Food is the first thing most preppers worry about when it comes to survival, even though water is the most crucial thing. Maybe it’s because we often have access to local (natural) water sources that, if necessary, we could filter or purify into portable water.
But with food, many people aren’t prepared if the supply chain falters or if there’s a run on food supplies at their local grocery store. They are more fearful of that happening. So you want to use the 30-day plan listed below to help you jumpstart your survival food preparations to ensure that you and your family always have enough to eat.
This is not just about stopping by the store to pick up supplies, although some of it will be buying readymade items. It’s also about being strategic with your survival food prepping and even knowing how to grow and save your own food (or hunt and gather it) if you someday don’t have access to anything on store shelves to replenish what’s run out.
There are safety issues and nutritional considerations you have to stay aware of when it comes to having and using food during an SHTF event. This guide will help you pinpoint the most pressing food concerns you may have and act as a checklist you can use to make sure you have everything covered and gain some peace of mind.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Day 1: Take Inventory of Everything You Have and Need
- 0.2 Day 2: Make Note of the Daily Caloric Needs of Your Family
- 0.3 Day 3: Learn How to Store and Package Food for Safety and Longevity
- 0.4 Day 4: Check Out Weekly Deals and Stock Up on Goods
- 0.5 Day 5: Shop for Game-Changing Pantry Staples
- 0.6 Day 6: Buy What Your Family Already Eats
- 0.7 Day 7: Put Your Food on a Rotation Schedule
- 0.8 Day 8: Make Some Purchases of Long Shelf Life Survival Foods
- 0.9 Day 9: Learn Your Gardening Zone and Pick Up Your Supplies
- 0.10 Day 10: Start Growing Your Own Food in a Variety of Ways
- 0.11 Day 11: Pack Some Easy to Carry Foods in a Bug-Out Bag
- 0.12 Day 12: Make Sure You Have Various Cooking Methods On Hand
- 0.13 Day 13: Make Sure You Have Plenty of Water for Dehydrated Meal Preparations
- 0.14 Day 14: Balance Your Supplies Between Perishable and Non-Perishable Foods
- 0.15 Day 15: Evaluate the Nutritional Value of Your Survival Meal Plans
- 0.16 Day 16: Stock Up on Hearty Grains, Beans, and Legumes
- 0.17 Day 17: Get Cooking Instructions Printed and Laminated to Keep with Food Supplies
- 0.18 Day 18: Start Raising Animals for Eggs and Meat
- 0.19 Day 19: Power Up Your Family’s Food with Potato Flakes
- 0.20 Day 20: Stock Up on Fishing Gear
- 0.21 Day 21: Get Informed About Edible Foraging in Your Area
- 0.22 Day 22: Practice Cooking and Eating Survival Foods Periodically
- 0.23 Day 23: Pick Up Special Diet Foods for Infants, the Elderly, or for Health Issues
- 0.24 Day 24: Have Comfort Foods to Bring Out on Special Occasions
- 0.25 Day 25: Teach Your Family How to Safely Open Food After Certain Survival Events
- 0.26 Day 26: Invest in Animal Traps and Hunting Equipment
- 0.27 Day 27: Teach Your Family How to Use Canned Good for Hydration
- 0.28 Day 28: Invest in Supplements for a Deficient Diet
- 0.29 Day 29: Get Ready for Canning and Dehydrating Food
- 0.30 Day 30: Prepare for Long Term Supply Disruptions and Nutritional Changes
- 1 Conclusion – Survival Prepper Food Checklist for SHTF Situation
Day 1: Take Inventory of Everything You Have and Need
If you start your food supply preparations blindly, you’ll wake up one day in a dire situation needing food to feed your family and realize that your supplies aren’t anything like what you expected to have on hand.
You may want to keep your survival food supplies separate from your everyday food supplies. There are many families who merge the two and simply keep track of everything they have at home.
When you are taking inventory, you need to make sure you have the name of the product, the amount you have, and the date purchased as well as the date of expiration, if applicable.
