Emergency Preparedness and RecipesTo Get You Through These Next Few Weeks or Months Ahead
Emergency Preparedness and Recipes to Get You Through These Next Few Weeks or Months Ahead
Let me start out by saying this is not a Corona Virus post; this is not about how to avoid catching it; this is not a post stating the media is blowing this out of proportion. The aforementioned should be left to the experts. There is more than enough misinformation and conspiracy theories circulating on social media and unreputable sites. Nor is this a prepper manifesto, designed to help you live off the grid and make hand sanitizers and make DIY personal protection equipment (PPE). There are enough of those preaching apocalyptic scenarios and doomsday end of civilization as we know it crackpots out there. Now that we have established what this post is not, let’s define what it is. This post can be of use during any natural disaster, storms that disrupt supply chains, or any period of uncertainty like most of the world and country are managing through as I write. We outline what an emergency checklist is. We list things that should make up your emergency checklist. I make recommendations for non-perishable foods you should have on hand. We give ideas for emergency meals. I share recipes for non-perishable foods like Vienna sausages, and potted-meat, in the event things get a little tight (no, I’m not talking breaking out the MRE’s just yet) and some common sense precautions you should take to ensure your families safety.
If you haven’t had your head completely buried in the sand the last three weeks, you no doubt know the Corona Virus has made landfall in the US with a big splash, with school closings, all sports leagues canceling seasons, and one that hits me especially hard, the canceling of the NCAA’s March Madness (I got emotional all over again, just typing this- I had tickets to the Final Four and Championship Game), sheltering in place orders, bans on groups and restaurant and bars closings.
Don’t panic! Practice social distancing. This is the messaging from all of the experts and politicians on television, and I believe it is the correct one. I think that is excellent advice, and I have complied 100%. I missed a family member’s funeral adhering to this policy. As painful a decision as this was to make; I think it was the right decision. My daughter is a Type 1 Diabetic and has a compromised immune system, so I standby the choice my wife and I made.
I am tuning into the daily press conferences like many Americans and am not 100% sure how to navigate these strange waters. I have questions like most people:
How long will this last?
Will supply chains be affected if this is prolonged?
Will we be able to get groceries?
How do we eat if there is a shortage of food at the grocery stores?
How do I keep us safe?
What first aid items should I have at the house?
What do I need in my family’s emergency kit?
What meals can we make and freeze?
How long will foods last in the refrigerator/freezer?
How can I stretch money at the grocery stores?
What medicines should we stock buy?
Just to name a few….
And because I am sheltering in place and practicing Social Distancing (my new favorite phrase that I didn’t know existed before three weeks ago), I had a little time on my hands. Hence, I was able to search and research some of these questions, and I thought it would be better to share them, and the resources I didn’t know were available.
So in my research, I found out we should have an emergency checklist. Prior to three weeks ago, the most severe disaster my family had faced was the Snowmageddon of 2010 and the Polar Vortex of 2015. Our emergency checklist consisted of flashlights, batteries, rock salt, gas for the snowblower, extra blankets, and a stockpile of alcoholic beverages for work from home libations.
As I sat down to pull our Emergency Kit together, I grabbed some obvious and not so obvious things from this scouring the internet.
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Things to add to your emergency kit checklist, a lot of these come from the Ready.Gov site.
Emergency kit checklist (I now have an emergency kit prepared, and I hope you do too! I just wanted a list to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Household cleaners, bleach, wipes- When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach works well as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Medical prescriptions and glasses
Relevant family documents, i.e., life insurance policy, identification, banking info, in waterproof containers all in one place.
Water (at least one gallon per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
The below are food staples for emergencies such as this one when there is uncertainty on if grocery stores will be fully-stocked.
Food staples for emergencies:
Jessica from life as a mom blog gives her five Real Life Emergency Meals below:
- Crackers, Nut/Seed Butter, Individual Applesauce, and Other Canned Fruit. My kids have sunbutter crackers at least once a week for a snack or lunch. …
- Taco Soup or Chili. Taco Soup is one of my easiest meals to make. …
- Pasta and Red Sauce. …
- Noodle Soup. …
- Beans and Rice.
And what I find to be even more impressive is her list on how to stock your pantry for 14 days.
Her tips are pretty darn spot-on:
- She suggests you see what you have on hand. We always seem to buy stuff we already had. Great advice, Jessica.
- This is a good one, stock your fridge and pantry with things you actually eat. I was sent to Aldi’s on Monday to find bread, but really it was a recon mission for toilet paper. I didn’t find toilet paper, more on this later, but I found bread, Or so I thought. This one bin was overflowing to the top, so I’m thinking I hit the mother-load. It was the most disgusting vile substance I have ever put in my mouth. It was low carb Keto bread. No offense Keto peeps, but it’s not for me. If it is not stuff you are going to eat, you didn’t really stock up, but instead, you hoarded
- Make a meal plan. I was sent to Aldi’s for bread and toilet paper. I essentially came back with neither. I looked at the receipt and had spent $65. I had shrimp cocktail, three bottles of wine, Champaign for mimosa… well, you get the picture. If you don’t meal plan you are at the mercy of your impulses and the drive aisle.
- Focus on sale items. This should need no further explanation. Jessica found these prices in her area:
- ground turkey $2.99/lb – can be frozen
- whole chickens and split chicken breasts $0.88/lb – can be frozen
- ground sirloin $3.99/lb – can be frozen
- cheese $1.49/8 ounces – can be frozen, just shred it first
- coffee $6.49/12-ounces
- crackers $1.99/box
- cabbage $0.33/lb – will last a long time refrigerated
The key take-away here is that you are price conscious and that you buy foods that can be frozen, or that have long refrigerator life like cabbage.
