Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst with a 25 year emergency food supply
You never know when an emergency can strike or when you’ll have to stay inside for a long time. Think about today’s necessary social distancing. Times like these require us to stay home for a long time. Be prepared to the utmost with a 25 year emergency food supply.
If there’s a danger that requires you to leave home, you don’t want to think twice. Check out our guide to making a short term emergency food kit here. For day-to-day living, it’s also really useful to have meal plans, and our 3 month food supply tips can help.
There is tremendous global anxiety these days about the viral pandemic. All of us need to stay put and live off our own resources for some time. The good news is that this likely won’t last more than a few months.
However, this global pandemic should serve as a wake up call to all of us about how prepared we have or haven’t been. Could this happen again? Certainly. But what else could go wrong? Unfortunately, the reality is that we need to be prepared for all sorts of scenarios.
Plan, Don’t Panic
Natural disasters, political instability, wars, and even another pandemic could be around the corner. These sorts of nightmare scenarios could lead to a situation where we must hunker down for longer. Even years. Maybe even 25 years.
However, panic is never the solution. Former astronaut Chris Hadfield has offered some wisdom on the best way to manage stress in isolation.
“Understand the actual risk,” Hadfield says. “Don’t just be afraid of things. Go to a credible source and find out what is truly the risk you’re facing right now. And then, what are you trying to accomplish, what are your objectives?”
Let’s apply Hadfield’s advice to looking at the long term ways of preparing for the unthinkable. This way, we can start to think about what the challenge is, and, more importantly, how we can deal with it. Here at Preparedness Mama, our job is to take some of that load off your shoulders.
This way you can rest easy knowing you’ve prepared for the worst. By preparing, we mean keeping you and your family safe, and well fed!
Whether your motivation for preparation is environmental, political, personal, or just plain practical, we have the tools for you. Getting started today is the best step you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Putting away a 25 year emergency food supply is among the most crucial tasks for survival. This way, hunger will be the least of your worries if and when disaster strikes.
We’ll show you how to organize a 25 year food supply that won’t perish when everything else is going south. Scroll down to find a variety of ways to put together this feat.
How to Start Building a 25-Year Emergency Food Supply
You’ve probably seen a few survival shelters in Hollywood movies that show shelf upon shelf of canned goods. There’s nothing wrong with stocking up on canned items for an emergency. However, these foods don’t last quite as long as you might think.
High-acid canned foods like tomatoes and fruits only stay fresh for around one and a half years. Low-acid options, which include the majority of vegetables and meats, can last up to five years. However, even when storing these cans in a cool, dark place, the shelf life is limited. Think six years maximum. After that, their contents will spoil.
So, first, what not to do. Don’t buy your local grocery store’s entire inventory of canned goods. Instead, look for items in pre-sealed mylar packages.
Better yet, prepare them yourself. Mylar is a form of polyester used to make helium balloons and solar filters. Chris Hadfield is also very familiar with Mylar. They’re the primary material in emergency space blankets, like you would find on the International Space Station.
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use an emergency Mylar space blanket. But, the material’s durability and ability to create a barrier makes it the perfect choice for long-term food storage.
So, the first step is the material for your 25 year emergency food supply. Before preparing or buying anything, make sure the packaging you’ll be using for your emergency food supply is mylar. Anything else will leave you with spoiled goods in the long run.
What’s more, for extra long-term storage time (like a couple of decades or more), place the mylar bags in food-grade buckets. This way you’ll keep your precious food away from rodents, pest, sunlight, and moisture. Keep the buckets in a cool, dark place to prevent spoilage.
Keeping it Simple: Buy Your Survival Food
The easiest way to acquire a 25 year food supply is to purchase one. There are dozens of companies that create various sized kits of dehydrated, powdered, or freeze-dried foods pre-sealed in mylar bags. Top companies include:
- Valley Food Storage
- My Patriot Supply
- Food 4 Patriots
- Augason Farms
- Prepare Wise
- Wise Food Storage
- Emergency Essentials
- S.O.S. Food Labs
All of these companies offer supplies that will last for varying amounts of time. Most of their supply kits range from three months to one year. Many of these kits are guaranteed to stay “fresh” 25 years or more.
However, this option isn’t cheap. A 6 month supply from My Patriot Supply will run you almost $1,500. So, if you want to outsource your 25 year emergency food supply, be prepared to drop the big bucks.
Also keep in mind that given the current global pandemic panic, many of these companies are already experiencing long backorder times.
