When I first got started storing food back in 1975 I followed the traditional food storage plan for our church. Very simple, per person store: 300 pounds of grains (wheat, oats, corn, rice, ect.) 75 pounds of dairy (powdered milk, cheese powder, ect 4 quarts liquid equal 1 pound dehydrated) 60 pounds sugars (sugar, honey, molasses, Jello, jam, ect) 5 pounds salt, 20 pounds fats (shortening, oil, ect) 50 pounds legumes (beans, lintels,ect.) and 14 gallons of water (1 gallon per day for 2 weeks)
This is a good basic supply per person but over the years what I discovered is when we hit our personal disasters we really didn't know how to use just this list. So we added other canned goods like soups, fruits and veggies, ect. But still when disaster struck we'd be so befuddled in our minds we still needed help using what we had long term. Yes, we had lots of personal disasters in our life!
When we think of disasters we tend to think of things like the Japanese earthquake or the Joplin tornado. Those things do happen but what we found was we'd suddenly without warning lose our jobs, get injured or sick, or have other things happen that was beyond our control and left us financially drowning.
So we as a family came up with a menu based plan to add to our traditional plan. I was aiming at 91 different meals (13 weeks x 4 = 52). I really struggled with my list until I made copies and asked my family for help. By the time they got done with it we were suddenly up to 133 meals. My husband insisted we have planned left overs to serve on Sundays so I wouldn't have to cook that day. Well it sounded nice but if we have no refrigerator, ect we'd have no way to store the left overs. We also had to cross out several that was not suitable for long term storage. So we've gotten it worked back down to a workable level. Then my husband came up with his plan....
He thought laying in everything we needed for a set menu was to much so he suggested we have planned meals to cover the first month stored in a bag with instructions ready to roll out and by the time we get through the first month we should be over the initial shock so we could think enough to plan out meals again. He is allowing us 15 cases of pint jars for meats. I have until November to fill them and after that what ever is left over will be filled with venison. Ah, free meat! We also have hens for eggs and of course we could eat them if we needed to. We also have 2 very large ponds with fish. Lots of deer, turkey and rabbits run around our farm too! Anyway we have our 91 day plan printed out and in a nice binder with sheet protectors. I am collecting meals and putting them into bags trying to get 30 days worth. And I am filling canning jars with meats and broths when I am able.
If you have nothing laid in at all I highly suggest you lay in 300 to 400 pounds of beans and rice. Then start trying to add to it. We are entering a very uncertain time. This is the first year that the United States will be unable to feed our people fully, less alone ship stuff out. Many nations that import food to us has already said they won't be doing that this coming year. That alone is a very good reason to lay in everything you can get this summer. You need to get supplies and learn to can, dry, foods. Accept each and every free will offering given to you this summer! Yes take that zucchini and tomatoes! Dry or can it! Ask around and find someone who can show you if you need help! I have seen miracles happen when you make an effort to store food for crisis. My dear friend in Japan thought he had enough to feed his Mother and himself for 3 months. He couldn't just hid and feed himself so he feed the whole neighborhood and he still is doing so. The rice pot never seems to go down he has told me. When their crisis is over it will go down but until then the Lord will bless them. It drives me crazy when I hear people say they have food and weapons to protect it. I would have a hard time eating while my neighbors starved. I will count on the never ending rice pot should things get very ugly here in the next few years.
So my word for today is to have a plan and try it out. Make sure you know what you have and how to use it. Having foods your family know and love is important in a disaster. They bring comfort in uncertain times. Take a look at you circumstances and see what you can do to protect your self and your family. Have a plan!