Natural disasters, drought, and flooding are devastating world food supplies. As wise preppers, we look at the risk of food shortages and decide what we can do to protect our family from hunger and increase our level of self-reliance.
Are we at risk for wide-reaching food shortages? Natural disasters, severe weather, flooding, drought, pests, failing farms, labor shortages, and political agendas all play a role in the current availability of food. According to news reports, food security is a valid concern and the situation appears to be worsening.
Let’s review some ideas you might want to consider as you prepare to protect your family against impending or potential food shortages in our future.
Risk of Impending Food Shortage Identified
The first step to being prepared is to identify potential risks. Our research shows sufficient evidence of potential food shortages in our future to merit our attention and reasonable allocation of resources.
Now it is time to design a mitigation plan to reduce the effect that this food shortage may have on your family.
Food Shortage Mitigation Plan
The ability to live on the foods that we have stored and what we may be able to produce on our own property is essential to make sure that our family does not go hungry.
Our family accepted the challenge to live for 90 days on just the foods that we had stored and what we could produce in our garden. Because we lived it, we know that it is absolutely possible to survive nicely on food storage and garden produce. Quite frankly, we could have lived off of our resources for much longer if we had to.
Check out what we learned from this challenge at We Survived on Food Storage and Garden Produce for 90 Days.
Now let’s get started.
Do Not Panic!
Slow down and take a deep breath. There is absolutely no need to panic. When you chose to panic, it is easy to make emotional and unwise decisions. Take a deep breath and talk the problem through. Brainstorm reasonable solutions.
We refuse to be motivated by fear. We take a common-sense look at the current events and then strategically evaluate our family emergency plan to make sure that we have taken reasonable steps to protect us from potential threats. All of this is done in wisdom and order.
Evaluate Your Current Standing and Resources
Let’s start by taking a careful look at your current status and resources. Then we will get to work on a plan to improve your self-reliance and resiliency.
Critically evaluate your current food storage. How long could you survive without going to the grocery store to restock? Is your food supply nearing the end of its useful life? Are you stocking the foods that your family really likes to eat?
Home Production Capability
What foods can you produce on your own property? Do you have mature fruit trees, a thriving garden, or a greenhouse? What space do you have that might be used to produce food even if it is in a few pots on the patio?
What financial resources could possibly be allocated to purchasing food, supplies, tools, or building garden boxes? How can you earn a little extra money to put toward this worthy goal?
What tools do you have at your disposal? Tools may include helpful items such as food preparation tools like a wheat grinder or a bread mixer. Home production tools might include anything from gardening tools to beekeeping supplies to specialty tools for raising livestock.
Food Production, Preservation, and Cooking Skills
Do you know how to garden? Can you successfully preserve the harvest by bottling or dehydrating? Can you take basic staples such as flour and sugar and create edible foods? Would it be possible for you to raise chickens or milk cows? Can you grow or raise any food that you might be able to barter in order to get other needs met?
Are there any community gardens in your neighborhood? Is there an empty lot where you may be able to start a community garden? Is there an elderly couple in your neighborhood with established gardens and fruit trees that may be willing to trade food for labor? The best sources for food may be from local farmers.
Evaluating your community resources does not include making a list of “targets” that you may be able to “hit” during tough times to get your needs met. Making a plan to “eat at the Joneses” when times get tough is not a viable plan. Understanding that the Joneses have fruit trees or eggs and may be willing to trade for chocolate is a good plan.
You may not be in a position to grow your own food but knowing what your farmer neighbor may be willing to trade for and stocking up on it may get your needs met nicely.
Design a Step-By-Step Plan of Action
Now you know the risk. You know your resources. It is time to get to work developing your personalized action plan.
Be realistic as you set your goals but don’t be afraid to stretch yourself so that you can accomplish what you need to ensure that you can feed your family regardless of impending or potential food shortages.
Build a Short Term Food Storage
Ideally, you should keep a well-rotated 3 month supply of the foods you eat everyday stocked in your home pantry. Our goal is a one year supply but that ebbs and flows depending on what garden produce we have bottled and what we have stocked up on during the weekly sales.
