Anyone who spends much time reading and learning about survival will undoubtedly come across the Rule of 3’s, which typically goes something like this:

In extreme survival situations you cannot survive more than:

  • 3 minutes without air
  • 3 hours without shelter
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food
  • 3 months without hope

Of course, these are merely approximations, but they do help remind us what our priorities must be when making preparations.  Today, I would like to discuss another Rule of 3’s.  When it comes to food preparations, every prepper has his or her own opinions regarding the best types of foods to store for TEOTWAWKI or WROL events that may occur.  Today, I would like to put in my own two cents and explain how my family and I are making our own preparations.

We have broken down our food preparations into 3 separate categories:

3 days

Our first concern must be preparing for an immediate emergency that requires us to either hunker down or bug-out for a short period.  It has recently become very popular among preppers and non-preppers alike to have 72 hour “bug-out bags.”  In fact, each of our family members has his and her own bag with survival gear, water and food.  When selecting food for a short-term, 1-3 day emergency, I recommend selecting calorie dense, light-weight, easy to prepare food.  We personally selected a variety of MRE’s and Mountain House freeze-dried meals.  We also have nuts, protein bars and other snacks included to round out what we would need for just a few days on the move.

3 months

Our next level of emergency food storage is designed to protect us in the event of a major disruption of services.  These might include disruptions of the grid, terrorist attacks, civil unrest, health scares or any other event causing major disruptions of government services, grocery supply chains, etc…   In most of these events, the safest place to be is typically at home.  Unless something necessitates our bugging out, we plan to stay in our primary residence and wait out whatever events are taking place.

For our 3 months supply, we are storing what we regularly eat.  Clearly, this means quality food prepared at home … not Chinese takeout or Taco Bell.  When we do our grocery shopping, we always try to throw a little extra in for this supply.  We also consider the fact that, for one reason or another, we may not be able to use our fancy electric stove.  So most of these foods are capable of being prepared on a grill or over a fire.   Be sure to remember that all this extra food will require extra room in your pantry or other space.  Be sure to keep your eyes on expiration dates and rotate your supply by consuming older food and replacing it with new.  We have also stored dozens of 1 gallon bottles of water, just in case.

3 years

This is your L-O-N-G term food storage.  Like your 3 month food supply, this can include foods you consume on a daily basis, such as canned or frozen foods.  But most of this supply should consist of life-sustaining foods that can survive for 3, 5, … even 25 years.  Staples such as rice, wheat, flour, beans, salt, powdered milk and the like.  These are the foods that will supplement your garden and keep you alive long term  For long-term storage, you should consider sealing these foods in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.  You can then store them somewhere to protect the bags.  5 -gallon buckets are popular and work great.  But really, if you are using Mylar, the buckets are just there to protect the Mylar.  Therefore, we don’t spend a fortune on food grade buckets and expensive lids.

Lastly, we have been discussing food supplies.  But you might want to think about all of your prepping in the same manner.  You should be making preparations based on short, medium and long-term needs.  This is true whether the prep is food, water, ammunition, medicine, shelter, or toilet paper.