One of the most important prepping tips is that you should have enough food on hand to last at least two weeks after a storm. This means that for each person in the household, there will be enough food to cover the major mealtimes of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The main reason for this, is that in the aftermath of a particularly devastating storm, there will be food shortages. Supermarkets may be closed or may be rationing the few food supplies that they have on hand.
The key to having enough food, is to stockpile the right types of food. There have been many reports of areas losing power and gas for weeks and even months, after the passage of a tropical storm. As a result, you will have to gather food that does not need to be refrigerated. It is also a smart move to avoid food that needs to be cooked on a stove for safe consumption.
The solution to this, is to stockpile non-perishable foods.
What are Perishable Foods?
Do you know the difference between perishable food and non-perishable food? Perishable food is food that will spoil quickly without refrigeration to freezing. In addition to spoiling quickly, these foods can decay and become unsafe for consumption if not stored properly. Some examples of perishable foods can be found in the major food categories such as meat and poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits. .
Perishable food is not recommended when stockpiling food for natural disasters or any other disaster event. This is because when perishables are not kept in the required temperatures, bacteria can form. Pathogenic bacteria can cause foodborne illnesses, whilst spoilage bacteria can cause food to spoil. These bacteria can alter the smell, taste, and texture of the food. Although some spoiled food can be detected, others may not. And when your refrigerator or freezer loses power, your food will start to spoil. So, it’s always advised to consume non-perishable food after disaster events.
What are Non-Perishable Foods?
Non-perishable foods are foods that will last a long time without spoiling or decaying. Although these foods can be stored for long periods of time, they should be stored properly. Store your food in dry areas that are free from moisture and mould. Most non-perishable foods are canned, home canned and dry goods, and they are found in major categories such as: grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, protein foods and beverages.
Some examples of non-perishable grains are:
- Crackers: Whole grain; whole wheat etc.
- Cereals: High fiber; low sugar etc.
- Pasta: Whole wheat; white; semolina etc.
- Rice: White; brown; jasmine; basmati etc.
Non-Perishable Peas, Beans and Legumes
Some examples of non-perishable legumes are:
- Peas: Black-eyes peas; pigeon peas; field peas etc.
- Lentils: Red lentils; green lentils; yellow lentils etc.
- Beans: Black beans; kidney beans; garbanzo beans etc.
Non-Perishable Fruits and Vegetables
Some examples of non-perishable fruits and vegetables are:
- Canned vegetables: Corn; carrots; peas etc.
- Canned fruit: Peaches; pears; pineapple etc.
- Dried Fruit: Prunes; raisins; cranberries etc.
- Canned/ Boxed juices: Tomato; orange; pineapple etc.
Non-Perishable Protein Foods
Some examples of non-perishable protein foods are:
- Canned meats and fish: Tuna; salmon; sardines; corned beef etc.
- Canned soups: Bean soups; vegetable soups; meat-based soups etc.
- Nut butters: Peanut butter; cashew butter; almond butter
- Nuts: Peanuts; almonds; cashews etc.
Some examples of non-perishable beverages are:
- Water: Bottled water
- Tea: Tea bags; loose tea; fresh leaves etc.
- Coffee: Coffee packets; coffee grounds etc.
- Powered Mixes: Milk; chocolate etc.
Non-perishable foods are recommended when creating food stockpiles in preparation for disasters. This is because they have a long shelf-life and can provide sustenance for a long period of time. However, when stockpiling food, check the best-before and use-by dates to see how long the food will last. Additionally, you should rotate food stock, by using older items and replacing them with newer items.
The best food for your emergency food kit is food that does not need to be cooked. By focusing on ready-to eat food, you eliminate the need for cooking or heating to prepare the food for consumption. This ensures that your family will have enough food to survive during tough conditions.
Tansi International College: Perishable and Non-Perishable Food
The Inn: Non-Perishable Food Items
United Way: Suggested Non-Perishable Food Items
My Recipes: What Are Non-Perishable Foods, Exactly?
Avon School: Non-Perishable Food