(Note: – STEPS 1, 2, and 3 can be worked on simultaneously. Then move to STEP 4)
STEP 1: Three-Month Supply
“Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated [eaten and replenished] regularly to avoid spoilage.” (ProvidentLiving.org)
Where do I start?
“Start by adding a few storable items that you typically eat, storing some water that is safe to drink, and saving some money, if only a few coins each week. Then over time, expand these initial efforts—as individual circumstances allow and where permitted—by storing a longer-term supply of basics such as grains, beans, and other staples.” (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)
How quickly should I obtain my food storage?
“It is not prudent to go to extremes or go into debt to establish your home storage all at once. Gradually build reserves over time as financial resources and space permit.” (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)
What’s the difference between the three-month and longer-term supply items?
“Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods. Longer-term supply items are basic food items like grains and beans that have very low moisture content (about 10% or less), can be stored for long periods of time (20–30 years), and would sustain life if nothing else were available to eat. A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply.” (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)
Many of you have asked me what kinds of food should you put in your 3-Month food storage supply. EVERYONE’s supply will be different. I’ve updated my personal 3-Month Food Storage Calculator. It contains shelf stable items for your food storage and also includes paper goods, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Focus on the food items first. Adjust anything you want to suit the needs of your family. The calculator can also give you suggested amounts for a year’s supply, but you don’t have to store a year supply of many items. Just the long-term foods. This is only a guide, but I like it for my family, so I’m sharing. Let me know if you find errors in the formulas.
Also, at the beginning of each month I post items to add to your food storage supply. Look on the right side bar of my blog. You do not want to buy everything all at once. Just add a little at a time to build up a supply so you don’t end up with same expiration dates or get lopsided by having too much of one item. How would that help you in an emergency? Learn to use what you buy, then shop again to replenish your supply. It is all trial and error.
Here is a printable 3-month food storage plan for one adult. You are free to print the Relief Society or ward use. A Sample 3-Month Food Storage Supply for one adult.pdf
If you are feeling overly anxious with amounts, look at my Food Storage for College Students.
Now read STEP 2: Emergency Water