- Food in your home which is perishable (this means you eat the things most likely to spoil first including produce, food in your refrigerator, and things in your freezer).
- Food stored in your home (assuming your home is accessible, using up the food in your pantry and the food you have stockpiled will be your next option).
- Food stored in your car BOB and your backpack BOB (ditto above, you should have some amount of food with you at all times).
- Food you raise yourself (this includes food from your garden, orchard, and any animals you raise for food...during growing season of course. If you do garden, you may want to look into year-round type gardening skills).
- Food from the local grocery store (not usually a good or viable idea. If you've seen the shelves of grocery stores just before and right after a disaster strikes--like a tornado or hurricane--you will know that entire stores can be cleaned out within hours).
- Food that you can catch/trap/glean (people often think that procuring wild food is as simple as walking out their door with a shotgun but this isn't always the case. While hunting, fishing, and gleaning are options for obtaining food, consider that #1 the rest of the population in your area has the same idea, #2 animals often make themselves scarce before, during, and after a natural disaster, and #3 doing this sort of thing on private property--and many people are surrounded by private property--can be downright dangerous as the owner may not like people trespassing on his property).
- Government food stations. Usually after a disaster, the government or other aid organizations will step in with food and water distribution programs. While this is an option, it is also less than reliable because of the huge lines of people, the limited amount of food, the stress and often the fighting that occurs over such limited resources, and the length of time it takes to get the distribution system set up (this often happens many days, not hours, after a large-scale disaster).
- Anything else you can catch and eat (birds, roaming dogs, rats, insects...unpleasant of course but if you are truly starving, any sort of protein and fat will keep you alive).
Once you have procured food for yourself and your family after a disaster, you will need to worry about:
- Storing it. Refrigeration will often NOT be an option so fresh food will spoil quickly.
- Cooking it. Ditto your usual cooking methods may not be available so be sure to have multiple ways to cook food.
- Preparing it. You will need to be able to open the cans (do you have a manual can opener?) and serve it (paper plates and plastic utensils mean you won't have to use valuable water to clean up afterwards).
- Eating it. Make sure the food you eat isn't spoiled or contaminated as this will make you sick and weak--two states you don't want to be in after a disaster.
- Protecting it. What do you think the hungry masses will do when they smell steak grilling over your fence?
- Ensuring everyone gets to eat...this includes your pets, your infants who need specialized food, and the ill/elderly/allergic who may have a restrictive diet and can only eat certain foods.
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