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Emergency Food Supply Kit....do you have one and what's in it?

I see that Costco has a 'bucket' for 275 servings for $89.99..
Has anyone bought one of those buckets?
Hey, if the world is ending in 2012, I want to eat and drink well to the final days..LOL
I do have several cases of water, cans of beans, boxes of wine, 12 pks of beer, energy bars..
What kind of food and drink do you have in case of a natural disaster or a man made one?


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  1. We've been having some pretty good earthquakes here in SD and the 'bucket' seems like a great thing to have on hand...just in case!
    Even though I am chick, I like to adhere the Boy Scout Motto..Be Prepared.

    All Meals 100% Vegetarian and Vitamin Fortified
    Sealed in convenient Weather-Proof bucket for easy transport
    25 Servings - Potato Soup
    30 Servings - Corn Chowder
    25 Servings - Cacciatore
    25 Servings - Western Stew
    30 Servings - Country Noodle
    25 Servings - Rice Lentil
    45 Servings - Whey Milk
    40 Servings - Blueberry Pancake
    30 Servings - Barley Vegetable

    Being a drummer, I could use the bucket for my percussion!

    1. I have water, foi gras, canned chili, canned beef stew, canned Chef Boyardee lasagne and ravioli, crackers, chocolate, canned club soda, canned green beans and corn, various condiments and spices. (I live in Florida and hurricanes are a constant danger.)

      In looking at Costco's bucket, I am struck by this question: suppose the bucket were filled with rice. Would there be 275 servings there? It seems to me that the sellers of the bucket may be a tad optimistic about how far the food will go, even if dehydrated. After all, adding water does not add any calories to the meal.

      I'm also intrigued by the statements on the description that the food will keep 20 years at 60 degrees Farenheit and 10 years at 70 degrees Farenheit. I'd say the temperature in a typical Florida home, where I live, varies from 85 degrees (when you turn off the air conditioning and leave) to about 78 degrees (when you return home and crank up the air conditioning). Humidity is also ever present here. I wonder how long it would last under these conditions? Not long, I would bet. Thanks for posing an intriguing question, Beach Chick.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gfr1111

        One of the reviews on the site pointed out that the recommended 5 servings per adult per day is only 500 calories and you would need at least 2000 calories a day esp during an emergency so that means 20 servings a day...275 servings is like 13 days or one person.

        1. re: gfr1111

          not to mention how fast it would degrade in an actual hurricane, with temps in the 90s and humidity to match if the power goes out.

        2. Several years ago an extended family got stuck in an RV in snow in the coastal mountains of southern Oregon. They were there for about two weeks before two hiked out and got help. They spent the time watching TV and eating survival rations left over from the Y2K scare.

          7 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            Love that story!
            Hopefully my Costco bucket will gather dust in my pantry with my boxes of wines and cheap ass beer!

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Don't know about the dehydrated food thing because it assumes that in the event of disaster, we will have potable water or the ability to make it potable, and that may not be the case. I do think that in terms of strict survival, the 1 gallon purified water per person per day for one week, plus pet water allowance, is critical. Although beer may lessen the sting of the end times, it will also dehydrate ya and provide zero nutrition; better you should take up that pantry space with #1:A CAN OPENER! canned tuna, canned dried nuts, canned dried fruits, that water I mentioned, and canned fruit and veggies. Nothing requires the addition of anything or necessitates any cooking, and these things will keep ya alive. Also, re: 2012: although the Mayans were great astronomers, the facts are that they got as many prophecies wrong as were gotten right - and no Mayan scholars of note find any reason to believe that the 2012 prophecies have merit. The ending of a calendar does not constitute a leap to the end of the world, necessarily.

              1. re: mamachef

                My pantry is the size of my walk-in closest and have lots of room for the cases of water but with all the intense earthquakes that are 60 miles away from me at the epicenter, I want to be prepared as well as I can be.

