What kind of food should I put in my 72 hour kit? This is a question I hear a lot. This is, in fact, the #1 question I hear. A lot of people get a pack of granola bars and some jerky and call it good, but generally speaking this is not a very good strategy. Granola bars and jerky are great snacks but won’t make you feel full. There also comes a point when you’ll be utterly and completely sick of snack foods and will want something more substantial, a real, hot meal.
In the past, if you wanted something other than C-rations (which, incidentally, while not exactly gourmet fare are still not terrible), you had to be able to fit cooking gear and a large variety of ingredients in your B.O.B. Lucky for us, modern technology has given us Just Add Water (JAW) meals! These are some of the least complicated convenience foods currently on the market. Just add the requisite amount of hot water and you’re good to go.
They can be made from scratch, although the shelf life won’t be as long as those meals bought from “survival food” companies. The advantage of DIY meals, though, is that you can omit ingredients according to allergies, food sensitivities, or preferences. Check out this article for information to create your own just-add-hot-water meals.
JAW meals are available from many sources and include a wide variety of cuisines. There are even natural, non-GMO options on the market. Like all food storage-type food, not all are of the same quality. Some people feel that some kinds are too high in sodium and thus taste too salty. Other kinds, however, taste absolutely amazing – you won’t want to wait for disaster to strike to eat these all the time. Or, alternately, you could keep them on hand for “every day” emergencies: sometimes the emergency has nothing to do with a hurricane or evacuation and everything to do with the fact that the family has to leave for Bobby’s soccer game in 20 minutes and his uniform is still in the washing machine.
Sourcing Hot Water In An Emergency
- If you have room for it in your emergency kit, invest in a small cooking kit and a portable stove. Mess kits range from inexpensive aluminum models to fancy ones wit ah anodized non-stick coating. This is what I have in my own emergency kit. I have had very good luck using the fuel cells to heat water in this fashion.
- If you are evacuating to a cheap motel, use the coffee maker. Almost all cheap motels that I have visited in the last two decades have had an in-room coffee maker. Turn it on, heat the water, add it to your entree. Easy-peasy. In the event there is not a coffee maker in the room, some motels have a hot water/ coffee station in the lobby.
- Most gas stations off major roads offer water (hot or cold) at no charge. I’ve seen many that also have microwaves available for public use.
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