How to Plan for Food Shortages (Because They Aren’t Over Yet)
We’ve all experienced the inconvenience of getting to the grocery store and having them be out of an item we needed or wanted to pick up. But food shortages are a bigger concern than simply not having your preferred brand of cereal or your favorite kind of bread. We’ve outlined the importance of being prepared for when food shortages strike, as any of the many causes is more than likely to occur, and how to feel confident that you and your household are prepared and taken care of when food shortages hit.
Why Should You Plan For Food Shortages?
There’s much the current pandemic has taught us, and one is the importance of food storage. Many were left with little to no options for food when lockdown hit, and the desperation felt would have been monumental, especially with tiny mouths to feed and care for. It became clear for so many that having an ongoing rotation of food storage will always be necessary and important as we may never know what can strike next.
- Natural Disasters—One of the top reasons you’ll want to be prepared with an emergency food supply is in the event of some natural calamity. Think about your specific geographic locale and the natural dangers that can occur. Some might be faced with earthquakes, while others face the constant inevitability of tornados, hurricanes, flooding, fires, and on and on. Sometimes when the disaster is so massive, cleanup crews and national help will be delayed in coming to your aid, so you’ll want to be sure to have the essentials for life for at least two people stowed away to be sure you and your loved ones will be as healthy and cared for in such dire conditions as possible.
- Inflation—the ebb and flow of every nation’s currency are always unpredictable. Sometimes we are aware of upcoming upsets in national markets while other times a drop may seem to come out of nowhere. WIth the uncertainties that come with the unpredictable nature of monetized systems, it is definitely good practice to keep your bases covered and have a stockpile of food and other necessities for when/if prices of essential items and food go up.
- Production Shutdown—We see this from time to time, and we have definitely seen it the past almost two years, largely due to labor shortage, where factories and farms have had to shut down production, thereby leaving consumers with less-than of certain foods and goods. As with all reasons to be prepared with food storage, production shutdown is just as much an unknown and surprise as a blizzard that keeps you indoors with no access to food or water from the outside. It’s certainly best to keep the possibility of several farms and factories shutting down all at once leaving little and few options on the shelves, fridges, and freezers of your local grocery store.
- Global System Breakdown And Systemic Failure—Whether it be a mass shortage of empty cargo containers to send supplies from one country to another or a decline in production of essential tools and parts needed to maintain the operation of heavy machinery, there are currently missing links to get goods transported worldwide. Acknowledging this reality and being prepared against these inevitabilities will grant you peace of mind.
- Supply Chain Disruptions—It all begins with agriculture and the necessities for operating a farm smoothly and efficiently. In the present times, there have been shortages in labor, tires for tractors and other large equipment, and even things we consumers rarely think about, such as a shortage of packaging and even pallets to place the products on. These seemingly small obstacles send a ripple effect throughout the whole supply chain, causing shortages on our local grocery store shelves.
How To Prepare For Food Shortages?
As anxious as you may be to get your food storage all locked in all at once, it is unlikely you’ll be able to do so all in one go. But there is an order of operations that will ease the stress and assist you in feeling more secure, one step at a time.
First, assess what you already have in your cupboards and pantries. Make a list of what you and your household use the most of and favorites you tend to always have on hand. Make calculations of how much food and water each person in your household will need for one week, two, three.
Then you’ll want to be sure to start and get your three-week emergency food supply secured and properly stored. After you have that, you can begin working on your short-term food supply, which is generally considered three months, then your long-term, which can be anywhere from three months to twenty-five+ years. Baby steps is the name of the game here since it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and the urgency of getting all the food you might need for years and years all upfront.
But stop, breathe, and take a practical approach and get what you need for the present while leaving plenty of time and food on the grocery shelves for others, since we all are in need of the basics of life and sustenance. We saw what happened when the panic began at the beginning of the pandemic, how everyone felt the anxiety of grabbing everything they could (think of the toilet paper crisis…). If we had all purchased just what we needed, there likely would not have been such a long-winded shortage of toilet paper that set production of such a commodity behind for so many months. (For current information on food shortages, check out what USDA has to say.)
Another project that will be advantageous for you is starting up a garden, either indoor or outdoor depending on your living situation and what is available to you. It can be as simple as microgreens you grow on your kitchen counter, or small fruiting plants and trees you can line your kitchen floor with, such as avocado, strawberries, and even lemons or oranges. Be sure to keep your indoor edible plants pest-free as well.
Food Shortage Preparation List
Again, making a plan of what you and your household needs before making any purchases for your food storage is pretty vital in creating a successful long-term pantry. Think of the unique needs of everyone in your household (babies, toddlers, children will all require different foods, and especially if they have a hard time with certain foods…)—and are there any food allergies or sensitivities? What snacks do you always love to have on hand? What are some of your key recipes you can make with only dry and canned goods? Some great things to think about getting are:
- Dried Beans
- Freeze-dried vegetables and fruits and fruit powders
- Grains, like oats, quinoa, rice, corn kernels (for popping, even!)
- Powdered milks, or even shelf-stable cow and plant and nut milks
- Nut Butters and other high-calorie, high-protein foods
- Protein bars, snacks, chocolate bars
And then there are the non-food items to think about as well:
- First Aid kits
- Medicines (OTC and RX) and Vitamins (multi and immunity-boosting)
- Hand-held water filters and a large water filtration system
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Toiletries—shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss,contact solution, backup pairs of glasses
- Waterproof lighter and matches
- Flint and steel
- Gas stove
- Garbage bags
- Plates, bowls, utensils, a canopener
- Extra bedding, pillows, blankets
- Ax, shovel, duct tape, leatherman
- Walkie talkies
- Hand/foot/body warmers,
- Bug spray
- Money, small bills
This is not an exhaustive list, as there are many things that any one particular individual might need, so be sure to think thoughtfully and carefully over what you and all others who share your roof might need if ever you all are shut-out from the outside world due to any of the major and minor catastrophic events that can take place to make that a reality.
Hibernate Makes Planning For Food Shortages Simple
Planning ahead and being prepared with adequate food and water and essential emergency supply is certainly daunting, and Hibernate knows and understands the stress that comes with that level of preparedness. That’s why we’ve made it easy on you (and your wallet!) to get started on the path of being prepared when food shortages happen because it’s not a matter of if, but when, and it’s important to be sure you feel secure when it does.
Get your 1-month emergency food supply from Hibernate today, and when disaster strikes, you’ll be happy you did!