Emergency Meals When The Power Goes Out

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What we learn from our parents and grandparents from yesterday helps us to be more prepared for today as well as the future. Learning the old-fashioned skills of the past is very important: skills like chopping wood, building fires, using kerosene lamps, gardening, preserving or bottling food, root cellaring for the winter months, fishing, raising and butchering cattle, pigs and chickens.

Our grandparents knew how to preserve their meat by smoking, bottling or drying it. Our ancestors knew how to survive off the land. It was a necessary skill and everyone did it.

Back then, everyone had family farms with chickens. Every morning they gathered the fresh eggs and milked the cow or goat so they could make breakfast. They knew how to bottle meat and turn it into strips of dried jerky for the winter months. Food and water storage was a necessity, and most of the daily activities centered around staying warm and gathering enough food to make meals to feed the family. Many times the older children had the task of gathering and chopping wood, keeping the fire and wood-burning stove going, lighting the kerosene lanterns and helping with the younger children.

What Would We Do Without Electricity?

I do product research for my business. I own every gadget and product I can find that will make life easier in an emergency situation. I use them and evaluate them and pass this knowledge on to my readers.

If the power grid goes down I will be using these items along with many of the skills passed down from my grandparents. We need to think ahead and have items on hand that we can use in our daily lives that do not require electricity. These include a non-electric can opener, a hand-cranked food processor, a hand-cranked wheat grinder or grain mill, an old-fashioned egg beater or wire whisk, a solar oven, a non-electric food dehydrator, and cast iron Dutch ovens. We will need hand tools and gardening equipment, bicycles and ways to get around.

What would we do if the power went out for a week or two? We would not be able to get gas because the pumps run on electricity. The grocery stores would not be able to sell products because the computers wouldn’t work. We would all be greatly inconvenienced. It would be overwhelming and very stressful.

It is a good idea to have alternative cooking methods such as camping stoves, with propane or white gas. Any recipe calling for food to be cooked on a stovetop can easily be cooked on a camp stove, in a pot, pan or on the griddle. Backyard grills are also great as a backup when the power goes out. Be sure to store enough fuel for at least 2 weeks.

In my previous articles I have listed many of the other items that are necessary for being prepared. I am listing a few of my favorite products. They are available on the web and in most sporting goods stores

Sun OvenA Solar Sun Oven is a great way to bake and it uses the power of the sun. You can bake anything in the sun oven that you can bake in a conventional oven. It comes with a dark enamel pot with a lid and is similar to a roasting pan. You place your pot of food in the oven and point the oven toward the sun. It heats up to 375 F quickly and cooks your meal without electricity. There is a cookbook that you can purchase with recipes designed for the sun oven.

Dehydrated And Freeze-dried Foods

Food and water storage is very important in an emergency situation. The types of foods that you will not have access to include fresh produce, breads, meats and dairy products. You will need to have canned meats on hand to make meals that contain protein. You will need bread-making ingredients and the skills to make your own bread. The meals you make in an emergency will be much different than what you are used to cooking.

Dried food will store much longer than wet-pack canned food. I suggest that you store a wide variety of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. I recommend storing individual gallon-sized cans of dehydrated fruits, vegetables and dried dairy products. A variety of grains, such as wheat, oats and rice, as well as beans and legumes are great storage items because they last a long time on the shelf. They only require water and simple heat to prepare.

Pre-made Meals (Just Add Water)

In an emergency situation we will need simple meals that are easy to prepare yet nutritious. I like to store meals that are already pre-made and dehydrated or freeze-dried and contain all the ingredients. These are so simple to make because you just add water and cook for 15 minutes and the meal is done. The pre-made meals that I have been storing are called Go-Foods. These are so-named because they are ideal for families that are busy, on-the-go and need fast, easy and nutritious meals. When choosing meals to store, keep in mind that they need to be packaged for long-term storage. GoFoods have a shelf life of 15 years. These meals can be rotated and used for everyday cooking as well. This helps prevent the food from expiring and getting thrown away, which is a waste of money.

I research all the different food storage companies and their products and I am in the business of helping people become self-sufficient. I have now found a program that I am very impressed with. You can set up a monthly auto-ship to receive a box of food per month to store away so that over a year’s period of time you will have a one-year supply of emergency food. This company has new concepts in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use as well as for storing for up to 15 years.

3 Cheese Chicken Alfredo PastaGoFoods pre-made meals are dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw foods.

They have no genetically modified food items (GMOs). The food has no hydrogenated oil or monosodium glutamate (MSG). And it is not imported from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides. Just click here to learn more.

The meals ready to cook include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrées and other baking items include chicken pasta alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, Santa Fe fiesta rice, creamy Tuscan pasta with sundried tomatoes, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix.

Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and the meals are delicious. The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package. The company offers samples of their meals for people to try before they buy. All they ask is that you pay the shipping.

Hybrid FlashlightIf The Power Goes Out

If the power goes out it is always a good idea to have several flashlights around. I keep one in all my vehicles as well as my home. I love the solar-powered hybrid flashlight that recharges itself in any kind of light. It can be recharged each day by exposing it to sunlight or indoor lighting. It has a very bright light with 120 lumens of power and is waterproof. It floats, is non-breakable and works in extreme hot or cold temperatures. You never need to purchase batteries and it holds a single charge for three years before it needs to be recharged again by simply exposing it to sunlight. It is the best solar powered flashlight I have found so far.

Being prepared for whatever life’s emergencies might bring means, not only storing prepping items, but also having the skills to use them. Knowledge and skills will help us to be more emotionally balanced as well. If you are prepared you will not panic.

–Peggy Layton

Peggy Layton

a home economist and licensed nutritionist, holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. Peggy lives in Manti, Utah with her husband Scott. Together they have raised seven children. Peggy owns and operates two businesses: One called "The Therapy Center", where she is a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and the other an online cookbook and preparedness products business. She is nationally known for publishing a series of seven books on the subject of food storage and also lectures and teaches seminars about preparedness and using food storage products. Peggy practices what she preaches, has no debt, grows a huge garden, lives off the land, raises chickens, bottles and dehydrates food and has time left over to operate her businesses. To check out Peggy's cookbooks and self sufficiency products go to her website www.peggylayton.com. To get a free sample of three different storable meals that have a 15-year shelf life go here.