If you are keeping your survival food separate, you want to make sure your family isn’t randomly pulling from those supplies to use in their everyday life. If they do, you may not realize it when a certain food supply has run out or is running low.
Having an inventory system will allow you to strategically shop whenever you have room in your budget to take in more supplies. It will also allow you to see at a glance which food items you need to invest in at that moment, and which ones you seem to have plenty of at that time.
Day 2: Make Note of the Daily Caloric Needs of Your Family
Whenever you are making plans to accumulate your food supplies for survival, you need to take into account the caloric needs of everyone in your family. For example, children will need fewer calories than a grown-up.
A man will need more calories than a woman. But you also have to take into consideration that in many survival situations, activity levels increase significantly. You may be hiking if you are in a bug-out situation, having to chop wood or cut through brush to build a shelter on your own.
This will increase the number of calories that you need. Ideally, you want to plan for approximately 2,000 calories per day per person. In an emergency, you might be able to get by on as little as 500 calories per day, but only for a short period of time.
When you are shopping, you want to make sure that you are looking for not only calorie-dense food but nutritionally sound food as well. If you are choosing to increase your calories by eating potato chips, it’s not going to give you the nutrient you need to have the energy required for survival situations.
A protein shake would be a better option, as would protein bars, nuts, whole grains, etc. Of course, if you are in a major SHTF event, you will just want to eat whatever you can to survive.
But it’s best if you can select nutrient-rich foods that will help your body maintain good health, assist you in having the energy you need to get through the situation and provide some level of enjoyment because you are eating foods that you already enjoy.
Day 3: Learn How to Store and Package Food for Safety and Longevity
Purchasing enough food, or even growing your own food, is not enough to get you safely through a survival event. You also have to have the knowledge about what to do in order to keep your food supplies safe from contamination and help them have an extended shelf life as well.
If you are buying ready-made foods, whether they are survival foods or canned or dried goods that you pick up at the grocery store, you want to store them in a cool, dry space in your home so that they do not get spoiled by moist, hot conditions.
You don’t want to store your food in the attic or outside in a shed. The possibility for spoiling or for pests to enter the package is far too great. Instead, create a survival food supply room or area within your home and protect the packages as much as possible.
You can buy heavy-duty wire shelving units that can hold up to 1,500 pounds or more to free up more room for canned goods and other supplies. You want airtight containers to place your goods in.
Make sure you have oxygen absorbers on hand to help you extend the longevity of your food supplies. You can place some foods in Mylar bags and vacuum seal them so that it’s more protected than a simple Ziploc bag would be.
Day 4: Check Out Weekly Deals and Stock Up on Goods
Whether you find them online or get them delivered in your weekly newspaper, store circulars can inform you of deals you can use to stock up on extra food supplies strategically.
This will extend your budget easily, allowing you to buy more of what you want and need. So don’t be so strict with your plans where you think you’re going to be buying 10 cans of green beans one day, but spinach is on sale for a buy 2, get one free deal and you pass it up because you are sticking to a plan.
Know what day the ads come out and look for the best deals you can find for food and other items, like batteries, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. You might need to trade off one week and invest in non-food items if you see a deal you can’t pass up.
Make sure you pay attention to the details. For example, you might see a deal for an 8-pack of bottled water for $2.99 at one store, and another deal for $3.99 at another store, but the second deal has three times as much water, at 24 bottles.
If you see a good deal, but they limit the number you can buy at once, you may want to make multiple trips to the store that week before the deal is up. Make sure you are also signed up for the store’s benefits program so that you can get exclusive deals the general public does not get.
Day 5: Shop for Game-Changing Pantry Staples
Imagine being in a stressful survival situation, where life as you know it has suddenly changed dramatically. When it comes to food, it can be a real morale booster during SHTF events.
You want to make sure that you not only stuck up on normal foods that your family likes to eat but also pay attention to what’s in your pantry. This includes staples such as flour, salt, sugar, list, etc., but it also includes spices that will help improve the flavor of the survival foods that your family suddenly has to live on.
Your pantry supplies should include things like coffee, cooking oil, bread crumbs, baking soda and baking powder, and condiments that your family enjoys with their normal food supplies.
