It’s so important to build an emergency food supply kit, let me tell you why. When my cousin was getting married in 1998 we flew out to Nashville for the wedding.
Little did I know that there were a bunch of tornadoes in the area. Yikes!
The pilot safely landed the plane and I was greeted by my cousin who said we needed to immediately take cover from the dangerous storms.
For hours we sat in the bathroom of his apartment because that was the only place we could find that had no external windows.
As we sat listening to a battery-powered radio, we thought about all the luxuries that would’ve been really nice to have while we were cooped up without power. We needed a stockpile, especially an emergency food supply kit!
Then, in 2017, living in Florida, Hurricane Irma passed through. It was a very destructive storm.
Many people were worried about their homes and loved ones but they were also worried about having enough supplies even if they did have an emergency food supply kit.
How can you afford to buy an emergency food supply kit?
I spoke about this topic on Fox on Sunday 9/17/17, watch the replay here:
Finding the deals now will help you create your emergency food supply kit.
Building an emergency food supply kit slowly helps you budget your needs into your weekly grocery budget helping you save money in the long run. You won’t have to make that mad dash to the store racking up your credit card bill when a storm is on its way.
It also will help you choose what you want to put into your kit. You won’t have to take the last can of sardines on the grocery store shelf. Because who actually likes sardines anyway?
And creating your emergency food supply kit will help you feel calmer and more secure about your ability to feed your family in an emergency. That will help give you peace of mind about the situation, also helping you calm your family.
I’ve got some solid ways to build an emergency food supply kit so you’ll be prepared to make it through any kind of emergency, whether it be a hurricane, tornado or blizzard!
1. Build Your Emergency Food Supply Kit, Don’t Buy It All At Once
To our grandparents’ generation this was a common thing, they jarred and canned things in order to store them to last until the following season when they would make it again. Hence they were creating their emergency food supply kit, but you just didn’t call it that. They bought flour in giant sacks which lasted them many months. They had the extra food supply on hand in case they needed it.
Nowadays, we are spoiled because we have the luxury of going to the grocery store every day if we want and therefore, we don’t keep a lot of items on hand. Hurricane Irma had a vacuum effect on the resources in the areas it affected. Causing the local stores not being able to supply the demand the people needed to create an emergency food supply kit and thus running out of many products.
Because of using coupons to shop regularly, I already had 90% of the necessary hurricane supplies: water, canned food, paper plates, paper products, batteries, flashlights, cleaning supplies.
You can’t build your emergency food supply kit when the storm is coming. There simply won’t be the selection or quantity of product you need to feed your family. It has to be built in stages. Just think of it as a work in progress.
The way you build a stockpile is by watching prices and when it is at the lowest price you stock up. I always use the 12 Week Rule to stock up with what my family will reasonably use in 12 weeks.
While you always want to have a small emergency food supply kit available at all times, a great time to start your emergency food supply kit is during the Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday. During these tax-free shopping days, you can stock up on what you need and get them tax-free!
2. Set A Stockpile Goal Today
How long do you prepare for being without access to anything? Power? Water? The Dept. of Homeland Security recommends having a basic emergency supply kit and an emergency food supply kit with enough food and water to last 3 days.
My personal family planned to be without essentials for 5 days. I planned 5 gallons of water per person for a 5 day supply. That is a lot of drinking water (175 gallons to be exact = 7 people x 5 gallons x 5 days). I had it stored in all kinds of containers all over the house.
Purchasing items now for your emergency food supply kit, before the panic sets in, allows you to save 50% to 80% below the normal sale price. That means you won’t have to worry about price gouging or stores running out of stock. You not only get to choose what goes into your emergency food supply kit, but you save money doing it too! It’s a win-win! Because it doesn’t make sense buying something if your family won’t even it! That’s just a waste of money.
Besides storing canned food in your emergency food supply kit, pay attention to buying and storing shelf stable items that are tastier and packed with protein such as peanut butter, crackers, nuts/trail mix, power bars, granola bars, dried fruit.
3. Don’t Overbuy Out Of Fear
Hurricanes or any natural disaster has an effect on people to overbuy especially for your emergency food supply kit. They are fearful because you don’t know how long their area will be potentially out of power. That fear makes us overbuy items we might not use, will eat or they will go bad before they are able to be used.
Keep your feelings of panic in check by starting to build your stockpile right now so that you will be calm and only need to fill in the missing items instead of overbuying out of fear. Knowing that your emergency food supply kit is stocked and ready, has a calming effect in the face of a storm. Plus it helps to keep you out of the stores and traffic of those people who are not prepared with an emergency food supply kit.
4. Pre-Planing Is The Key
I want you to think about a “Couponers Mentality” which is preparing now for your emergency food supply kit for later.
- No Need To Purchase Water – Instead of buying bottled water for your emergency food supply kit, fill several containers before the storm is even near your area which will save you over $100 in bottled water. We filled any entertaining water containers (called a “Beverage Dispenser“), 5-Gallon sports coolers (you know the Gatorade ones with the spout), all our Rubbermaid containers we use to store food, sports bottles, our empty 2 liter soda bottles, every pitcher in the house and even some lidded pots and pans. We even washed out all of the trash cans with hot soapy water and bleach and filled those too. Then we used up all the gallon freezer bags and filled them with water, then froze them in the freezer. Not only giving us more water to drink later but helping our freezer stay cold just in case the power went out. We keep a list of things we have done in the past that worked well in our emergency food supply kit, that way we know what to do again next time.
While planning your water, don’t forget to pick up some bleach. It will help to keep your drinking water safe to drink.
- Cook Meat In Advance – We also cooked several meals in advance in case we lost power. We wanted to have meat already cooked that way we only needed to reheat the meal so we would not have to use our propane grill. Not only to save us time but also propane fuel.
- Wash All Your Laundry – Washing all your laundry and sorting out your old clothes and towels will help you have quick access to use them and potentially throw them away if you lost power or ripped them while cleaning up from the storm. If you have no power, the last thing you want to do is dig through your clothing closet for your “work clothes”. Have them out and ready. The same thing with towels. Get out the ripped or holey ones that are about to be turned into dust rags in order to be ready to use them to mop up messes.
Check out my specific list of items I had in my hurricane stockpile here to see what I had on hand for the storm.
Couponing is a way of stretching your budget and purchasing items when they are at the lowest price. When you buy at the low price for the future it helps to save your budget. Using coupons to build an emergency food supply kit can give you peace of mind, save you money when a storm comes and you get to choose what goes into it.