wildfire burning in a pine forest

Natural Disaster: Emergency Food Supplies — What Would You Do?

As humans, we like working habitually, thinking habitually, structuring our days around habits, and falling into habits when it comes to relationships. It’s an easy way for our minds to process the world around us—our brains work to simplify expectations, creating conclusions that fall in line with our lived experience. But sometimes what our brain expects to happen day-to-day does not meet reality.

The Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012 was unexpected to the residents living in the area. 346 homes were destroyed in the ensuing fire and tens of thousands of people were displaced either due to loss of residence or to maintain personal safety. The fire raged for nearly three weeks, and it spread at extreme rates of speed, with people being forced to evacuate their home in mere minutes of learning they were in potential danger. 

2018 brought a similar reality to Southern California residents with the Paradise Fire, where upward of 52,000 people were forced to evacuate, 86 were killed, 10,360 residences were destroyed, and 150,000 acres were burned through. 

Southern California was struck again in 2019, with residents in the area going through a repeat experience. Fires ran rampant through the region, destroying wildlife, homes, and livelihoods. 

Due to films, we sometimes expect fires to be something that can be outrun or avoided, but this is far from the truth. In the case of the 2019 Southern California fires, firefighters couldn’t stop the flames from gaining ground. Fierce winds only fastened a fire that had grown to be 10 miles wide after just two days of blazes. 

Whether it’s a tsunami, a wildfire, or a tornado, there’s often little time for homeowners and residents to react. Mother nature has a cruel way of throwing natural disasters at us in the blink of an eye, where we are only given a few minutes to go running from our homes. In such catastrophic situations, we’re forced to leave behind much of what we value and hold dear—sometimes running is the only way to survive.

But there are ways you can protect yourself in the event of a natural disaster. The most common method employed by survivalists is the so-called “bug-out” bag: a grab-and-go bag dedicated to the storage of essential survival supplies to be used in the event of a natural disaster, global pandemic, or the outbreak of war. Supplies will vary from person to person, depending on what they believe to be most useful in times of severe need, but there is one type of supply you truly need to store away— emergency food and water.

stacked cans of food

Having an emergency food supply is essential for your survival in the event of a natural disaster, as it provides you with pre-packaged and dried nutrients stored in airtight compartments. The reasons you should have emergency food supplies stored either in your home or in a bug-out bag include the following: 

  • You want food that doesn’t require refrigeration or freezing in the event that you’re without electricity. Also, you want food that can be easily heated by boiling it with water versus baking. 
  • Natural disasters can limit the options through which you can access food— supermarkets, restaurants, and your local country store could easily be shut down or destroyed. Rather than braving the elements to get a single meal for your family, you can have an 84-serving emergency food kit stored away in your basement for immediate use. 
  • We never know how long a natural disaster will last. A readily available three-month food supply is a peace of mind in the event of an emergency. 
hand holding a glass of water

It is in your best interest to also have emergency water storage within your home and bug-out bag. A natural disaster might destroy local water lines, so it’s important you have water purifiers nearby that can work to provide you with safe-to-drink water in a pinch. While food is important, you can only live a few days without water, so be sure to put an emergency water storage device somewhere in your house or pack. 

When it comes to natural disasters, there’s no reason to take any risks. If your area is prone to being struck by tornadoes or ravished by wildfires, you should be prepared for the worst. Take the necessary steps to prepare yourself rather than testing your luck when your life's on the line.