                Reading those quatrains from Nostradamus on his spot on predictions are getting the best of me..lol

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  I took some geology in college and I would be very prepared if I lived in California. I live along the Texas coast, and we have our hurricanes, at least you can prep for these. All I really need is ice and gasoline, plus cash. Beach Chick, I'd stash a grand of money away, the atm's will not work after the big one, maybe weeks or months. I live on a hospital power grid, and during Hurricane Ike, we lost power for thirty seven hours, while those across the street were without for three weeks. Consider moving next to a hospital.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    Good point James on the ATM's..
                    I live on a golf course and all utilities are underground..if that helps.
                    the new fault line has become the worrisome fault since it has nothing to do with the 7.2 that was at the US/Mexico border.

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      One more is presription medication. I am on blood pressure meds, and a couple of days in advance of a hurricane I can get an extra months supply. What about California? Can you put away some extra medicine just in case? You have no warning.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        It depends on your insurance--mine, while I have generous benefits--won't allow an extra stash for emergencies.

          2. We keep a year's worth of Mountain House #10 cans on hand. They last up to 30 years and each can has 10+ servings. http://www.mountainhouse.com/emgcy_fd...

            Additionally, we keep several 6 gallon buckets full of rice, beans and lentils heat sealed in mylar food storage bags.

            We have four 55 gallon drums of water as well. Now I just need to find a source for 55 gallon drums of beer and wine and I will be all set.

            1. Nope. Don't have any sort of emergency food kit.

              I cannot see any sort of natural or man-made disaster that's likely to befall me that would make one necessary.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Harters

                There have been a few of these threads floating around, and I was beginning to think that I was being remiss. I think I'm stocked up if I have enough food for the cat to last a whole seven days, much less what I'm making for the humans.

                Then again, I live in Chicago. When we had an earthquake last year, I thought someone was running down the hall stairs *really* hard, and went about my business. I walked to work in the last blizzard. I'm sure geography enters into this. If I lived somewhedre like a rural area, or on a mountain, then there might be a bottled water and canned goods stash involved.

                My alternate reality me is very on top of things.

                1. re: onceadaylily

                  Chalk me up as another who does not live in constant pre-disaster mode. I do, however, have my own version of an emergency food kit, and it's why I clicked on this thread in the first place: I travel a lot on business, and have learned the hard way to keep a stash of high-quality trail mix (nuts, raisins, etc) and chocolate in my carry-on bag.

                  You never know when mechanical failures, bad weather, strikes (especially in Europe) and other unpredictables will leave you stranded somewhere. Airports after hours (especially smaller ones) will generally have water available, but often no food other than vending machine junk, if that.

                  A couple of high-quality nips don't hurt to have on hand either. They're under the 100ml limit, so they're legal to carry on - and did you know that Martell makes nip-sized bottles of Cordon Bleu? Just the thing to pick up one's spirits under such circumstances.

              2. I live in Fl so yes we have hurricane supplies though I do eat into them and have to top them back up during summer - longlife milk, cereal, cans of things that are bearable cold, crackers, water, dog food. I start to empty my freezer early june/july so that I limit what goes bad if we are out of power for over a week.

                1 Reply
                1. re: smartie

                  That's pretty much my strategy. I try to have a decent supply of non (or slow) perishable staples that I'm likely to use throughout the year anyway. I replace boxes/cans as I use them, and rotate things forward in the pantry so I don't end up with ancient beans at the back. I don't empty the freezer b/c I usually don't have that much in the freezer to start with. I do keep note of what's in there so I can use those things first in the event of an extended power outage.

                2. No emergency food supply at my house in SW Ohio, but the wine cellar is the tornado shelter (most common natural disaster threat in these parts). We do have bottled water stashed there, along with wine glasses and a corkscrew, of course!

                  1. water.

                    I don't think i really need food since i always have something in my pantry. It might not be ideal, but in case of a disaster, it will suffice. Water on the other hand would be a lot more difficult to get if disaster would make the water treatment plant stop functioning.

                    1. I have an emergency food supply drawer in my desk at work - that count?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                        me too! If I'm ever to encounter a disaster it's likely to happen at work and it will usually be work related so I keep an emergency supply of chocolate bars just in case ;)

                      2. I don't have an emergency food supply, per se, but I do keep a lot of canned and dry foods in the pantry. Years ago, I lived in a suburban apartment tower when there was an ice storm that kept most folks trapped for 5 + days, who were completely at a loss after they finished their toast and coffee on the first morning b/c they never kept food in the house.