If you are starting from scratch, work to build up a 2 week supply. Every time you visit the grocery store stock up on a few extra items they have on sale. Before long you will be able to fill your pantry without straining your financial resources.
There are some great ideas to get you started on building your short term food supply in our post, 3 Months Supply of Food: Amazing Peace of Mind.
Build a Long Term Food Supply of Basic Life-Sustaining Staples
A long term food supply of basics such as wheat, rice, beans, oats, pasta, sugar, and salt can be stored for 25 to 30 years if packaged appropriately. This is a great hunger insurance policy.
Learn more about building this food supply at Long Term Food Storage: Creative Solutions to Build a Critical Asset.
Grow a Garden and Increase Your Ability to Produce Food Year-Round
A summer vegetable garden is a wonderful way to add fresh nutrients to your diet and feed your family. During a real food shortage, it will be important that you are able to have those nutrients all year round without paying the skyrocketing prices for fresh food at the market.
You can produce an incredible amount of food in a few small grow boxes using vertical gardening techniques. Every little patch of dirt has the potential to produce food that you can feed your family. There is a steep learning curve so it pays to adopt gardening as a favorite hobby.
There are many ways to extend the growing season with greenhouses or even by growing vegetables indoors. We have tomato and pepper plants that we currently take out of the garage every day to let them get some sunshine even though we are a couple of months past the last frost date. Sometimes you just have to get a little bit creative.
Learn more about growing a survival garden at Best Strategies for Growing a Reliable Survival Garden.
Add Edible Fruit and Nut Trees, Grape Vines, and Berries to Your Landscape
If you have any land, it is a good idea to add edible plants to your landscape. They can be quite beautiful but more importantly, they can provide you with real food that can feed you, especially when times are tough.
Fruit and nut trees provide great shade and grapevines are a beautiful addition to any arbor. Everbearing strawberries make a wonderful groundcover. Flowering herbs can be incredibly gorgeous in the landscape.
Learn to Eat and Preserve the Foods You Grow
Once you finally master growing your vegetables, it can be a little daunting to learn what to do with a pile of giant zucchinis. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time and experimentation to develop a taste for turnips, squash, and rutabagas. Personally, I like to stick with growing only the vegetables that I like to eat.
Home preservation is a skill that takes time and tools to master. It is possible to bottle, dehydrate, and store almost any of the food that you can grow on your property. Our family has learned to love the specialty items we create such as apricot and plum nectar and black raspberry freezer jam.
Learn How to Store Crops Over the Winter
A good root cellar will enable you to eat fresh potatoes, beets, carrots, and other garden vegetables and fruits well into the winter. However, it may not be feasible for you to build a traditional walk-in root cellar. We still don’t have one … although it is on my wish list.
Check out some of our posts to learn how we store potatoes in on old buried freezer or store beets and carrots right in the ground under a thick layer of insulation all winter long.
- Inexpensive Root Cellars: 13 Literally Cool Ideas to Chill With
- Chillin’ in Our DIY Buried Freezer Root Cellar
Learn to Bake and Cook Using Basic Staple Ingredients
Baking and creating delicious meals from scratch is an art. When food is in short supply, the talent of making bread simply from just wheat, water, and salt can make a huge difference in the quality of your diet.
You might be interested in exploring these articles to learn more.
- Incredible Survival (and Daily) Bread Using Only Wheat, Salt and Water
- Prepper Pantry: 25 Shelf-Stable Egg Substitutes for Baking
- Prepper Pantry: 200 Common Baking Substitutions to the Rescue
- Potato Flakes: Delicious and Versatile Long-Term Food Storage Staple
- Oats – A Must-Have Pantry Staple
Make Your Home Resistant to the Devastating Effects of Food Shortages
Every small step you take to implement your action plan makes you a little more resilient and resistant to the effects that upcoming food shortages may have on your family. Remember we are not motivated by fear. We take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks that we see on the horizon.
You purchase insurance for your car, home, and even your life. Hunger insurance is an important policy to add to your insurance arsenal. The best way to ensure against hunger is by building a food supply in your very own home.
The peace that a full pantry brings to your life is well worth the sacrifice and effort that it takes to achieve it. You can do this!
Thanks for being part of the solution!Jonathan and Kylene Jones