Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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LDS Food Storage – 365 Feasts

LDS - Emergency Preparedness

Man: Let me tell you about an epiphany that happened to me and my family. We have been minding stuff and storing stuff and keeping around food storage like you’re supposed to. And then, two years ago I taught a class in my state for all of our state leadership on the possibility – not the possibility, the probability of a pandemic. H5N1, the bird flu was going around. The US government and many other governments around the world were very concerned of the possibility of this going ramped.

So I thought to teach my state what we should do in the possibility of a pandemic and how we are doing to deal with it. In fact, I had a lady from the Release Society President walk by in church, pat me on the shoulder and said “You’re a prophet!” and I said “No, I just read and I see what’s going on. That’s my job”. Literally, emergency preparedness is my avocation, my vocation and my calling. Anyway – teaching the pandemic flu, learning everything I could learn, I do a master’s thesis on pandemic flu. I don’t know everything there is to know, but I know a lot about pandemics and how they work, the mechanics of them – more than one person should. I read it so you don’t have to.

In that reading – what’s my plan in case the emergency happens? My plan is, I close the doors and don’t go out for 8 weeks. Can I do that in my house? Darn tootin! I can shut off my water, I can shut off my gas, I could be in my house for probably closer to 3 months without having to require to go outside of my house, my apartment and get anything. Water shuts off? I got plenty of water. No food? Don’t have to go out to the grocery store. I got my food. Water?Got that.Lighting?Got that. Turn off the power – I can live in my house for months without any outside help.

But then a card turned to me on one of the select sites I was watching, reading – the gentleman who runs it is a Christian man and says that we have an obligation as Christians to take care of our neighbors. I’m no expert at this. I stand on the shoulders of giants – I get to pick a little here, a little there and learn and do and apply. How am I going to take care of neighbors, how am I going to take care of people if I don’t go outside of my house? Somebody comes at my door “I’m hungry – what can you do?” “Well, hold your hands out, here’s two scups of rice and here’s some wheat and some dehydrated carrots – knock yourself out!” So I said that’s not gonna work.

So I told my wife that I have an idea. I want to get zip lock bags and put a cup of rice in, but add a cup of dehydrated peas, some white meat, maybe chicken pvp and maybe a chicken bouillon cube in there, right? Put it in a pod and if you got the water – boom! Rice is a meal, right? If China can do it, we should. But my wife goes “Ew, yuck! We can do better than that”. So we started researching. I found a lady, I wish I could give her the credit for it but her website no longer exists. But she called it 365 meals. 365 meals she wanted to have a nice, hardy meal for her family for 365 days. And I went “Pretty cool”. She put them all in glass jars – I live in California, I’m not putting jack in glass jars cause I don’t want to have to pick up the glass to eat it after the earthquake breaks them.

I said “We can do one better”. So what we did was, we found these meals in a jar. Have you not seen these? You make soup in a jar and you put a nice little letter on it and you give it away? Well, guess what? That’s a meal. And so, my wife and I, we have a sealer. We have a vacuum sealer – these are not vacuum sealed – some of them are, some of them aren’t cause we’re testing which will last better and tastes better. My wife had one of these books and we went online and bought the rest of them: gifts in a jar. We looked through and found the recipes that we wanted. We had a bunch of freeze dried celery and dehydrated this and carrots and all that kind of stuff.

We have a family of six and so we made it appropriate for 6 people. And we’re gonna make 365 of these. One for every day, one hardy meal every day. You have something for breakfast and you can have pancakes or biscuits and gravy, corn bread and other things. A big hardy meal is one meal a day. So we made 100 of these. The other purpose of this was, what if my wife or I were incapacitated for some reason, deathly ill? My wife is more of a cook than I am. I enjoy it, but can’t cook. But what if we couldn’t cook? How would our children know what to do with freeze dried carrots? How are they gonna know what to do with beans or rice or, you know? How are they gonna know anything?

So we made these pouches – this is actually one half of a pouch you get from the church’s distribution center – we came up with 17 different meals and then we’ve vacuum sealed them in these things. This one is ham hock stew: add 12 cups of water, cook 5-6 hours. And we were gonna make 365 of these and some smaller ones to give away. And then, in the process, we said “Let’s break one out and make one”. So we broke one out and made one: this could feed Sherman’s army. Add more water to it, I could feed my ward. I’m not kidding. This one is ham hock stew and all you need is 12 cups of water, boil.

We stuffed ourselves really, really good. So we made this. So it fed my family a whole hardy meal, we stuffed ourselves silly and we barely put a pint in it. We actually had more than a half of the soup mix in it. This actually fed our family 3 meals. I could take this in an emergency and feed 20 people a decent meal. So then we decided that we didn’t need 365 of these so we made another batch of about 80. And we made smaller ones too – but we also made these. This is mushroom cream soup. And some dehydrated chicken with rice that makes a really great casserole.

So, the question was – how much do these last? Well, the cans of dehydrated corn and dehydrated carrots and everything else last 25 years. Since we opened the can, put it in here, put an oxygen absorber in, I’m thinking we knocked 5 years off. I’m guessing. I figure 20 years. This is a standard sealer – just what we used to seal them with. It has an oxygen absorber inside. What we did is we made the pouches – the pouches were originally twice this size. We cut them down, we stuck them out and we assembly lined them. My children and my wife – we did one recipe at a time. We had 17 different flavors, by the way. This must be made of these ingredients: okay kids, so a quarter cup of this. I was in charge of a quarter cup of salt or half a teaspoon and put it in and send it over to be closed up.

These ones were put with an oxygen absorber, but no vacuum seal. We have some of them that are Mylar and vacuum sealed and then we had a bunch of them in the seal-a-meal bags and vacuum sealed. Cause I wanted to see which ones would last longer and which would last less. And I’ll have you know, by the way, that the vacuum sealed ones, full of powdered milk, are not cat-proof.

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