Saturday, April 23, 2011

Urban Survival - Long Term Foods and Water

During times of uncertainty, natural disasters, or possible terrorist attacks; it is important to be prepared for both water and food shortages. The focus of this article is just that, food and water. We will discuss other much needed items later on but it is always a good rule of thumb to have a survival kit on hand like the one that was discussed in last month’s article. First, we’ll cover key foods that can last nearly half a life time or longer.

There are certain foods that if properly prepared and stored, can last almost indefinitely. Salt, Honey, and Sugar can all last for hundreds of years if they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark environment. Did you know that when several of the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt were discovered, that they found honey that was still edible even today? There are several vendors online that you can find that have these core foods that are already sealed in manners that will help them last long enough to literally feed your grandchildren. Salt is required for the human body to function properly, it can be used to help preserve meats, it can be used to help season up a rather bland meal, attract wild game for trapping or harvesting, and lots of other great uses too. Sugar has several uses as well, as far as meal preparation, drink preparation, and several others. Honey can be used as a food supplement by itself, it can be used as an alternative to sugar, an ingredient for meal preparation, and much more.

Other foods like White Rice, Wheat, and many forms of Beans can last anywhere from 25 years to well over 50. These types of foods provide critical proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals which are required to maintain to the human body as well as your immune system, energy levels, and several other important aspects of your body. These items can also be found through several vender's online as well. The ones that I personally recommend are packed and sealed in #10 Cans in a manner that will ensure they last for at least 25 years if stored properly.  A case of 6 #10 cans usually consists of about 33 lbs of food which would sustain one adult for about 17 days at a rate of 2 lbs per day. Rice, Wheat, and Beans can be used as complete meals by themselves or as accents to other forms of meats, vegetables, and fruits. Just like Salt, Sugar, and Honey, it is important to store them in a dry, cool, and dark environment to ensure you get the maximum life span out of them.

Water is even more important to the human body than food so it is critical to have an adequate amount of it on hand. Water is the key component within your body and accounts for about 60% of your body weight. The human body can only go a matter of days without water however most adults can last several weeks or longer without food. Though some people prefer storing bottled water, I prefer gallons of distilled water. The exact amount of water your body needs is different from person to person and depends on many variables including, age, weight, climate, activity level, ect… Most people are recommended to intake about 8 to 9 cups of water each day. However more active people need to account for their surroundings and increase their intake to match that of their total output or surpass it. This may mean increasing your intake to 12 to 13 cups per day to nearly doubling it. To better gauge yourself, you want to drink enough water to rarely become thirsty and to ensure your urine stays colorless or slightly yellow. You want to avoid having dark or murky urine because that is a good indication that your water intake is not sufficient and that your body may not have enough water to properly remove toxins from your vital organs or flush out your system. I would keep an absolute Minimum of a two week supply on hand for each adult and child within the household.

One strongly recommended practice in the event of a disaster is to fill your bathtubs up with water as soon as possible. If water pressure becomes unavailable, the water becomes contaminated or polluted after a storm surge as many natural disasters are known to do, then you will have a large amount of water stored for your use. This water would need to be used first and then when depleted, you can switch to using your stored water sources. Always filter or boil the water from the bathtub to ensure that there are no chemicals, soap residue, insects, or any other type of contaminants in the water as it will at that point start becoming stagnant. For keeping the water fresh for a lot longer periods of time, I would strongly recommend having an emergency water blob on hand. These are liners that fit into the bathtub that allow you to fill them with the faucet, seal them off, and use a handheld pump so that the water will not become unusable and will stay fresh until they are exhausted. The average bathtub can hold about 50 gallons of water, so that’s enough to sustain one adult for over 3 months. Then you can proceed to using your other forms of stored water.

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