Price concerns aside, this does save you countless hours of manual preparation. Furthermore, you’ll be able to rest assured that you have plenty of long-lasting meals. These portions tend to be measured as 2,000 calories a day. So, with enough kits, you can certainly feed a family for quite a long time.
What to Look for in a Company
There’s another big warning to consider before investing so much money in one or more of these kits. Do your research and don’t purchase in the blind.
Make sure to browse through each company’s website before buying anything. Firstly, double check that the products you want last for at least 25 years. Second, figure out exactly how their products are stored. In other words, make sure the food supplies come sealed in mylar bags. Most kits will offer a variety of meals, from soups and snacks to full entrees. Consider your own nutritional values as well as your taste buds.
It’s important to look into which meals you might want to eat should you have to do so. Remember, there’s no reason why a long term holdout needs to be lacking in tasty goodness!
Next, think about any food restrictions you or your family might have. Nearly every one of the companies we have researched also cater to food allergies. If you need dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free or anything else, be sure to check. Look into the options available on their website and read customer reviews. Always check secondary sources, such as consumer reports.
Planning and saving for the long haul with a 25 year emergency food supply
You might feel tempted to buy the fancier meals on these site menus. However, don’t forget about the expenses involved here. You should stick with the essentials to start. There are other hidden costs to consider when planning for the worst. Budget wisely and appropriately when you can.
You can also stay on budget by signing up for a monthly plan. Most companies can deliver a set amount of pre-packaged goods each month for a reasonable price. This is an excellent way to stock up over time.
Have you any very good or bad experiences with emergency food supply companies? Do you have other tips you’d like to add? We want to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
Although the prevalence of these 25 year emergency food supply companies is convenient, the cost is too much for many. Besides, many people enjoy the process of preparing their own kits. This allows you the freedom to choose exactly what you want to have stored away.
Additionally, the activity of putting this all together can be a great bonding time for the whole family. Just like putting together your 72 hour emergency kit, this can be a teaching moment. Get the kids involved, and use the opportunity to discuss Hadfield’s tips for how to manage anxieties. Remember, panic needn’t apply for those who are well prepared.
If any of these categories apply to you, keep reading on how to make your own supply!
There’s no need to buy the products other companies sell. You can create your own 25-year food supply in the comfort of your home by following these basic steps. Keep in mind, this process still requires an initial investment.
However, it also allows you to customize the foods you’ll be eating should an emergency occur. Here’s everything you’ll need, and what you need to do.
Necessary equipment for the 25 year emergency food supply
For starters, you’ll need to pick up a hefty supply of mylar bags. You can buy them by the carton and easily seal them to keep your food fresh for 25 years. Trust the astronauts. If it’s good enough to survive space, it can definitely withstand the test of time!
In addition, you will need to purchase at least one oxygen absorber per bag. Again, think about the astronauts. Just like the space station needs mylar insulators, so too does it require oxygen!
You’ll need to add them to your mylar bags before you seal them to pull oxygen out. This ensures your food stays as fresh as possible. Skipping this step will lessen the shelf life of your supply in a heartbeat, so don’t forget it!
Luckily, these are not so expensive. Currently, you can buy a 100 pack of these absorbers for only $12 online. Pricier alternatives come with larger oxygen absorbing capacity or niftier features such as individual packaging for the absorbers.
Also, I repeat, you should place any products stored in Mylar bags into thick plastic buckets. This ensures that rodents and other pests will stay away from your investment. Make sure the bins or buckets are made from food-grade plastics. Otherwise, chemicals and dyes may contaminate your supply.
You can seal your bags with a vacuum sealer, clothes iron, or even a hair straightener. The vacuum sealer has been proven most effective. An iron or hair straightener is still effective, and you probably already have one. Both of these create an airtight seal by melting the mylar together.
Here’s a video from our friends at Guildbrook Farm with more on storing food with mylar bags.
The Food Freezing Lifeline
For meats, veggies, and fruits, you’re also going to need a freeze dryer. While dehydrators are an excellent option, dehydrated fruits and vegetables only last for around three years. When adequately freeze-dried, your food can easily last 20 or more years depending on how you store it.
Time for a big disclosure here: a freeze dryer is expensive. This home-version from Harvest Right runs just over $2,000. But, the technology it employs is well worth the price. These machines chill your food down to negative 30 degrees, then activate a high-powered vacuum pump that begins to eliminate water vapor from inside the food. The process of warming and re-freezing removes all the air. Guess who else uses freeze-dried foods? That’s right, astronauts.
