How to survive a major food and economic crisis

There are a host of different potential disasters that people prepare for, but probably one of the most prepared for ones is an economic crisis. With the Great Recession in the back of everyone’s minds, some would say that we yet have still to fully recover from it, and the looming threat of another economic crisis in the likes of the Great Depression or worse is something that we simply can’t ignore. But something else that many people don’t keep in mind is that an economic crisis could also cause or be the result of a massive food shortage. While only a very small percentage of the population in Western nations are actually malnourished, that could all change in a very short period of time if a food shortage becomes a serious issue.

Here are some steps that you can take to survive an economic crisis, and then we’ll dive into a list of foods that you should store so you can outlast a food shortage:

Surviving an economing crisis

Economic crisis
Economic crisis

There are a variety of steps that you can take to survive an economic crisis. The first thing is to set a budget for your family. In fact, this is something that you should do regardless of whether you are preparing for an economic crisis or not. Setting a budget is wise because it gives you more control over your finances rather than letting them control you. A budget also gives you the opportunity to see where you can and cannot make some important spending cuts to save money.

You can also save money by renegotiating with your credit card companies to see if you can get a lower interest rate, or you could consider switching to another company that offers a lower interest rate as well.

Many financial experts will tell you should you should focus on paying off all of your debts so that you can live debt free. There’s definitely merit to this, but it’s not always the best choice for preparing for an economic crisis. Yes, you may be able to pay off all of your debts, but how much cash will you have left over? If you don’t have much cash left over and the crisis hits and you’re out of a job, how are you going to pay for basic expenses? Instead, balance paying off your debts with setting aside money for an economic crisis.

An urban farm in Chicago. – Author: Linda – CC BY-SA 2.0
An urban farm in Chicago. – Author: Linda – CC BY-SA 2.0

If the ATM machines shut off or if the banks fail, then there will be no way for you to access the money that you have other than the cash that you have stored with you. For this reason, you should have plenty of cash stored at your home or at other strategic locations. Follow the old adage of never keeping all of your eggs in one basket, so don’t keep all of your cash in the same location. Store some in a safe, yes, but store others in secretive locations that other people can’t find.

Last but not least, look for any additional sources of income that could help you. If you have a fun hobby, there’s most likely a way that you can use that hobby to gain you a little extra cash on the side, especially if there are online jobs for the hobby. It might not be very much money, but you’ll be glad you did it when the next recession or depression hits.

Surviving an food crisis

Food crisis
Food crisis

Like we mentioned earlier, a food shortage could either cause an economic crisis or be the result of it. For that reason, it’s important to stock up on food concurrently with taking the financial measures previously mentioned.

• Beans

Beans add essential proteins to your meals and they have a long shelf life as well. They will taste the same many years down the road as they taste now, to give you an idea of the storage value of them.

• Canned Meats and Vegetables

Canned meats and vegetables don’t taste near as good as the steak in your freezer or the vegetables growing in your garden, but they provide the same nutritional value and that’s what counts in a disaster scenario.

Food storage essentials
Food storage essentials

• Flour

Flour is easily among the most inexpensive food products to store and it’s also incredibly versatile. Mix it with water and you can make bread, crackers, biscuits, cookies, and many other kinds of foods. You can fill entire buckets up with flour and then store them in your pantry until the food shortage hits. Assuming you’ve stockpiled enough clean water simultaneously, you can keep your family fed for months if not years.

• Gardens and Livestock

Many disaster preparedness experts would agree that it’s better to be self-sustainable with food rather than live off of a stockpile that you have. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t stockpile to food, but you should strongly consider growing gardens and raising livestock such as chickens and rabbits so that you can have a consistent source of food even when your stockpiles run out. You’ll be surprised at how many crops you can grow in very little space, and it’s very cheap and easy to raise chickens and mating pairs of rabbits that provide you with a constant source of eggs and meat, respectively.

• MREs

MREs may not taste the best, but there’s no denying that they are one of the most viable food options for food storage. They last a long time and they provide you with essential nutrients and proteins.

Stacked food
Stacked food

• Rice

Rice can be bought in bulk and the shelf life, assuming it is stored in a cool and dry location, can be up to three decades without losing any nutritional value. Store rice in airtight containers and jars and in a cool and dark location to get this long shelf life out of them.

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nick-oetken is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival