Last month, Southern California experienced a series of strong earthquakes that made many people worry about “The Big One.” While these quakes were very strong (7.0 range), they were luckily far out from major cities, and damage was kept to a relative minimum. However, most Americans are prone to some sort of natural disaster, whether it’s earthquakes, forest fires, hurricanes, tornados, or flooding.
Most of us think that it will never happen to us, but you never know when you’ll either be trapped in your home or displaced for an indeterminate amount of time. If it happens to you (we certainly hope it doesn’t), you’ll want to make sure that you have emergency supplies stored to get you through the period of hardship.
If a disaster leaves you stuck in your home without power, you’ll need to make sure there is enough food to get through to safety. Just having a pantry stocked with food is not enough to consider yourself prepared. You have to be strategic about what food you have stored, and how you store it. Afterall, you don’t know if your situation is going to last 24 hours or 24 days. Even worse, the food in your fridge and freezer is going to spoil fast.
How long does food last in a fridge when the power goes out? A fridge will only stay at a safe temperature for roughly 4 hours. That is IF you don’t open the door. Opening the door will drastically reduce this safety net. The freezer will hold for roughly 48 hours. Again, this is assuming the door is not opened and that the freezer is full. A half-full freezer will warm up much faster. If your situation is going to last more than a day or two, the food in cold-storage is as good as gone.
With the refrigerator out of the question, you’ll be surviving off of your pantry. Let’s assume that due to the recent event, you’ve lost all electricity in your home. Rather than your home being the cool 72 degrees that you enjoy, it has risen to 82 degrees due to lack of air conditioning. Open food containers begin spoiling faster, as bacteria grows faster in warmer environments. It’s day 5, and your loafs of bread have succumbed to mold. Luckily, you have several boxes of breakfast cereal. Rejoice! Oh wait, the milk has spoiled.
In situations like this, you’re forced to turn to canned goods and other foods with long shelf lives and easy preparation. If you have a gas stove, you should be able to cook in the event of a prolonged power outage. Your electric ignition might not work, but you’ll be able to get a flame going using a match. In this case, you’ll be able to heat up whatever you have canned as well as boil water.
However, breakfast items are rare amongst canned goods. At the very best, you’ll have some canned peaches or other fruits that will be suitable for the morning hours. However, your kids might be picky, and a grouchy toddler is only going to make this tough situation worse. That’s why we recommend keeping a few cases of Modern Oats around the house in case of emergency. They have a long shelf life, a large variety of flavors, and can cook up with just water. Even better, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals and are a good source of protein which makes them ideal when your food supply is stretched thin.
Modern Oats can be purchased in 12-packs, they come in several gourmet flavors so you can switch it up each day, and it’s the perfect meal for everyone from toddlers to adults. Store a couple cases in your pantry and eat them as you please. Just make sure that you have enough cups saved up in case of emergency.
What if your home is damaged/ruined in a disaster such as a fire, flood, or earthquake? If you get displaced, then you’ll need emergency supplies that can be brought on the road. Maybe your city has a shelter that you can rely on, but a big enough catastrophe can leave families stranded without a home. A number of disasters in the past have resulted in people living out of their cars, or worse, having to carry everything they can. In these situations, dry or dehydrated foods such as oatmeal are ideal, since large amounts weigh little, and can be transported and stored easily. There’s a reason why Modern Oats is a favorite of hikers and backpackers.
Having an emergency pack ready can be a lifesaver (literally) in a natural disaster. There are numerous guidelines on what should be included in an emergency pack, but food & water are always a necessity. Packing a few cups of Modern Oats will provide you enough food to find a shelter or other source of aid.
If the worst should happen, at least you and your family have a steady supply of food.
If you want more help building a survival kit, check out the recommended items listed on Ready.gov.