Day 6: Buy What Your Family Already Eats
Survival situations are hard enough without focusing on the fact that everything you had before the event has now changed or disappeared. Buying items your family already loves will help ease their pain.
It’s important to keep their spirits high so that sadness and depression doesn’t set in. The last thing you want is to have your kids whining because you’re trying to feed them some stale, gross MRE when they just want some Kraft Mac n Cheese once in awhile like they used to.
Does this mean you buy everything they want all of the time? No. There are moments when you’ll stock up on a brand of pasta or protein bars because they’re on sale, nutritionally sound, and it makes sense.
But don’t neglect the emotional needs of your family when it comes to bringing some normalcy back into their lives. If you know your family enjoys one particular brand, try to shop for those items on sale instead of just loading up on a generic brand just because you can.
Plan meals based on the kinds of food they like to eat now, too. If your family is heavy on eating chicken, don’t stock up on tons of beef products, especially if they normally turn their nose up to it.
Day 7: Put Your Food on a Rotation Schedule
There are two kinds of rotation schedules you want to have in place when it comes to survival. First, you have to rotate out the food as you buy more. Your organization should allow for newer food items that you buy to be strategically placed behind the older ones.
That way, you’ll be able to use up the ones that are set to expire sooner and replenish them with foods that have an older expiration date. This is another reason why it’s so important that you buy foods your family already eats.
If you’re buying survival food nobody would eat normally, you’re just going to have to throw it away when it expires because nobody will have eaten it beforehand. The second type of rotation system you want to set up is the use of food.
You don’t want to go through supplies and make everyone eat all of one type of food before you allow them to move on to a different type of meal. Switch things up. In a survival situation, you might have one night where you eat readymade MREs, another where you cook the fish that you caught earlier in the day, and one where you use food from the garden for a vegetarian meal.
Variety will help keep morale high, too. If you force them to eat the same thing every day, they’ll quickly grow bored of it, but it won’t be doing them any favors nutritionally, either because the body needs a mix of nutrients for optimal health.
Day 8: Make Some Purchases of Long Shelf Life Survival Foods
Survival foods that are made for long shelf lives are a peace of mind purchase that adds convenience to your survival journey. You can purchase a 1-year emergency food survival supply and not have to worry about all of the intricate planning.
They have readymade survival food for 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, 1 week, one month, three months, and more. You can get kits for one person or those that feed a family of four.
These readymade survival meal kits can include entire meals or they might be a canister of one type of food, like dried bananas or dehydrated taco meat. You can mix and match your long-term survival food purchases to have a solid supply on hand for everyone in your family.
You can look for survival foods you can buy from companies like My Patriot Supply, Readywise Emergency Food Supplies, Augason Farms, and Mountain Valley, to name a few.
You can also find military MREs (meals ready to eat) to purchase, too. These are the same meals our military troops eat whenever they’re in a combat situation so they’re packed with enough calories to get you through anything.
Day 9: Learn Your Gardening Zone and Pick Up Your Supplies
Your gardening zone, which is determined by the US Department of Agriculture, can help you figure out which plants will be hardy enough to survive in whatever climate you live in.
There are some foods that you can grow that will prefer a cooler climate and those that survive and thrive in extreme heat. Some plants need more rain than your area may have, and some will need less.
You can go to https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/ and type in your zip code to find your hardiness zone. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, for example, is in Hardiness Zone 8. Once you know your zone, you can plan for the fruits and vegetables you want to grow so that you aren’t reliant on the food chain supply.
You can look up the first and last frost dates so that you can calculate when to sow seeds and when to harvest. You can din tables that will show you each food item, when to start the seeds, when to sow them, and then when you can expect to harvest them.
Keep in mind, during a survival event, you may not be able to simply log on to the Internet to find this information. It’s a good idea to purchase a book or print out the details you need so that you will have it moving forward in case you are in a major, long-term SHTF situation.
Day 10: Start Growing Your Own Food in a Variety of Ways
Once you know your zone, you can begin growing your own garden. You want to grow them in a variety of ways so that you get the hang of different circumstances. For example, you should know how to grow your own food and the plot of dirt on your land.
