Even if your Urban (or Suburban) Survival Plan calls to implement a Bug Out or a withdrawal to a Safe Location, the Urban Survivor should consider stocking some long duration food items at his/her urban or suburban home.
We envision an undetermined “wait” period after an initial societal or infrastructure collapse. Most people will be waiting for some level of government to fix the problem and make it better. In fact, public radio or emergency broadcasts may be exposing patience, telling the people that things will get better soon. Human nature will be to believe and to wait. To be able to wait until the need to Bug Out becomes clear the urban Survivor will need to have a stock of food. Best case is if this food stock is compact and easily loaded and moved once the Urban Survivor departs his home for the safe location.
This means packaging food items yourself or buying packaged and prepared food designed for a long shelf life. We recommend both actions. Procure bulk items such as rice and beans and prepare/package containers of them yourself.
To package and prepare bulk food items yourself you will need containers such as 5 gallon buckets and lids – old paint buckets work well, Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers. The Mylar bags are placed into the buckets, filled with rice or beans or whatever, then oxygen absorbers are dropped into the Mylar bag which are then ironed closed. The oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen in the bag creating a vacuum packed effect and allowing for long term storage, 10 years or so, in the right conditions. Oxygen absorbers need to be controlled in an air tight environment as they rapidly absorb oxygen when exposed to air and can become un-useable if not properly stored.
Prepared food items that can be purchased, are usually dehydrated, and can be divided up into two different types: single items such as dehydrated fruit, potatoes, eggs, etc; or, a meal type items such as dehydrated stew, soups, chili con carne, etc.
Our favorite packaged and prepared Survival food is Mountain House Food freeze dried meals in pouches or in #10 cans (coffee can sized). Mountain House Food makes meals from $3 to $6 per serving depending upon what you order. We use EarthWaveLiving (see the link to this company on the right side of this page) as they offer a large selection of Mountain House Food items in various configurations as well as other Survival and Self Sufficient items like solar panels, batteries, radios, water filters, grain mills, food dehydrators and heirloom seeds for food gardens.
The Urban Survivor should also consider stocking Salt, Sugar and other spices; bullion cubes would also be a good idea. Packaged in smaller Mylar bags, these items would also have a long shelf life, possibly 10 years or longer.
Just how much food should you stock? We think optimally you probably should not stock more than you can load in your vehicle if and when you Bug Out. However a six month supply of food, probably mixed between purchased prepared Survival Foods and bulk items you prepare yourself, is a decent concept that would allow you to get through a non-growing season into warmer weather where you could grow your own vegetables or otherwise procure food. Your six month supply will most likely be based on a reduced consumption level.
Long term storage food items are also an excellent barter item, so consider the possibility of bartering your long stay food for necessities that you may have forgot during your Survival Preparation.