In a state of emergency, could you keep your family alive inside your home for a week?
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter's icy grip is slowly closing in upon us. It is responsible to have extra, non-perishable food on-hand in case you should find yourself homebound and possibly without power. You should have an alternate means for cooking your soups and canned vegetables, and a manual can-opener is a must. It is easy to get into survival mode when you see hurricane devastation or earthquakes on the television, but don't forget that a bad winter can be an easily ignored danger.
I cleaned my pantry today and noticed that a lot of my canned foods have expired. Most of it is probably fine to eat, but there were a few cans in there that scream botulism. In particular, there is a single foul can of unspeakable food (that would be disgusting even if it were fresh) that has followed me from pantry-to-pantry for probably seven years and that I hang onto as some sort of pathetic inside joke with myself. There are also less obvious things that I purchased just last year, such as my canned oranges, which were unexpectedly already nearing their expiration dates. (This does not include the canned octopus, however, which is guaranteed fresh until 2010!) Anyway, this is a Dexter Friendly Reminder (TM) to clean out your pantries and stock up with new before winter.
Ready.gov suggests that you have at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days in addition to at least three-days worth of non-perishable food. Besides soups, consider that peanut butter is a great-tasting, high-calorie food that could come in handy in times of emergency, doesn't need heating, and isn't likely to freeze.
If you are going to take advantage of grocery sales for Thanksgiving, now is a great time to build up a stock of soups and other canned foods. And, if your children's school has winter canned food drives, now is a great time to pick up some extra cans at great deals and feed the hungry.
(I have a few more of these that I would like to post over the next several days, and then I will get on to more personal, state-of-Dexter posts.)