                        I became quite popular on my floor, baking bread from scratch that week.

                        1. My husband has an emergency kit in the basement with food, water, toilet paper, medical supplies. I doubt we could live weeks and weeks on the food, but I do keep a good stash in my pantry. And yes, he does have a can opener in there.

                          Also if you are doing a kit, think about your pet... we have several cans of cat food.

                          1. Not an emergency kit per se, just non-perishables that I can eat in the event of a power outage. I lost power for 6 days a few years ago, due to an ice storm. I was fairly sick of chocolate and peanut butter by the end of it though. I'm in Indiana, so the most common disasters would be tornados (which typically affect only a small area, so access to food and water is less likely to be a problem) and the aforementioned ice storm. A snowstorm wouldn't strand me more than a day and it doesn't take out the water anyway.

                            Looking at my pantry, it seems like I"ll be surviving on Nutella (US and Italian), nut butters, canned chili, and that crispbread from Ikea. And liquor and energy drinks.

                            1. man I forgot the most important supply of all for hurricane season - alcohol - those nights are long in the dark and heat!

                              1. Loving all your ideas..from office to home!

                                1. Just thought of another thing... Disposable dishes, cutlery, and cups. If potable water is in short supply, you don't want to use it to wash dishes.

                                  1. If you're addicted to caffeine, some No-Doz or Red Bull or anything else of that ilk. You'll be miserable enough, so why add a caffeine withdrawal headache to your miseries.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: nofunlatte

                                      Ever thought of this. Great idea for those who are hooked.

                                      1. re: calliope_nh

                                        That's also why we added a bunch of Starbuck's Via to our pack.

                                    2. I have emergency supplies in the house, but, not in the form of one of those buckets. I stock up on items I use regularly whenever there is a good sale. We have about 3 months worth of canned and dried goods on hand, along with several gallons of potable water and propane to run my camp stove if we're without power.

                                      The best thing to do is determine what sort of disasters your area is prone to, and prepare for that. For instance, here in Florida, we are more likely to go through hurricanes than earthquakes or ice storms.

                                      Ready.gov, the federal disaster preparedness site, recommends that you have three weeks worth of shelf stable food on hand. It's much better to have that than to risk having to wait in the FEMA and Red Cross lines waiting for MREs if something happens.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: MsRetro

                                        Basic list of obvious staples in addition to all the "nice to have items"
                                        DRY BEANS
                                        Hot Sauce
                                        SHARP KNIVES, COOKING POT/FRY PAN
                                        RIFLE/SHOTGUN/HANDGUN{S} (plenty of proper ammunition for each)
                                        COOKING EYE (burner for propane, matches or several bbq propane lighters)
                                        CASH (small bills and large, do not expect change if things get tough)
                                        CLOTHES (underwear, socks, shorts/jeans, t shirts, good shoes/boots Poncho
                                        FIRST AID KIT/MEDS( personal hygiene items, soap, antiseptic hand cleaner, razors)
                                        GASOLINE (storage gets tricky for this item)
                                        BATTERIES (both disposable and rechargable, Solar recharge unit)

                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                          For gas don't forget to add Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer. The regular dose will keep fuel fresh for 12 months, 24 months for a double dose. I had stabilized fuel in a trimmer that must have sat for longer than two years and it started up on the first pull.

