Food Insurance : Is It Really Needed?
If you think about it, food and water are vital to our survival. A human being can only live for a few weeks without food and only a few days without water. So why aren’t we more concerned with protecting our most basic necessities?
In light of the tragic events in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the power outage in New York City that brought the city to a standstill, and the constant threat of fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and other natural disasters across the country, it is important to make sure we always have the basic necessities of life with enough home food storage for your family to survive for at least two weeks.
Factor in the meteoric rise of food prices and the argument for adequate food insurance becomes even stronger.
Sure, to combat the swelling cost of food, you can either choose to do nothing or you can be prepared and have some sort of a food storage plan.
In addition to the rising food costs and economic uncertainty, food insurance makes sense as a means of protecting your family in times of natural disasters. Disaster preparedness is a discipline that involves preparing for an emergency before it occurs, disaster response (e.g. emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), as well as supporting, and rebuilding society after natural or human-made disasters have occurred.
In general, disaster preparedness involves a continuous process by which all individuals, groups, and communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid or ameliorate the impact of disasters resulting from the hazards. Actions taken depend in part on perceptions of risk to those exposed.
Effective disaster preparedness relies on thorough integration of emergency plans.For safe food storage techniques, there are plenty of ways to go about making sure your family stays safe in the case of an emergency. There is always the persistent fear out there that the food we take for granted, like corn, for instance, will no longer be as readily available as it is today. The foods we use daily are becoming more and more expensive, as is being reported on the news in an alarming trend.
The types of foods that are in our grocer’s shelves are going up in price, as many Americans are losing their jobs, or the pay they are getting is not adequate for replenishing the regular amount of food consumed by their family. This can mean many things, but one big issue that seems to be arising, is the information being clamored for to learn how to properly store food.
For the first time in decades, Americans are looking to store food, in the event that it may become too expensive to purchase for many in the typical way. These families are trying out canning, storing, and preparing foods that will last for long periods without going bad, including dehydrated foods, that are very popular.
Thousands of Americans are looking at stockpiling foodstuffs, and ways to maintain a storage system that works for them, irregardless of their belief system. This wave of interest has gone far beyond religious edicts. These are concerned people, who are watching the news, and media that are showing how much food will be going up in the near future.
Here are some of the ways they are taught to keep food for a good amount of time.
Buying in Bulk
The quickest and easiest way (although least cost-effective) to build a food storage supply is to buy non-perishable items in bulk. Families can take advantage of memberships from stores such as BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco by purchasing flats of canned goods, large boxes of pasta, bags of rice, bottled water, etc. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has basic food supplies available to purchase through church storehouses. The order form and local storehouse information can be found on the church website.
Home canning may be the most cost-effective way to build food storage. Self canning is not difficult, but is time consuming. You will need some basic supplies, such as a pressure cooker and/or large pot for boiling with a rack, jars, as well as jar rings and sealing lids. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be grown at home, or purchased through local co-ops or farmer’s markets to keep costs down. The National Center for Home Food Preservation has detailed instructions on self canning.
Newer technology has made home food storage even easier. Dry items such as pasta, flour, rice, oatmeal, dried fruit, etc. can be stored in plastic containers and storage bags long term. There is a small initial investment for this method. To pack dry items, purchase either a Food Saver machine or other vacu-pack-type machine. You will also need to purchase a supply of plastic bags and containers to use with your machine. This technique is very simple, and is a fun way to involve children with food storage.
# Leaders of the Mormon church encourage its members to keep a home garden. They teach that “planting a garden, even a small one, allows for a greater degree of self-reliance. With the right information and a little practice, individuals and entire families can enjoy the many benefits of planting and tending a garden”. Gardening is a fun and relaxing way to provide food for food storage, and it can significantly reduce the cost of building up food stores.
How much food to can, dry-pack or purchase depends on the size of the family. Because church leaders emphasize the importance of food storage and self reliance, they have included a food storage calculator on their church website. However, this may not fit every family’s needs.
Families should store the type of food they like to eat. One way to determine how much your family might need to store for a three month supply is to create a menu for one week. Make a list of all the items you would need to fill that menu, then multiple the totals by 12. This can be adjusted for a six month or one year supply.
In addition to food and water, consider other items that should be included in long term storage, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, extra toothbrushes, laundry detergent, pet food, diapers, baby food and formula, light bulbs, flashlights and batteries, candles and any other household items that are purchased regularly. It is also a good idea to keep a financial reserve for emergencies.
Additionally, copies of all important documents, such as birth certificates, shot records, insurance policies and deeds should be kept in a fire and waterproof safe. Families should sit down together to discuss their needs and ways to build up food storage and prepare for emergencies.
What people are saying about Food Insurance:
“Our friends invited us over for dinner one night and introduced us to Food Insurance. We were amazed that all we had to do was add water and in a matter of minutes had a delicious gourmet meal. We had never considered that you could have food storage that actually tasted good and was so easy to prepare. We decided that night to invest in our future well-being.” ….Brad Johnson — Draper, Utah
“My family and I have looked for emergency preparedness solutions for years. Here in Florida we have to be prepared for hurricanes and other violent weather. The Food Insurance package is the highest quality food and water solution I have found. I bought backpacks for my husband and me as well as for my three sons.” …Nancy Wilson — Pensacola, Florida
“In New York we take it for granted that there will always be food at the local market. After living through terrorist attacks and power outages, many New Yorkers are searching for a preparedness solution that will get us through the next crisis. I needed something compact and reliable that would fit in my relatively small apartment. The Food Insurance package fits easily in my closet. I can sleep better knowing the next time we have an emergency in this city, I will be ready for it.” …Alex Cohen — Brooklyn, New York
“I can’t think of anything worse than not being able to feed your children. Every year we see and read stories of people in other parts of the country who have to endure fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. I always wonder what these people do for food and water until the national agencies arrive on the scene. I don’t want to take the risk that some government agency won’t show up in time.”
…Abby Ward — Des Moines, Iowa
Food Insurance is a great idea because it protects us and gives us peace of mind. Why not make sure you and your loved ones are prepared with enough food and water to survive the ever-increasing number of disasters in the world?