However, there may be a circumstance where civil chaos is unfolding, and people are coming onto your property to take the items that you had planned to harvest. Therefore, you also want to know how to grow food using a container garden concept.
This will allow you to place the containers outside during the day for Sun, and bring them indoors so that you keep your plants say from thieves or even pests during the evening hours.
You may or may not have the right soil to start a garden in. So you may also want to try to grow the food and their raised bed garden. You can have your soil tested, and you may end up needing to enrich your soil through a composting process if you can’t find any gardening soil products available when you need them.
You also want to practice camouflaging the foods that you’re growing. There are people who grow a survival garden, and it looks like simple landscaping as opposed to foods that you can eat.
Day 11: Pack Some Easy to Carry Foods in a Bug-Out Bag
A bug-out bag has to have lightweight foods that are easy for you to carry. You may or may not have access to clean water, so you want to have a mixture of foods you can eat right away on the go and those you can cook using purified water.
Dried pasta is lightweight, and can easily be prepared by simply boiling water. For protein, you can find meat such as tuna or chicken in pouches that you can open easily without a can opener.
Peanut butter crackers are a good choice. The pairing of carbs and proteins plus the delicious flavor can give you much-needed energy when you’re hiking in the wilderness, building shelters, and more.
Day 12: Make Sure You Have Various Cooking Methods On Hand
All the food in the world isn’t going to be worth anything to you if you can’t cook or prepare what you need for your family. Food supply preparation includes making sure you have the items to make them edible.
Start with a can opener – not an electric one, as most people have, but a manual can opener. You want to be able to carry one with you whenever you bug out, too – so make sure it’s compact and that everyone in the family knows how to use one.
Don’t buy certain supplies unless you have the means to use them. For example, if you buy wheat but don’t have a wheat grinder, it’s going to make it more difficult to prepare the food into something usable.
You have to remember that you may or may not have power during a survival event. Prepare for both – being able to use the stove and oven and not being able to use them. There are solar cookers and outdoor cooking methods you can use to prepare your food, such as meat, pasta, beans, rice, and more.
You might want to have a smoker or grill that you can use to quickly cook any meat you have if the power goes out and your fridge and freezer begin to thaw. That way, these foods don’t go to waste.
Day 13: Make Sure You Have Plenty of Water for Dehydrated Meal Preparations
Having some food on hand for survival means you have to prepare for the water you’ll need to cook it. If you’re stocking up on dehydrated meals, make sure you know how much water it takes to bring it back to an edible state.
Some come with the water needed. For example, you can buy an Augason Farms Ready Now Emergency Food Supply that comes with four cans included – some for cooking and some for drinking.
You can expect to use up about one cup of water per person, per serving of food, but make sure you’re ready with the instructions because some may require more or less water, and you want the consistency just right.
You may also want to have water for foods that aren’t dehydrated. For example, if you’re using a chicken or beef that is prepared fresh, you can boil it instead of grilling it. Bone broth can be delicious and also nutritionally beneficial if you’re in a survival event, so while boiled meat or bones may not taste as good as grilled, it will serve a better purpose for you.
Day 14: Balance Your Supplies Between Perishable and Non-Perishable Foods
There will be situations where you want to have perishable supplies stocked up. Many survival preppers will pay for half of a butchered cow, for example – to fill their freezers in case there’s a short supply of meat.
Because not all survival events mean a loss of electricity, you can plan to stock up on things like beef, chicken, pork, and other frozen foods that will sustain your family as long as you do have a freezer working to keep the food safe.
Of course, most survival preppers focus on nonperishable foods because those will last you a long period of time with or without electricity. You just want to have a nice, healthy balance so that part of your nutrition is being met with a large quantity of protein, and the other part is available to you in any circumstances.
You can also turn certain perishable food into non-perishables if you have the right equipment. For example, you can take some of the beef that you purchase and periodically turn it into beef jerky.
