Emergency Planning: Common Emergency Food Mistakes

Emergency Food Mistakes

This morning, Food Insurance sent me a great infographic that sums up some of the most common emergency food mistakes people make.

The infographic was about common food storage mistakes, but I think it really speaks to some larger preparedness issues that I see popping up time and time again. Two things on the infographic really jumped out at me, because I see people making these mistakes far too often.

Trying to bug out with 500 pounds of wheat.

First, was number eight on their list, “Trying to Bug Out with 500 pounds of Wheat.” While this may seem funny – I can just imagine some guy trying to fill his pack with 50 pound bags of wheat – it speaks to a larger preparedness problem, and that is people who prepare without focus.

  • When Preparing for disasters, make sure you’re setting up realistic goals. Having a ton of emergency supplies is great; having a bunch of junk that you have no way of using once disaster hits is just foolish.
  • When preparing for disasters, make sure your emergency supplies fit in with your normal routine. I see far too many people stocking up on things like beans and rice, even though they’ve never eaten beans and rice in their entire life; or worse yet, they have no knowledge of how to prepare them.
  • Don’t over compensate with gear. The 500 pounds of wheat, for me, was symbolic of people who load up on gear, but never bother to load up on knowledge. Remember gear is good, and can definitely make a bad situation better, but if you lack the knowledge it takes to survive that gear is useless.

Not having a Plan for where you will store your food.

The second thing on the list that jumped out at me was, “Not having a Plan for Where You Will Store Your Food.

Seems so simple right? But the problem here comes from that one word that eludes so many people – PLAN.

One of the most important parts of preparedness is having a plan. Without a plan, you’re a walking disaster waiting to happen. Planning is one of the keys to survival, and should never be overlooked.

  • The first part of preparedness planning is – and unfortunately this is going to come as a shock for some people – KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE PREPARING FOR!
  • Second, you need to know your vulnerabilities. For this, I suggest performing a threat assessment.
  • Third, Perform a SWAT Analysis. This one thing will do more for your planning than anything I can think of. It allows you to really personalize your plan for your specific situation.

Here is the Food Insurance Infographic; it can help you avoid some common emergency food mistakes. Also, for those that are interested, we have an interview posted with their CEO Here.

Emergency Food Infographic
Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. I can definitely identify with #9. I have food stored in many “shipping” Styrofoam boxes. I added bay leaves to help keep out any little buggies that might still get in. I live in the humid south where I can’t store these items outside, or at least I wouldn’t trust them to be left there. So, I have a dinning room full of boxes. Looks really nice…lol. We’ve been through hurricanes and a couple of winter storms that left us without power. We were fortunate though, we had prepared. If we had to leave our home, I’m not sure we could take everything with us and that’s okay. If we stay, we have plenty. If we can only leave with our BOB’s, we still have enough for approximately a week without even considering hunting or fishing. I can only hope that with the knowledge we have and continue to gain each day, will sustain us in any future survival situations. I truly thank you for all the information you provide, whether already known or new information, it is still a reminder…always be prepared!

  2. I still say spices are also needed in preps.
    I want you to try your stored preps for a month see if you want to eat that after day in day out of eating your preps. See if you want to ever eat that again.

  3. wow, I am so glad off grid survival posted this on facebook. because I wouldn’t have thought of half the list. sheesh, I really needed that wake up call.

  4. Also, with the flour and grain thing: Only grind the grain you will need for, say, three to four days at a time. The unground seed can hold for a good while so long as it’s not exposed to excessive heat or moisture, and it gives you seed to plant if it’s an heirloom seed. Also, figure out how much you will need unground to grow for a new harvest, when that particular seed should be sown, and keep that info preferably on the container that you are storing it in. I go for indefinite preparedness, as my MO is prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

  5. That isn’t really true about hybrid seeds though. Hybrids are simply two strains bred together. Some, like seedless watermelon, won’t produce seeds, but most do just fine. I’ve done it with hybrid Gigantica jalapenos, sweet corn,and Carole cantaloupe. I’ve even successfully bred my own strain of black oil sunflower seeds using a commercial hybrid. The F1 generation was all over the place, big huge heads next to tiny ones, even some stalks with up to 10 heads each, but by the 3d gen they were producing nice heads with lots of seed. Hybrids don’t breed true, but unless they’re a seedless variety or one of Monsanto’s terminators, they do breed.

    • I have been growing heirloom vegetables for several years. JaneDoe is right that several generations later heirloom varieties will give predictable results. This is not the case with hybrids. In my experience the problem with hybrids is a lack of disease resistance. Hybrids are typically adapted to specific climates in specific locations. Moved long distances can expose them to new pathogens. My advice is try many different varieties and see what works for you before you need that crop as a primary food source.

      Also don’t overlook seeds from the grocery store produce department. I am on my 3rd generation of spaghetti squash that came to me this way. I have also had success with garlic procured this way. My next experiment will be planting dried beans from the grocery store.

  6. “The 500 pounds of wheat, for me, was symbolic of people who load up on gear, but never bother to load up on knowledge.” That’s a powerful statement and I couldn’t agree more.

    Knowledge, planning and skill-sets trump Beans, Bullets and Bandaids.

  7. I really like articles like this. It not only makes me laugh at those whom I know have done/are doing what is says not-to-do, but those things I have learned the hard way. Then there are the ones that I’m still doing. I don’t laugh at those.

    This is also a good time to add how to, I think, better solve a few things. Some time ago I purchased a Food Saver suck-it-down and seal-it-up device. Have learned a few things on my own. The better idea: Whatever it is, put it in a Food Saver bag, vacuum it and seal it. The stuff will last at least twice as long as being in any commercial container. Just keep the sealed bag in a cool dark place. I have sealed just about everything from pasta, beans, and batteries to TP, t-shirts, and money.

    • #4 isn’t totally correct. Water in plastic bottles will last forever but will take on the plastic taste after a while. As long as you don’t crack the seal your good for a while. In a emergency situation I’m not to worried about taste and more survival. I agree that you should rotate your water just to keep fresh but not a necessity.

      • I think you’re right about #4.

        In theory, your water supplies should last forever. In practice, it really depends on the quality of your water supply when you bought it. If it’s 100% sterile and the seal hasn’t been broken it should last indefinitely; if there’s any sort of contaminate (which is a growing problem with a lot of bottled water) then you could have a problem over time. Also, if the bottle contains materials that leech out, then overtime this problem will become worse.

        That being said, I wouldn’t have a problem drinking bottled water well past the so called expiration dates.

  8. One of the first things after food was medicine and emergency care items- colloidal silver generator that was portable for preppers kept in a water proof bag-
    many healing herbs and downloading now info in case of no computer in a booklet-bandages-some human grade peroxide and germ killing hospital quality cleaners. we are very small scale other wise it would be overwhelming to me. Most of my family is not on board with any thoughts of storage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.