Back in February, we yakked a bit about storing up extra food
for an emergency. You've got some extras set aside for a rainy (or windy, quaky or TSHTF) day, but do you know how you are going to prepare your meals in an emergency situation? Those cans of chicken noodle soup, while filling, aren't going to taste that good on the way down if served cold because you forgot that the stove might not turn on in an emergency.
Do you have camping equipment? Do you know where your camping equipment is, if you own some? A camp stove is invaluable in an emergency. If you do not have one, put it high up on your prep list. They're compact and are easy to use. They can be used in the city or the country; by home dwellers and apartment dweller. They transport well, due to their size, if bugging out it in order.
Propane grills are also a great option for cooking. Even if they don't have the burner on the side, you could still set a pot on the grill, along with cooking other things directly on the grill surface. Lots of the newer grills have the option to turn on one flame at a time, which saves fuel and concentrates the cooking flame for smaller portions. The draw back to most grills are their large size. If you think you might not be able to stay put in an emergency, a camp stove would be the better bang for your buck.
Make sure to have plenty of fuel on hand to power your cooking options. Here in Lewville, we have a propane tree, which is basically a long tube with lines coming off of it. We can hook up a bbq, camp stove and a lantern to the same propane source, which is the same size as a bbq propane tank. If you have a tree, or decide to go that route when purchasing your stove, remember to have some smaller (full!) propane bottles on hand for bugging out. A safety reminder, when cooking with propane-- don't use it inside the house. Cook outside or in the garage, with the door open. Ventilation is important.
What are some of the appliances you rely on for preparing food. How many of them need to be plugged in to work? If most of the things you use do plug in, what are you going to do if the power is out? Purchasing some non-electric tools is something to think about. I recently purchased a Quick Chef
from Tupperware. It chops, mixes and whips by hand power. I've been putting it through the wringer, to see how it performs, and so far I'm impressed. Besides chopping up the typical onions and garlic,I've thrown in hard veggies like carrots and celery. The hard vegetables aren't as pretty of a finished product, as it would be with an electric food processor, but it works. That's what counts when the chips are down. My one concern is blade breakage. I'm going to check and see if replacement blades are available, because there's two screws holding the blade in place, so it would be an easy fix if the right blade was on hand. Ikea has a people-power chopper
in their cookware line up. I haven't tried it myself, but it looks cool. If anyone has one, post your review of its performance in the comments section, please. I'm eager to hear how it works.
If you're a coffee hound, like I am, having a way to brew a pot is imperative. Take a look at a coffee press
or a stove top espresso pot
. Even an old fashion percolator will work, but if you want your coffee in a timely manner, these other options are better. Just make sure to have some ground coffee on hand.
If you have some extra money available, then Lehman's
is definitely the place to check out. They have a large assortment of products that run solely on elbow grease. Their products are expensive, but I've heard nothing but praise from people who shop at Lehman's.
Once you have a store of food and a way to prepare it set up, you are well on your way to providing for yourself in an emergency. Remember, Uncle Sam and his cronies aren't going to ride in on their white horses and save the day. Assemble the white horse ahead of time, through your own personal exertion.