When you are planning your emergency supplies, don’t focus only all the usual traditional staples. You should also consider some treats and “luxury” items for your preparedness plans too.
During a crisis, keeping up morale and a positive attitude are vital. Eating rice and beans every day may keep you alive, but it will soon wear down on your spirit. Along with the actual “needs”, you also need to store some comfort foods another morale-boosting supplies.
Comfort foods are things that aren’t really needed for survival (and are likely not even good for you) but that we enjoy and can break up the monotony of a stored-food diet.
- Candy and gum
- Coffee and/or tea
- Non-dairy pudding cups
- Vegan jerky
- Sweet cereals (though these do not store for long periods of time)
- Cookies (also not a long-term storage item)
- Spices and herbs
The spices aren’t a comfort food in themselves, but can make a big difference against serving the same flavours every day. Most spices will store well, in tightly sealed glass jars. If you buy your spices in a pouch bag, you may want to consider repackaging into jars.
A basic selection of good storage spices might include cinnamon, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Obviously, you should use your own tastes to guide you on this.
Snack foods designed for packing in lunches, like small bags of potato chips, single portions of cookies, snack cakes or fruit leather snacks all make excellent comfort foods for storage. Their individual packaging will help them to last longer, rather than trying to handle a large open box of something perishable.
You may need to keep yourself occupied during long hours, which can be difficult if there is no power and/or no place to go outside your home. Boredom can quickly become a serious issue in an extended emergency when you are more or less trapped. These types of items are pretty flexible and really should reflect the interests of the people in your family. Even if they seem frivolous, don’t ignore some of these supplies:
- Crossword, sudoku and other puzzle books
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Board games
- Light reading, novels in your favorite genres
- Playing cards
- Musical instruments
- Art supplies
Many of these things may already be around your home, and don’t necessarily need to be added as emergency supplies. If you have a generator or other off-grid power supplies, a small TV with DVD player and movies can be a very important tool for passing the time during an emergency situation.
The point here isn’t to tell you exactly what you need because comfort items can vary wildly from person to person, and these are just suggestions. The point is, you need to consider these types of items when planning for an emergency because they are just as important as the basics.