A one week’s supply of food and water. Do you have that in your home?
No, the food in your refrigerator, freezer, or even your pantry doesn’t count. That’s not being prepared.
This is because in the event of a power grid down disaster, which can and will happen as a result of an EMP attack or most natural disasters, your refrigerator and freezer won’t even work and the food within it is going to spoil! You’ll only have a day or two to eat it at best before you’ll have to throw the rest out.
Your goal should be to have at least a one month’s supply of water and food that is nutritious, long-lasting, and that doesn’t require freezing or refrigeration.
But you might still have two questions: why should you set aside at least one week’s worth of provisions, and how are you supposed to know how much food and water will last your family for a week? We’ll answer these questions below:
Why One Week?
Why one week of food and water? Why not three days? Why not two weeks? Why not a month? Or six months? Or a year?
Well, the truth is you can’t really have too much food and water stored, but you can have too little stored.
One week may not be enough for extended disasters such as EMP attacks, but it should be more than long enough for several other kinds of disasters, especially ones that are localized or regionalized. It’s certainly more food than most people have stockpiled.
Furthermore, putting together a one week’s supply of food and water is not difficult. It’s not expensive, nor does it require taking up a large amount of space.
In contrast to this, building say a six month’s or a one year’s stockpile of food and water would be expensive and would take up a lot of space! It may not seem reasonable to you, and you may lose motivation to do it due to its cost and apparent impracticality.
So to put things simply, having a one week’s emergency supply of food and water will be enough to get you and your family through most smaller scale disasters while also being an amount that anybody should be able to afford and have enough room to store.
You can certainly store more than a one week’s supply if you have the funds and space for it (in which case, you definitely should), but you should treat the one-week baseline as being the absolute minimum amount of food and water that you’ll store.
Next, let’s discuss how you can calculate how much food and water you’ll need to last your family for a week.
Calculating exactly how much food that you will need to store for a week for your family is actually fairly simple.
You’ll just need to treat it like a simple math problem, and as a result, you’re just going to use a basic equation.
The equation that you’ll be using is the number of families multiplied by the ingredients to make a meal per person multiplied by the number of days you’re preparing for. The result will be the amount of food that you need to have stored.
Let’s do an example.
We already know that you’re stockpiling food to last you for one week, and for this scenario we’ll assume that you have a family of four. We’re also going to assume that the food you have chosen to stockpile is white rice, which is a good choice due to its longevity (several years under proper storage conditions), nutrition, and the fact that it does not require refrigeration.
The amount of white rice that the average adult will need to survive each day is four hundred grams. For kids, it’s less, but let’s keep things simple and go with the four hundred grams. For a family of four, that computes to sixteen hundred grams of rice per day.
Now that we have our data, we can use it to fill in our equation.
The result would be four family members multiplied by sixteen hundred grams multiplied by seven days. The resulting number is 44,800, or 44,800 grams of rice that you would need to have stored to last your family for one week (or you can round up to 45,000 grams).
Simple, right? You can adjust the figures in the equation based on the number of people in your family and the food that you’ll be stockpiling (it’s up to you to research how much of that food each person needs to survive per day).
Next, let’s calculate how much water you would need to last you for a week. Figuring out how much water you need is even easier than figuring out the food.
As a golden rule, the average person will need one gallon of water a day, per person per day. This gallon is to be divided for drinking and personal hygiene/cleaning purposes.
Now the equation is even simpler: for the hypothetical family of four, if you need four gallons of water every day for a week, you’ll need twenty-eight gallons total. You might as well round it up to thirty gallons to be on the safe side.
Honestly, that’s not a terribly large amount of water at all, and you should be able to store that much even in a smaller amount of living space such as a condo or apartment.
To conclude, at the bare minimum you should have a one week’s supply of food and water in your home at all times for emergencies.
Based on the information in this article, you now know how to properly calculate the amount of food and water that your family will need to get you through that one week period. Now that you are armed with this knowledge, there’s nothing to stop you from taking action to see to it that you begin putting your stockpile together.