- Buy Canned Goods. I will confess, I absolutely hate canned goods, but in these trying times, I would rather canned goods than imaginary food and hunger pain. So guess what else I grabbed at Aldi’s? You guessed it, canned goods. Jessica made these suggestions:
- rice (dry or the instant cups/packets)
- canned tuna
- canned tomato products
- Don’t hoard! She actually says buy enough to share but don’t clear the shelves. As anyone who has shopped for toilet paper in the last week knows hoarding and panic buying is bad!
9 Recipes for Emergency Foods. I originally posted a few of these as kind of jokes on social media when the SHTF (Sh$% hit the fan). But going into week two or three, all bets are off.
Vienna Sausage Recipes:
I was following a group on Facebook, and they had a roundup for Spam recipes. Spam may be a more palatable option than sardines, potted meat of Vienna sausages because it’s most similar to a meat we commonly eat. Spam is consumed heavily in a lot of places, it’s a local treat, and it’s a state treasure in Hawaii. I thought some were really interesting and might taste okay, others kind of turned my stomach, and others were downright hilarious. Here are a few of the most memorable:
Lucy submitted Spam musubi (the best), Spam fried rice, and of course, Spam and eggs. Now seems like it would be a good time for a Dr. Suess Green Eggs And Spam joke:
Do you like green eggs and Spam?
I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.
I do not like green eggs and Spam.
Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and Spam.
I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.
Johnathon said, “okay, I call it broke Food (Broke, broke, broke)” and submitted the following recipe: Peel potatoes, cube about 3/4 inch , about 4 cups worth, cut 1 med, onion, cube spam into about 1/2 inch cubes, add oil to cast iron skillet, fry taters to about half cooked, scoot taters to one side, put onions in, cook until they start to turn, add spam cubes over onions, stir them cooking until browning, then start to slowly turn taters, Spam, and onions together, cover let taters finish cooking, turning it once or so, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add seven slices of cheese, turn off the heat, using a spatula softly press down a little to kinda flatten down, and even out, when adding cheese put slices of cheese on top, covering it all, cove with a lid, let cheese meltdown, You’re ready to go !! If you like Spam and Taters, you will make this all the time, I still do!”
Thanks, Johnathon. If it comes to this, I’ll definitely try this one.
Michelle suggested several Spam dishes: Fried Spam and eggs! Fried Spam in miso soup, and uncooked Spam sandwich with Dijon mustard. I could go on and on, she says. Clearly, Michelle is a true Spam lover!
Jeff said, “I season it like a burger or steak,” he smokes it for about an hour then fries it. Jeff said, “It makes a great sandwich or with breakfast!” Another one I could probably get behind.
Courtney says she loves Spam burgers on the grill.
Alicia gave her famous recipe. Cube and grill Spam, make Lipton Spanish rice, scramble three eggs. Mix and eat, add hot sauce or cheese as desired
John said he makes Mac & cheese, puts in a can of diced Spam, and a can of drained corn.
Mix it all up. John says it is so good.
Miranda offered up her Bacon Flavored Spam. She grills Spam, then places between two slices of your favorite cheese on Toasted Chompies Marble Rye spread some of her SBR Secret sauce on there. She likes to add a Dill pickle on the side.
Marsha says, she spreads a very lite layer of pepper jelly on a toasted bun, she grills her Spam until lightly crusted. She takes it to the next level by grilling one ring of pineapple. She places it on a bun with a layer of bacon. She calls this her tropical spam burger.
Jim likes Spam Stir fry and Fajitas.
Olivia said the only recipe for Spam she will ever use is, open trash can, dump in, close trash can.
Samantha said. “take Spam from the pantry, open can and dump in the trash can.” She said, “sorry—not sorry; there is nothing of nutritional value in that can.”
I can’t stop laughing at these last few.
Here are some of the other meats that come in a can you may be interested in trying:
Potted Meat- this is one of my old favorite from my Army days. I would stock up on these, and when we would have drills and field exercises, I would fill my duffle bag with as many as I could store without leaving out essential gear. I would sell and barter these. I became a very popular man about two weeks into these exercises.
Corned beef hash
5 Casseroles that freeze well
- Casserole from What’s On Hand
- Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Three Bean Casserole
- Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole
Some additional resources and recipes:
The Survival Mom listed creative ways to Stock on three months-worth of meals fast. 39 5 ingredient meals for when you don’t have time to shop.
To conclude, I hope these tips and recipes help you and your family make it through these challenging coming weeks and months as the country wrestles with the Covid 19 Pandemic, and the aftermath to the economy. I pray you and your family stay safe and that we as a nation can rise above this crisis as we have so many times before. I pray for our leaders, the state and local governments, our first responders, and the doctors and nurse on the front lines.
I would like to close with a prayer for our nation.
Heavenly Father, today I pray for our country. I ask that You would give our President wisdom beyond his own understanding and the courage to choose the right path no matter how narrow the gate. I pray for all in authority over us that You would give them the grace and strength to stand against the temptation to use power as a weapon but rather to carry it reverently as one would a child. I pray for the spiritual leaders of our country that they would hear Your voice and know your heart. I pray that they would lead from their knees and, by that pure grace, bring each one of us to our knees before Your throne. Have mercy on our nation Lord, In Jesus’s name, Amen.
By Kevin Flowers
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