You can also thaw some of it out and turn it into a canned stew or canned meat that will be shelf-stable longer than if it were to be in a grid-down situation. You may want to have a percentage of 70/30, where 70% of your supplies are non-perishables, and 30% are those that might go bad in a powerless SHTF event.
Day 15: Evaluate the Nutritional Value of Your Survival Meal Plans
Many experts agree that for survival purposes, you should have at least one nutritionally sound meal each day, minimum – even if all of the other things are simple snacks that you eat during the day.
You first want to make sure that you have plenty of proteins, carbs for energy, and fats to keep you feeling satisfied and full. If you’re eating only carbs, you won’t stay full as long, and without protein, you’ll being to lose muscle that can help you during a survival situation.
You also want to make sure you’re getting a variety of vitamins and minerals with your daily meals. Trail mix, which comes with a variety of nuts, dried fruits, and even dark chocolate can be beneficial as a healthy snack.
You also might want to have some energy bars and sports drinks available in case your energy starts to wane and you need a boost to get you through a particularly grueling situation.
If you’re buying readymade survival meals, they often try to deliver a healthy balance for you, but it’s wise to check out the macros micronutrients to see if you’re getting enough of everything your body needs to thrive so that you can add additional food sources if they’re not delivering for you.
Day 16: Stock Up on Hearty Grains, Beans, and Legumes
Grains, beans, and legumes are wonderful staples to have on hand for survival situations. Not only can they be filling and give you energy when you need it most, but they also provide protein and have health benefits, too.
Beans and legumes can help your heart health and if you’re diabetic, or pre-diabetic, it can stabilize your blood sugar. It can even benefit your gut if you happen to have digestive issues.
There are some that you can stock up on that will be healthier than others. For example, chickpeas, which can be used as snacks cooked in an air fryer or solar cooker – or crushed and turned into hummus, can take care of hunger pangs and lower your blood sugar levels naturally
Others you want to pick up include black beans, peas, navy beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and more. You can eat them as main or side dishes or to thicken up a stew or soup.
As for grains, you’ll want to have this versatile food on hand to help you get more mileage from your other foods. They have a very long shelf life, which is beneficial, and they’re easy to cook.
You can cook grains or turn them into flour and make bread and other items with it. Look for white rice, wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, millet, and others that your family will enjoy.
Day 17: Get Cooking Instructions Printed and Laminated to Keep with Food Supplies
Whether it’s for your own insight or for that of your family, you need to make sure everyone knows how to cook the items you’re stockpiling. What good is a bag of beans if you don’t know how to properly cook them so that they’re edible?
The Internet might be down, or the entire grid, so you need to have these instructions printed (and laminated to keep them safe from any damage). Just because you know how to cook something, doesn’t mean your family will remember how to do it in an emergency situation.
Anything could happen to you – you might get separated from them, you might fall ill, or worse. They need to have instructions at their fingertips on how to prepare the food – both with and without conventional cooking methods.
Instead of cooking beans on a stove, they may have to use a cast iron pot, start a fire, purify some water and cook them over a fire. The instructions should include all possibilities.
Day 18: Start Raising Animals for Eggs and Meat
Chickens are the most commonly thought-of farm animals that survival preppers consider growing. You can live off of the eggs they provide, and in an emergency, use them for meat if necessary.
But there are other farm animals that be raised for survival purposes. Rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, and even cows can provide meat as well as pelts and wool for clothing, milk, and more.
This is a hard thing for many people to stomach, and it might not be right for your needs. But it’s a good idea to learn how to do it in case a situation arises where it could save your family’s lives.
Not only do you need to know how to use the animals for survival, but you have to know how to raise and care for them, especially because there may not be any veterinarian help during a major survival event.
Farm animals might also come in handy as a bartering tool whenever you need additional supplies. For example, if the hens are laying more eggs than you can use, you can give some to neighbors in exchange for something you’re running low on, like salt or oil.
Day 19: Power Up Your Family’s Food with Potato Flakes
Potato flakes are a delicious and versatile survival food. They’re also super lightweight, so you can take them on the go in a bug-out situation. And many come pre-flavored, so all you have to add is water and you’re good to go.
