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Emergency Food

Although you can survive a few days, or even a week without food, it is not something you would want to try. Missing even a few meals can add risk to your chances of surviving a disaster. Weakness, distraction, and disorientation can lead to dangerous decisions and accidents.
Making emergency food a part of your Disaster Survival Kit is not hard to do. Plan on at least 400 calories per meal. Options include canned food, Food Bars, Freeze-Dried food, or Self-Heating Meals, commonly known as MRE's.
Food Bars are the most compact way to store emergency food. Common food bars, such as granola bars, only have a shelf-life of 6-months to a year, so look for food bars made to Coast Guard specifications that are rated for a 5-year shelf-life. Also called food rations, these bars have a reputation for tasting bad. However, some brands such as Mayday or Mainstay taste pretty good. Mayday food bars taste like apple-cinnamon shortbread cookies. Mainstay taste like lemony shortbread cookies. They come in 400, 1200, or 3600 calorie bars.
Freeze=Dried Food was developed for the space program. Great tasting entrees are prepared, then the water is removed in a freeze-drying process. This allows the food to be stored for 7 years, or even 30 years if packaged in cans. Oregon Freeze Dried pioneered this process and sell their products under the name Mountain House. Some of the meals can be eaten dry, but most require re-hydration and cooking, so a stove of some sort should be included in your emergency kit.
Self-Heating Meals were developed for the military and were called MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). They use a salt-water activated heating element that cooks the food in separate packages. The military version MRE's are formulated for grueling military conditions. Consumer versions that are balanced for the average adult are now available under brand names such as HeaterMeals and Chef 5-Minute Meals. They are great tasting and easy to use, but generally only have a 2-3 year shelf-life.
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