Photo: Melissa Doroquez on Flickr
The Boy Scouts’ motto is “Always Be Prepared”, and you know what? It’s not a bad motto for everyone to aim for. With all of the extreme weather that’s been popping up all over the world in recent years, it’s probably a good idea to keep a few essentials at home for any occasions in which you might be housebound for a few days.
Everyone knows how important it is to have access to clean water, so a few days’ worth of water per family member (and companion animal!) is vital—aim for 5 gallons per person, per day. You know those big water bottles you can get for coolers? A few of those kept in the closet/basement are great to have around. As for foodstuffs, try to keep enough food in your pantry to feed each family member for 72 hours. Let’s make a quick list of a few things that are probably good to keep in stock just in case.
- Cereals: granola, muesli, etc. Items that are as good when eaten dry, as well as with milks.
- Rice: it’s one of the best staples you can have on hand, and a large bag of it is very cost-effective
- Dry pasta: it cooks up quickly and is warming and filling
- Ramen noodle packets
- Quinoa is a great high-protein grain that cooks up quickly and easily
- Oatmeal (instant, if possible) for warming nourishment
- Lentils: look past the vegan stereotype here—they cook quickly and are super good for you
- Flours: can be mixed with canned beans and a bit of soy milk for fritters, etc.
*With dry goods, remember to store them in airtight containers, preferably made of glass: it’ll keep mice and insects out so nothing ends up being contaminated.
- Vegan soups (tomato, minestrone, vegetable)
- Beans (assorted varieties)
- Canned vegetables/fruit
- Nut and grain milks (Almond, Soy, Rice)
- Canned or bottled juices
- Oils (whichever you like best)
- Dried fruit: good source of energy, and will help stave off scurvy. ;)
- Nut butters: good for snacks on crackers/bread
- Food for your animal companions
It doesn’t take a great deal of cost or effort to put some of these essential aside for when they’re needed, and though it might seem like a pain in the butt to do so now, it’s appreciated when one is housebound for a few days for one reason or another. We never know when wretched weather, injuries/illness, or other unforeseen incident might happen, and a bit of pre-planning and stocking up is always worth the time and effort.