If you live off-the grid the loss of power might not seem catastrophic to you. However, for the rest of the people out there, having no electricity will drastically lower their life’s quality or even worse. Regardless of one’s condition we have to consider that the majority of our needs require power and we are lost without it. You should at least be able to hoard the right foods to increase your chances of survival when the world will plunge into darkness.
And if you know a thing or two about preparedness and about the dangers we face today, you should acknowledge the fact that a power grid failure is the most realistic threat that we could ever face. The fact that a power grid is due to happen is not the scariest thing, what worries me the most is the fact that many people are laughing at the thought of power grid failure and they prefer to keep living in their soap bubble. When the bubble will burst people will get desperate and the rush for hoarding supplies will begin.
These are the events that can cause a power grid failure:
- A terrorist attack is the highest threat right now and it’s the most certain one
- A cybernetic attack can shut down the power grid and knowing that China and Russia have some of the best hackers (the attacks on the NYSE were just a small example)
- Natural disaster (in 2013, the Haiyan typhoon left cities from Philippines without power for 2-3 months, labeling Tacloban as a dead city and making the area look like a war zone, despite the relief efforts)
- Solar eruption (NASA keeps warning us that the sun is registering an increase in solar eruption, but no one seems to be listening)
What will happen when the grid goes down?
People will start to hoard food and medication a day or two after the outage. Other unaffected locations may try to assist the people affected by the power outage. However, there may not be enough to go around.
The first wave
These ones will be in denial, the ones that think they can ride it off with what they got and with what the government will provide. They will be the first wave of casualties and this because by the time they wake up and realize what is happening, all the supplies will be gone and it will be too late for them to grab something. In a last minute of desperation they will turn to looting and violence in order to survive.
The second wave
This wave gathers last minute hoarders. These are the people that are smarter than the first ones, they have increased chances of survival. However, without additional supplies and knowledge, it’s just a matter of time until their luck runs out. You’ve probably seen this type of people every time there was a local disaster or any other event happening in your area. They are the late time “shoppers” buying everything they can. Even during the last minutes, they will stockpile on everything they can get their hands on. I know that it’s improper calling them shoppers, because nothing will work without power and they won’t be able to buy supplies. However, it wouldn’t be fair calling all of them “looters”.
By this point, most emergency services, medical facilities and government agencies will feel unable to cope up with the demand for food, shelter, medicine and other basic needs.
The third wave
These are the preppers. Based on their knowledge and supplies they have the best chance to outlast a power grid failure. It won’t be easy for them either because without a proper method of self-sustainability, they will turn on each other. Supplies will run out eventually and most of the preppers will turn to scavenging. Guns and ammo are common topics for most survivalist. Many of them are hoarding ammo like there’s no tomorrow, hoping to use it for protection or other business.
The last wave.
The elite, all-powerful people that think money will save them. These are the ones that have their personal bunker, a 2-3 year food supply and everything that you might think of. The problem with these so called preppers is that most of them don’t even know how to make the best use of their supplies. They don’t even understand what a life of restrictions is and they already think they got it all figured out. They are the biggest threat from themselves and they don’t need exterior factors to decrease their chances of survival.
When selecting foods to hoard for a power grid failure keep in mind the following:
- Food that needs refrigeration should be out of the question, no power means your freezer will not work
- Most foods are not packed for long-term storage, exception being canned foods
- One should chose foods that provide maximum nutritional value for the minimum size
- Don’t store snack foods for long periods of time, they have no value for your pantry
Here are the best foods to hoard:
Distilled and sparkling water
Yes, water is not a food, but it’s an important item that should be on top of your list. You should consider storing club soda in your pantry because it lasts for an indefinite period. It helps relieve constipation and it will make the kids happy. You can add various ingredients to it and give it a nice flavor, it will successfully replace the soda that kids like.
How much water you should stockpile is up to you and depends on the storage space you have. You should have at least enough water to last you and your family for not less than three days. If your household has four people you should have 20 gallons of water (4X5) for a day and 60 gallons for three days. Besides stockpiling on water, preppers should have a good plan to get more, either by filtering the water they can scavenge/gather or by producing water on their own.
Related reading: Harvesting rainwater.
Tea, Coffee and Bouillon
Drinking tea is a healthy habit that has been around for more than 6,000 years and for good reason. Besides having to boil water to make it, hence getting rid of bacteria, tea is also one of the quickest way to help one dehydrate in an emergency situation. Coffee and caffeinated tea provide an additional boost of energy and help keeping you alert. Other types of tea have a calming and smoothing effect. Not to mention that there are many other teas that have healing effects and their proprieties will prove useful during a time of need. Bouillon cubes are also a good choice because they are made up of compressed stock. Combined with hardtack, it can become a good meal replacement when nothing else is available.
Canned and dehydrated meats
The best and tastiest source of protein for a prepper is meat. Most of us can’t even go a day without having a nice portion of it. Meat can provide up to 90% of the sustenance needed to survive and this makes it a perfect food to be stockpiled. While some prefer canned meat, there are some preppers that are making their own jerky or pemmican for a long time survival. Maybe you too, should learn how to make it. When it comes to canned meats, tuna, salmon and mackerel should be on your list because they are rich in omega 3 oils. Meat is a must have for your pantry and you should make sure you have enough of it. However, if you are vegetarian, you can stockpile on canned or dehydrated mushrooms, as they are also an important source of protein.
When making the lists of foods to hoard when the power is out, you shouldn’t forget about oils. Oil can be used for cooking, but it also has many other uses during an emergency. Olive oil is a good choice because it doesn’t have the chemicals resulted after processing, like other oils. If olive oil is too expensive for you, canola and coconut oil are great replacement. They are heat stable and won’t go rancid as fast as other oils.
Whole wheat flour and other food items
Wheat is a good item for your pantry because it’s rich in vitamins, fiber, protein and minerals. You should consider storing wheat flour due to its nutritional value and general usage. Corn meal flour and potato flour are also a good addition to the prepper’s pantry. In addition, one should also stockpile cereals such as rice, corn and oats. Other foods to hoard: Oatmeal and oats, ready to eat shelf-stable meals (MREs), protein bars, powdered milk, potato flakes, pastas, crackers, salt and spices, honey or sugar, peanut butter, canned veggies, legumes and beans, seeds and nuts, dry yeast, baking powder, honey
Related reading: Honey a perfect survival food and much more
Foods for the little ones
If you have kids, you should know how hard it is to please them and what picky eaters they can be. The last thing you want to deal with it during an emergency is a cranky kid. This is why it’s better to be prepared and have in your pantry something that will keep them happy. Of course that, if you have a baby, you shouldn’t forget about baby formula and ready to eat baby foods. However, you should also consider about these foods for the bigger kids: chocolate, cereals, hard candy, tang, canned fruits, jellies and jams. A parent knows that a happy kid equals a happy life. Having foods in your pantry that can “spoil” them will be a good thing during a disaster.
Stay Safe and God Bless!
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