They have a long shelf life because they’re dehydrated, and they’re perfect for anyone on a tight budget, so you can stockpile a lot of them for your future food needs. Make sure you repackage them so they don’t have any exposure to the air and store them in a cool, dry spot.
For survival purposes, it’s better to get the plain potato flakes than to buy the flavored kinds because the flavoring can cause the product to become rancid if it’s not properly packaged.
You can repackage them in Mylar bags that you seal up with an oxygen absorber. They’re more than just a side dish, too. Potato flakes can be used to thicken foods such as soups, stews, or sauces.
It can also be used as a coating if you don’t have any breadcrumbs available. And they have more nutrients than you might think, including Vitamin C, B6, potassium, and more. This is one comfort food that can go a long way in your survival supplies.
Day 20: Stock Up on Fishing Gear
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” There are many slight variations of this quote, and it’s true. Everyone in your family should know how to use natural water sources in your area to catch their meals.
There are some small, lightweight fishing kits you can buy for bug-out bags, such as the Glide ASE Survival Fishing Kit that’s no bigger than an Altoids tin can. They include jigs and flies, hooks, leaders, fish nibbles, and line and bobbers to name a few items.
Make sure your family knows how to use the fishing equipment. They may not always have a fishing rod. How will they catch fish without it? Practice is important, as also the preparation of the fish – from cleaning to cooking.
Depending on where you’re located, you might even learn and teach your family about noodling, which is how people catch fish with their bare hands. This might come in handy in a major event if you’re caught with no food and no gear.
Day 21: Get Informed About Edible Foraging in Your Area
Foraging is one food supply strategy everyone should know. You want to be able to harvest from Mother Nature, without accidentally poisoning yourself or those you love. This requires you to learn about foraging in the wild.
There are many foods you can gather in the wild. They include nuts, fruit, herbs, roots, seeds, mushrooms, and more. Some people even forage for insects for protein, but many aren’t comfortable with that plan.
You have familiarized yourself with items in your area because they will differ from other locations. Understand that some plants and berries or mushrooms will look very similar in nature, but one will be poisonous and one will be safe.
The differences may be so slight, that unless you’re trained to look for it, you may not be aware. You can find guidebooks for your area that will teach you how to forage for food in your location.
You can also hire a guide who will teach you how to forage in the wild and recognize any dangers as well as sources that can help you sustain your energy and feed you until you can get a proper meal.
You can find many wild grains that are rich in the nutrients that you will need in a survival situation. Even dandelions can provide vitamins and minerals that help you stay healthy, but you will also find other wild plants that have plenty of vitamins and are sometimes healthier than what you can even find in the produce section of a store because it hasn’t been treated with pesticides.
Day 22: Practice Cooking and Eating Survival Foods Periodically
In many of these sections above, we’ve mentioned the fact that you need to practice whatever food source strategy you are implementing. For example, fishing, cooking food, etc.
In addition to practicing catching, preparing, and cooking your food, you also need to get in the habit of eating it and getting your family used to survival foods from time to time.
It can be a shock to the system to suddenly go from the convenience of eating out whenever you want and having a fully stocked fridge compared to a survival situation where you are relying on MREs and dehydrated meals to get you by.
You want everyone to begin practicing how to cook certain foods. Not just a wild game that you caught, but also something simple like powdered eggs. When a survival situation occurs, you don’t want any of your food supplies wasted because of improper cooking and preparation.
You also want everyone to learn how to cook with different methods. For example, learning how to cook things outdoors such as boiling water and cooking pasta on an open fire compared to a stovetop can be very different.
If you have a solar cooker that you are using as an oven or fryer, you want to have your family practice cooking on that so that they don’t feel lost whenever they are unable to access electric appliances.
Day 23: Pick Up Special Diet Foods for Infants, the Elderly, or for Health Issues
On this day, you want to take into consideration any special dietary needs that you or your family have. For example, if you have an infant in the home, or on the way, you will want to have plenty of baby formula as well as baby foods whenever they begin to eat solids.
