The ideas in this article may be useful in many scenarios. It is recommended that everyone take the time to figure out what could happen, what foods to have in the kit and how to prepare them under the circumstances. As an example, planning to use fire to cook might be dangerous if the disaster broke gas lines.
Why plan ahead? After Northridge there were times when we were so panicked by the continuing aftershocks it would have been difficult to remember how to use a can opener let alone plan a meal. It made it clear to me that just having the kit and the food wasn’t enough. We needed a plan, one that took in contingencies and one that could be done by other members of the family should I be unable to handle that task.
Safety issues: We were lucky; no gas lines were broken so we could use a camp stove or barbecue to prepare food. However, we may not be as lucky next time. There may be a good reason not to light a fire. It’s a good idea to have some ready to eat stuff in your kit. Canned meat, canned or dried fruit and so forth can provide a meal. It won’t be as tasty as something cooked might, but it will answer the requirements.
Medical needs: A lot of survivor type foods, especially those that are ready to eat, contain a lot of salt. There are also large amounts of other ingredients that might not be good for someone on a restricted diet. It will take longer, but keeping those needs in mind should be a part of your plan.
What to store: Our kit contains a broad spectrum of choices, but that’s because it’s in a travel trailer and we have the space. We have canned meals, dried pasta and rice packages and canned meat. I keep our extra flour and sugar in the trailer. With shelf stable milk, frozen liquid eggs and yeast I can make a variety of things. Look at what your family normally eats and try to find equivalents that you can store in the space available.
Simple recipes: A disaster is not a time to try something new or complex. My meal plans run like this: a dried pasta packet with tuna or chicken as a main dish. It can be accompanied by canned vegetables. Dessert might be canned or dried fruit. The canned products do several beneficial things. They don’t require a lot of cooking time, they’re convenient and they help towards maintaining hydration because they are usually packed in liquid.
Having a comprehensive disaster plan can help relieve some of the strain caused by the trauma. The more you plan ahead the less you’ll have to do when there is a crisis.