food storage supplies. Get your own food storage plan together by visiting FoodInsurance.com.