Even now, baby formula is in short supply. So whenever you are able to get your hands on it, you should go ahead and begin preparing for that food supply. You may have to order from out of state or even out of the country in order to get your needs met.
Elderly individuals may have additional dietary needs. For example, as you age, your teeth often aren’t as strong as they were in your youth. You may need to have soft foods on hand to feed the older people in your family.
Or, there may be a situation where you need to have a supply of something like Ensure on hand to make sure they are getting enough of the calories they need to get through each day.
Another dietary issue you may need to prepare for our health concerns. For example, you may have someone in your family who is a diabetic. Instead of having sweets for them to eat, you may need to have sugar-free foods or other low-carb options so that their blood sugars are not spiraling out of control.
Day 24: Have Comfort Foods to Bring Out on Special Occasions
When a survival situation occurs, it can be terrifying and eventually, depressing if it goes on long enough. Comfort foods are a small piece of the past – of a normal life – that can ease the pain, lift someone’s spirits and make them feel whole again.
You want to make sure you plan for every family member’s comfort foods. These don’t have to be shared with everyone all at once or eaten the second the going gets rough. Instead, save them for the biggest moments when people are feeling down and present them to them as a bright spot in the midst of turmoil.
For example, find out what everyone’s favorite candy is. Preferably something shelf stable, like hard candy. It might be a Werther’s caramel hard candy or a butterscotch candy.
Someone may want a peppermint stick or some sort of chocolate. You might be able to stock up on other comfort items like hot cocoa and make it with powdered milk instead of water.
Comfort food is also more than candy and drinks, like Kool-Aid or sodas. It can also be nutritious or hearty meals. For example, you might have a chicken you can prepare and the ability to use flour to make dumplings.
Chicken and dumplings on a cold winter night would bring back memories of a time when your family felt safe and happy. You might be able to make meatloaf out of dehydrated meat and bread crumbs, along with a binding material.
You don’t want to lose the ability to provide comfort to your family through the use of food. Right now, we’re able to do it on an as-needed basis, or on a whim. During a survival situation, you might do the same – or save it for special occasions like birthdays.
Before you lose power, make sure you know how to use your survival supplies to recreate these dishes. Test them out to see if you can get them as close to the real thing as possible, including the cooking mechanism you might need to use in an SHTF event.
Day 25: Teach Your Family How to Safely Open Food After Certain Survival Events
Storing and stocking food supplies is one part of being able to keep your family safe and healthy during a survival event. But many people unknowingly get sick because they use their supplies without making sure they’re safe to consume.
You have to be able to spot food that has gone bad. If you notice pests in the food, don’t eat it. If the food has a foul smell, don’t take the risk. Sometimes, the color will be off and you can spot mold or other things that prove it’s compromised.
It’s better to be hungry than to eat spoiled food that can make you extremely sick. Without access to a hospital, you might put yourself more at risk than being hungry would put you at.
Even things like canned goods have to be examined. If the can is dented in, it might be compromised. Home canned goods may not have been canned properly, and can make you ill if you consume them.
If you’re eating canned goods after a flood, you have to make sure that you properly clean the outside of the can before opening it. Sometimes flood water carries dangerous bacteria that can make you sick – or worse.
Day 26: Invest in Animal Traps and Hunting Equipment
In a world where we’re used to hopping in the car and driving down to the local supermarket for a Sunday pot roast, it’s hard to stomach the thought of having to be a predator and take down another living animal ourselves for food.
It’s just not how many of us were brought up, although some were raised to know how to hunt. This is a good skill to have in a survival event, and if you’re hungry enough, you’ll do what wild animals do and find food any way you can get it.
You want to spend a day learning what wild animals are in your general location, how to hunt or trap them, how to humanely take them down and prepare the meat for a meal and how to cook them properly to avoid getting sick.
You might want to check on learning how to hunt small prey like rabbits, or large ones like deer. How you hunt will be up to you. You can use a firearm or bow and arrow – but you need to make sure you know how to go about it the right way.
What you don’t want to do is burn a lot of calories, trying to catch the food you are trying to get for survival purposes. Using a trap or snare allows you to set something up and rest while the machine does the hard work for you.
