There are a few categories of food not to include in your disaster/emergency pack.
Stating the Obvious: I will state the obvious, especially for those newbies. Nothing that is easily perishable can be included in your pack. That will end in moldy heartbreak. If it’s fresh or needs refrigeration, it’s a no go.
Junk Food: These are foods that are majority simple carbohydrates will digest quickly, elevate your blood-glucose level (aka sugar high) and will leave you feeling tired and depleted. Need some examples? Chips, donuts, cookies, candy etc. These items are ok to include (more on that later) but should not, by any means, be the majority of your emergency food.
How is it Packaged? Food items must be packaged in their original packaging so they are fresh for an extended period of time. Don’t buy a giant jar/bag of anything from your local warehouse store with the intention of opening it and separating the goods into individual servings. Divvying up food into plastic baggies or Tupperware will end in stale heartbreak. Even foods that are intended to last longer, such as dried fruit or nuts. Keep those bad boys in their original packaging.
Weight: As mentioned in my previous post, food items in your pack must be lightweight. You might be thinking to yourself….there are a variety of canned foods that will last, are tasty, and will give me a good amount of calories….Which is definitely great thinking – you’re on the right track. But canned foods should be reserved for your long-term storage. Canned items take up a lot of space, are heavy and require a can opener to access. (If you insist on including a few canned items, do not forget that can opener!) Your weight capacity it better served for carrying water than canned items.
Does it Need Attention? Analyze the food you are thinking of including in your pack. Does it need water or heat to be edible? If so, you’re going to have to bring extra water and a source of heat in order to consume your food.
Food Allergies: If anyone in your family has a food allergy, I’d recommend not including it at all in anyone’s pack. Example: If one child has a peanut allergy – don’t include peanut-y items in anyone’s pack, for a few reasons. 1.) If packs get mixed up, and you end up with someone else’s 2.) If some packs don’t make it out, and everyone has to share 3.) Somehow if a package with the allergen breaks and contaminates the whole emergency bag. You don’t want to leave anyone hanging.
There you have it – some criteria to base your food selections on. Now go get your grub.