                                        2. Water
                                          Power Bars/Kashi Bars
                                          A ton of peanut butter
                                          Multivitamin tablets
                                          m&ms (you gotta live a little)
                                          Powdered milk
                                          Chef Boyardee
                                          Can opener!
                                          And a whole bunch of other non-food related stuff.
                                          We live in the fallout zone of a nuclear power plant and have always had an emergency supply as well as evacuation bag and evacuation map at the ready. Unfortunately, I doubt it would do help in the event of a major disaster. This is more for a "shelter in place" order. This is not us being kooky, it's recommended by the township we live in, so ok, we'll do it. One of our friend's has the philosophy that "if that thing meltsdown, I'm running TOWARDS it, not away." Clearly, I just want to be able to eat. :)

                                          1. Emergency food supplies are definitely a good idea if you live in an earthquake zone. I have rice, dried potato powder, dehydrated vegetable mix, peas and lentils. I also have a camp stove and fuel so that I can cook without my regular stove if the power is out. Another good thing to have is one of those emergency medical kits like you can get from http://www.hurricanestore.com/ , in case someone gets hurt.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Vicbowling

                                              We live in earthquake country and have a Red Cross kit. I would caution those who list dehydrated foods/foods that need to be heated or prepared with water to remember that potable water and/or heat may not be available in the 72 hrs following an emergency, and that portable heating devices, such as camp stoves, are probably inadvisable due to fire risk. At least in earthquake territory, the experts recommend high-energy, ready to eat foods.

                                            2. no "kit" per se, just a lot of staples like everyone else has mentioned. canned beans, legumes, sardines, tuna & salmon, PB & almond butter, shelf-stable almond milk, protein powder, fruit & nut bars, dried fruit, water...but living in LA, i really should be better about keeping an extra stash of my prescription meds on hand.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                And cash in small bills; in a prolonged disaster do not expect to be able to buy, barter, exchange, and get change!!!!

                                              2. I live in earthquake country...so we have honey, dried seaweeds, Lara bars, almond butter, various nuts, quinoa in a can (I can soak and eat), olive oil, goji berries, and cacao nibs. We know how to forage and have a garden we can eat from.

                                                We also have a backpacking water filter so we can go down to the stream that's close and get water there in addition to the water we store.

                                                1. In light of Hurricane Irene and the earthquake we just had on the East(!) coast, I thought I would revive this thread. My emergency supply kit still consists of canned soups I use and restock throughout the year, canned beans and tomatoes, and other non perishables I routinely use and just replace as I go, trying to keep enough for a week of sustenance on hand. I also keep a couple cans of sterno and matches so I can at least warm things up.

                                                  1. It's totally climate-determined, so we've packed up two kits: one for winter, and the other for non-freezing temps.Water, tetras, mostly stuff that requires either no or little warming. Alt fuels are also key for a non-utility serviced patch. The 1998 Ice Storm in eastern Canada wised us up about two-season kits.

                                                    1. I saw that bucket on the Costco site and jokingly told the BF that we should get it for his parents as a housewarming gift for their new FL home.

                                                      Being in the urban Northeast I don't really have an emergency kit. As it gets closer to winter I try to keep a pantry (2 shelves) full of staples (beans, tomatoes, soup, noodles, etc.) and a freezer of already prepared meals. I figure between those, a cooking stove, and a charcoal grill we can last a few days being snowbound. I do have to remember to keep a better eye on my cat food and cat medicine. Luckily we get enough warning to prepare for snowstorms.

                                                      In the winter we do keep an emergency kit in the car. Coats, scarves, hats, solar charger for phones, granola bars, water, blankets, etc. We don't travel any real distance w/out enough food for a couple meals.

                                                      1. I don't now, but did while living in Charleston, SC. Hurricanes can always come your way there. I had hard candies, canned chili, fruit roll ups, beef jerky, a lot of water and purification tablets and dog food. Other stuff was an extra inhaler for my husband's asthma, a refill of my migraine medicine, copies of insurance policies, and a small first aid kit.
                                                        The most important thing, and the only thing we ever used when a small hurricane rolled through was a bottle of rum (there was some vodka in there, too). Frazzled nerves are a lot more likely to happen long before thirst and starvation, imo.
                                                        The cash was there after I learned while traveling in central America when a hurricane came that cash is king. Nobody wants your butterscotch disks, but a few bills can go a long way. And when your own situation improves you can stuff some into donation jars, etc.