What You Need to Do
After assembling your 25 year food supply, the next step is to prepare them for the freeze dryer. You’ll need to cut larger food items into smaller pieces for the process to work as it should. You can prepare anything from meat to vegetables and even pasta with cheese. Use your imagination and combine foods that you would typically use to make a meal.
Place your food items on trays, making sure to separate them by item or meal. Then set them inside the freeze dryer. Once the process is complete, place your food into the mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Using different bags for different meals is an excellent way to prolong the shelf life of your goods. For instance, one bag could be a potato soup. Meanwhile, another can contain everything you need for a lasagna or meatloaf.
After placing everything into the bag, seal it up tight. To do this, use one of the heating methods mentioned above (vacuum seal, iron, or straightener). These will ensure that your meals have a 25 year shelf life. From there, put your bags into the food-safe, thick rubber tubs mentioned above. This will keep pests away from your food supply.
Does all this sound a bit confusing? We don’t blame you. Here’s a video with visual instructions on how to vacuum seal a mylar bag.
The ways in which you store your food can drastically reduce or prolong its shelf life. Items kept in a pantry or kitchen can easily get exposed to heat and sunlight. Both of these shorten the lifespan of sealed goods. Mylar bags are well known for keeping light out. But this isn’t enough to keep your food in tip-top shape for a quarter of a century.
You need to keep your 25 year emergency food supply in a cool, dark location to stay fresh as long as possible. Basements are the ideal spot for homeowners, but bunkers and any other underground location work even better. You don’t need to invest in any sort of system to keep the space cool or dry. Just let the room do the job for you.
With all the excitement as you begin to create your food supply, it’s easy to forget about safety. So here are a few simple safety tips. Follow this handy checklist to keep you and your loved ones in good health during times of emergency.
- Label each bag and box with the contents inside. This includes any food allergies or special instructions on how to prepare the meal. If you know the calorie count, be sure to mark that down too.
- Date each bag and box with the month, day, and year you sealed it. This will prevent eating spoiled goods in the event you’re hunkering down for a long time.
- Check your supply once a month to ensure no pests have made their way into the food. You’ll also want to make sure no bags are damaged or opened.
- Store your containers off of the floor to help keep disease-carrying pests away.
- Once opened, you can reseal a mylar bag, but the expected shelf life will likely be cut in half, so plan accordingly.
- Never eat any food that looks discolored, or different from its appearance when you placed it into the bag. This is an indicator of spoiling and will cause illness. In an emergency, the last you need is food poisoning.
About Oxygen Absorbers
Oxygen absorbers do just that: absorb oxygen. They do not absorb water so make sure that your supplies are kept away from moisture. Also, oxygen absorbers do not absorb oxygen indefinitely, which is critical to seal the container in which you use the absorbers.
If you don’t seal the container or at least use the absorbers in an air-tight environment, the absorbers will keep absorbing oxygen and reintroduce air into your stored food paving the way to food spoilage.
Oxygen absorbers vary by capacity, which is listed on the package as 100cc, 300cc, 200cc, 500cc, and so on. As time goes by, oxygen absorbers will lose strength if they are not kept in the original package or in a vacuum sealed bag.
A surefire way to test an oxygen absorber packet’s effectiveness is to tape the packet to the bottom of narrow, clear container, place the container upside down in a bowl with water, and watch the absorber do its thing. If it is still good to use, you will notice the level of water rising as the days go by.
However, this method is fairly inaccurate, and a nearly spent oxygen absorber might still pull some water up. So, it is best to properly store the absorbers after getting them out of the original package through vacuum sealing or just use them all at once.
Some oxygen absorbers come packed a few in different bags to make sure that you won’t toss any away. This is a handy detail to look for when shopping around for oxygen absorbers if you don’t have a Food Saver.
Preparing for the Future
Starting an emergency food supply is an excellent way to prepare for disasters in the future. But making and storing food the right way is an essential part of the process. By following the instructions in this post, you and your family will never have to worry about going hungry.
This is so critical in the event of an emergency. You always want to be in the best position to make important decisions with logic and a clear mind. Staying well fed is an essential ingredient for keeping you in the right mental state.
Make sure to review the safety tips and necessary items needed above. Each measure is taken to ensure your food stays edible and healthy for a minimum of 25 years. Who says you can’t eat like a king when the grid goes down? So get out there and start preparing your favorite meals today!
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