Day 27: Teach Your Family How to Use Canned Good for Hydration
When many people think about canned goods, such as green beans, they often envision themselves pouring out the water and eating the food that’s left in the can. However, the water that is used to can the fruits and vegetables you are stocking up on can be used to hydrate you in an emergency.
You can find this water in things like beans, asparagus, artichokes, pears, mandarin oranges, and other canned goods. Not only can you drink the water outright, to supplement your hydration, but you can also use it in other ways.
For example, if you want to bake a cake in a solar cooker, you can use the water from a can of mixed fruit instead of using normal water. This can help you reserve your drinking water, and also add additional flavor to the items that you are baking.
Make sure your family knows that if they open a can of fruits or vegetables, they need to reserve the liquid from the can so that someone in your family can either drink it or it can be used in cooking something else.
The water often has additional nutrients in it, too, so it can contribute to your needs in that way. You can create a broth from some of the vegetables and add any bones leftover from the meat that you cook to it to make a delicious soup.
Day 28: Invest in Supplements for a Deficient Diet
During normal times, you may have been able to go to the store and select a rainbow of fresh produce that you can feed your family to ensure they are getting a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Those foods would meet all of their nutritional needs for vitamins and minerals. However, in a survival situation, you may find certain foods are sparse and you have to rely on supplements to make sure your family is getting all of the nutritional support they need.
Supplements can go a long way in filling the gaps where your food supplies have fallen short. You need to make sure you are taking care of your physical health so that you are capable of surviving in harsh conditions.
The type of supplements you stock up on depends on what type of survival situation you encounter. of course, you want to be prepared for anything and everything. But a pandemic, which we recently went through, may require you to support your immune system more than other times.
You want vitamins that can support your bone health, and your heart and muscle functions, help you sustain your energy levels, keep your brain functioning properly, and help you maintain your vision among other things.
You can stock up on daily multivitamins as well as specific vitamins like A, B vitamins, C, D, E, and K. You may also want to stock up on zinc, selenium, and calcium to help keep your body strong and functioning properly.
Day 29: Get Ready for Canning and Dehydrating Food
If you are growing your own food, or even want to prepare meat and other items, you can learn how to can the food in your supplies so that it will last longer for you. You might the fruits and vegetables by themselves, or turn them into jams, jellies, sauces, and other items.
You have to know how to form a vacuum-type seal so that you don’t allow any microorganisms to spoil the food. There are different canning methods you can use, including boiling it in water or using a pressure cooker, and there are ready-made kits that you can buy that include everything you will need to get started.
You can also learn how to dehydrate your own food. There are different methods for this as well, including drying it in the sun, which can take several days, air drying it in a shady area, using a solar gadget or an oven, and even using an electric dehydration machine if you have power at that time.
There are many things you can dehydrate, including meat or fish, fruits and vegetables, and even herbs, granola, and seeds. You can make a tasty trail mix that can keep you satisfied on the go or at home.
Day 30: Prepare for Long Term Supply Disruptions and Nutritional Changes
One thing many people don’t talk about when it comes to preparing for your food supply is the changes that may take place if you encounter a long-term survival situation. Not every survival event is a week-long hurricane flood or a 24-hour power outage due to a winter storm.
You never know if a survival event will turn into a major SHTF situation where you are without power or a food supply chain for months or even years to come. Think about how your family will change during that time, and what nutritional needs will have to be met along with those changes.
For example, as your child grows from an infant to a toddler to a teen, they will need more calories and stronger nutrients to support their growth. You may have someone who is going from middle-aged into an elderly situation, and their nutritional needs will be altered as well.
You also might have someone who encounters a health situation, and this can range from developing diabetes to even becoming pregnant and needing additional calories to sustain their baby.
Conclusion – Survival Prepper Food Checklist for SHTF Situation
Spending 30 days to get the ball rolling with your food supply is a great start for any prepper initiate. What you need to do is stay on top of your inventory, forecast future events to see what may happen and what you may need, become familiar with the use of all of your supplies, and in teaching your family how to do the same.