This chapter of the survival guide will try to provide you with an estimate of the amount of food needed to feed a single
person and a family of four for a year.
The purpose of this Survival guide is to help people who are on the lower economic strata prepare for emergencies.
This survival guide does not tell you how to prepare and store food. That is best done by reading books by people
who have been storing food for many years.
Your family preferences should dictate what you need to store for the future. Your economic status may
restrict what you are able to store. Your living space may restrict what and how much you are able to store.
For example, if you live in a poor neighborhood your apartment may not protect your stored food from changing temperatures,
thereby destroying its nutirent value.
Before you get discouraged about the cost of storing a years supply of food look at the Freebie chapter.
This will give you an idea of what is available to you for low cost. Nothing is ever entirely free.
Don't get discouraged by the amount needed for one year. The first thing you need to do is examine your pantry.
Your initial food storage should try to increase the non-pershible food that is in your present pantry. Whatever you
regularly consume in your daily living you should stock up on.
For example, if your family likes chicken noodle soup then the next time you go shopping buy up three or four extra cans
of soup. If your familiy likes cream of corn then buy several cans of cream of corn.
Food storage experts will have a fit when I advise you to buy a case or two of ramen noodles. They are cheap
but most are devoid of nutrition.
You may need to agument the ramen noodles with sprouts or vegetables, fruit, and nuts to provide a more
balanced diet. Cheap calories devoid of nutrition are better than calories with lots of nutrition that weren't included
in your storage plan because you couldn't afford them.
If your family likes to drink milk, then buy a box of powdered skim milk, preferably in sealed envelopes. Whole
powdered milk has a shorter shelf life and will need to be rotated sooner than powdered skim milk. Put these extra items
in a separate area from your regular pantry so that they are not used except when rotated.
When you rotate a product make sure that you have its replacement first. Otherwise you will be tempted to
use the item needing rotation and not buy its replacement.
If you use a lot of flour or other items for baking then you should buy an extra quantity of flour and the other
items. This extra flour and other extras should be stored in your pantry (not in your emergency food supply) and replaced
when it is used. Flour does not have a long storage life so make sure you rotate it.
Whole grains have a long storage life. Buy your whole grains from your local Food Co-Op or from the bulk food
section of your local supermarket.
If you cannot afford a hand crank grinder to make flour from your stored grain remember that whole grains can be used
in soup and other baked goods that do not require flour.
For example, sprouted wheat is often baked into breads.
The following will give you some idea of how much food you will need of each item for one year. I make no attempt
to vary the diet for the year. For example, I list four fluid ounces of uncooked oatmeal for breakfast each morning
for each person.
It is simply easier to use only one item in the years supply, you will need to vary the diet for your own family based
on their preferences.
For example, hispanic families may want to store traditional foods while people from the middle east may want to store
foods they are used to.
Every morning each person will need to eat breakfast. In order for a single person to provide 4
fluid ounces of uncooked rolled oats for breakfast for a year she will need to store:
Four ounces of oatmeal per day times one year (4 X 365 = 1460) equals 1460 ounces. The 1460 ounces divided by 126
ounces per gallon (1460 ./. 126 = 11.58 gallons) requires almost 11.6 gallons for one year. It will take two five gallon
buckets and almost two additional gallons for a single person.
For a family of four you will need 9 five gallon buckets and almost two additional gallons of oatmeal.
To provide a tea bag for one person per morning you will need (365 ./. by 100 teabags per box = 3.6 + boxes) almost than 4
boxes of tea. This estimate does not include a beverage for everybody in the morning.
For lunch, in order to provide one cup of powdered fat free milk for a year it will take:
My powered milk comes in sealed pouches. Each pouch will provide one quart of milk (32 oz ./. 8 oz =
4 cups) or one cup of milk for four days.
At four days per pouch it will require (365 ./. 4 = 91) 91 pouches. At 10 pouches per box it will require
(91 ./. 10 = 9.1) about 9.1 boxes of powdered milk for a single person.
For a family of four it will require (9.1 X 4 = 36.4) about 36.4 boxes of powdered milk.
To provide a can of chicken noodle soup per day for a single person will require 365 cans of soup. You will need
to store (365 ./. 24 cans per case = 15.2 cases) over 15 cases of soup. For a family of four you will need over 60 cases
In order to provide breakfast and lunch for a single person for a year you will need about 12 gallons of oatmeal, 3.6
boxes of tea, 9.1 boxes of powdered milk, and 15.2 cases of chicken noodle soup. Don't forget the drinking water necessary
to reconstitute any dehydrated food. Sucha as oatmeal, tea and milk.
We haven't even started on dinner and your families vices.
Listed below are your other options:
The best way to store a years supply of food is to buy dehydrated food from a commercial supplier. This
will cost about $3000. In about 5 years you will need to buy another years supply to rotate the food you bought today.
If you are of limited means then this option may not be viable.
Canning your own food is a luxury for the middle class and rich. People in the lower economic class do not have
the ability to acquire the food to can, the equipment necessary to can the acquired food, and the time necessary to can the
In grandma's day poor people canned food just to survive. Now the cost of prepared food is so cheap, compared
to the cost of canning, that home canning has become a luxury of the upper middle class and the rich.
If you use dehydrated soup in your storage plan where will you get the necessary drinking water to reconstitute the dehydrated
soup. On the other hand, soup in cans will not have a long storage life.
That is for breakfast and lunch. You can begin to see that storing a years supply of food is a huge project.
One way to provide nutricious dinners is to buy Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). They were originally designed for the
military but they can be bought at some local stores and through the internet.
Be careful when buying on the internet. Many manufacturers are making their own MRE's. Their MRE's may not
have the same quality as the military MRE's. They may not be storeable for 5 years as these companies advertise.
Will you need to store a years supply of food? For most natural diasters, probably not. For man made diasters,
Nearly all famines in the 20th century were man made. They lasted more than one year. A year's supply of
food will only last for one year.
If the disaster lasts for more than 72 hours or it is man made then you will need to conserve and expand your food supply.
There are several ways you can expand your food supply. If the government is handing out free food then secure
your share. If the disaster is short lived then you can share the government food with your neighbors.
Warning: Do not share your stored food with anybody until you are sure the disaster is
really over. Never tell your neighbors where you got the food you are sharing.
It is in the governments best interest to declare the emergency over before it actually is.
Another way to expand your food supply is to use local edible plants to agument your food supply.
For example, ordinary grass has nutrients in it. In order for your body to digest and use these nutrients it needs
enzymes and friendly bacteria to help digest and use those nutrients. Your body will need to have access to any
change in diet as soon as possible so that it can develope and grow the necessary enzymes and bacteria necessary for your
body to be able to use these nutrients.
If the disaster looks like it will last more than 10 days start useing ordinary grass and other edible plants to extend
your food supply as soon as possible. You can cut up the grass, mix it with sprouts and put salad dressing on it.
Most of the famines in the last century lasted more than one year. It is essential that you make your supply of
food last as long as possible.