                                                        1. We were evacuated at 2 a.m. in the last San Diego fires, so finally got around to doing the emergency food stash. Looked at various prepacked kits, and didn't think they had what we'd want, so made our own. We also filled backpacks for the trunks of both cars, just in case. For the cars, bought the pouches of water that remain good for 5 years. Other stuff: can opener, soups, nuts, peanut butter, Starbucks instant coffee, high calorie food bars, jugs and jugs of bottled water. Sterno for heating up stuff. And the regular hygiene and comfort-care stuff including windup radios and windup flashlights. We rotate it every year so everything stays fresh and we don't waste anything.

                                                          1. Does anybody storing beer for long-term emergencies realize that it doesn't tastes good after a couple of months? I don't want to sound crude here, but I think "pee" would be a good description. I think I would store some other kind of alcohol to cheer me up in case of disaster.

                                                            1. I don't have anything. Should have at least a case of water and food for 3 days. I guess I'll just walk over to Von's if I need something.

                                                              1. Just wanted to wish all in Hurricane Irene's path a very safe journey..
                                                                Please be prepared..
                                                                All the best..

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. I keep two very important emergency contacts: 1-718-398-7088 & 1-718-788-5408. Mr. Wonton & Szechuan Delight, respectively. These guys will deliver to you through a nuclear winter. Plates, tableware & condiments on request. Other than that, I have a stand up freezer full of meat from Sandford Butcher, and a ton of canned spaghetti, sardines and smoked cod livers.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: David11238

                                                                    My great aunt always kept tins of sardines in case of emergency. My mom asked her why, "you hate sardines." Aunt replied that since she didn't like them , she could always be sure they were there. No chance they would have been eaten and not replaced. Personally, if I were in disaster mode, I would at least like to eat room temp food I liked under normal circumstances.

                                                                    1. re: calliope_nh

                                                                      There IS a point to that... as long as it's something that you can manage to choke down. When there's no power and you can't go to the grocery store because they don't have power either (or there's too much stuff down on the roadways for safe driving) the stuff in the pantry suddenly becomes a lot more palatable! I would never eat most of the stuff on my 'emergency' shelf under ordinary circumstances... but it sure beats starving! I also keep granola bars and fiber bars of various types - but I have to keep rebuying those because we eat them. Probably a good thing - they do NOT taste good after six months in a warm pantry.

                                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                                        I have a different take: with the stress and trauma of some disaster, I want familiar and comfort foods, so I stock our packs with what we'd normally eat, albeit perhaps more instant and less involved. Plus, make sure to have a pack of some hard candy--not only for a sweet treat, but sucking on it lessens thirst, so supplies of water can last longer.

                                                                  2. I have a fairly well-stocked bar that has seen me through some bad weather. I live in Boston where "bad" is usually not so bad.

                                                                    1. My problem is in our new condo we don't have a lot of space to put things so I can't keep the stock I'd like for emergencies. With Irene on the way we've stocked up on water, canned goods and pasta and crowded our laundry area. The last major storm to come through Richmond, Isabel, knocked our power out for eight days--and we lived in an all-electric house then, which truly sucked. Now we live in the city, where we were told our neighborhood got power back within the day after Isabel and we have a gas stove so I can cook, yay.

                                                                      Oh--and apparently God is making his displeasure with Richmond known. To wit:

                                                                      Tuesday: earthquake
                                                                      Today: fire (smoke from a fire in the Great Dismal Swamp, stinking and clouding things up)
                                                                      Tomorrow: hurricane

                                                                      If it follows the schedule the plague of locusts should be arriving next Tuesday.

                                                                      1. Besides canned goods and emergency water, we also have lots of MREs. We buy them here http://www.majorsurplus.com/Default.aspx, which is easy for us since we live close enough to drive there. I imagine there are similar stores in lots of states.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: susans

                                                                          In addition to a well thought out stash of non perishable foods, batteries, (or generator) fuel, bottled propane for outdoor grill use. plenty of water and water purifying equipment, cash, cash and more cash in small denominations, don't expect those you might have to deal with to make change; and finally personal defense equipment be it a baseball bat, bladed instrument or firearms. I know this sounds like paranoid thinking. but in a prolonged interruption of basic services (food deliveries to stores, utilities, police protection, etc.). many people become uncivilized quite rapidly.