Thursday, May 3, 2012

This is Really Important

OK folks, I’m going to ask you to step out of your comfort zone for a few minutes.

By now we all know and understand the economic advantages of dehydrating foods. We’ve said plenty about that, so I won’t elaborate here.  We also understand the nutritional advantages. Newbies, go to my blogspot and click on ‘economy’ and ‘nutrition’ if you need this info.

But there is an even more important reason to dehydrate foods. If you are wise and prudent, you will be thinking in terms of disaster preparedness.

Right now I’m thinking about evacuation situations.  I understand that most people do not believe anything terrible will happen to them. But folks, if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s only by God’s grace. 

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  • Last year we had record devastating tornadoes. Some people hunkered down and made it through all right. But thousands of people lost their homes and everything except the clothes on their backs. (I have walked that road)

In almost every case, people knew the tornadoes were coming.  Some families fled. In one sense, they were the wise ones.

 If I had kids, there is no way I would sit around in the path of a tornado. I would throw my kids in the car and get the heck out of there. You might have only minutes to get out. This is called a bug-out situation.

  • Remember Hurricane Katrina? Thousands killed. People were warned to evacuate. Most had at least a few hours’ warning. This is called a bug-out situation.

  • Remember last year’s tsunami in Japan? Ok, well, most of the U.S. won’t have to deal with tsunamis, but there aren’t many places in this country where we don’t have to deal with nuclear power plants.  If you think your local nuclear reactor can’t possibly fail, you are living in a dream world.  If the Powers That Be are competent and doing their job, you might get several hour’s notice. This is called a bug-out situation.

  • There are many parts of the U.S. that have massive forest fires each year. House fires, transport vehicles crashing with lethal chemicals, and all sorts of other situations occur which may require that you evacuate your home.  You may not have much time to pack your stuff and get out.

When you evacuate, what happens next?  If you’re lucky, you have a friend or relative where you can go until the danger passes. 

On the other hand, you may not be so lucky and may be required to go to a FEMA shelter.  Sorry folks, but FEMA has yet to get its act together.  Do you want to depend on some incompetent to provide for the needs of your family?  I hope not.

So where am I going with all this?  You’ve got your stores of dehydrated foods!  You will want to bring as much of it with you as you can.  No matter where you are, you need this food to feed your family.

You don’t know where you will be, how long you will be gone, and in some cases, all your hard work will be blown to kingdom come if you leave it behind.

Here’s the point:

I know those wonderful canning jars that you have vacuum packed your food are really cool. They are pretty on the shelves and convenient to use. 

In a bug-out situation, consider this:

One pint jar filled with dehydrated mushrooms = 10 oz

12 pint jars filled with dehydrated food = 7.5 pounds
(not counting the box the jars are stored in)

One pint dehydrated mushrooms in zip bag = 1 oz

12 pint baggies with dehydrated food = 12 oz
(not counting the box or bag you cram them in)

12 ounces vs 7 ½ pounds.

Which of these can you trust your five-year-old to carry?

Canning jars require two hands to carry the box.  The same amount of food in bags can be stored in a container the size of a shoebox. 

Evacuating with jars requires padding; or some sort of container designed to protect them from breaking.  They take a lot of space and volume, space you may need for other essentials for your family. 

My point? You need to be thinking in terms of bug-out situations in which you need to evacuate.  If all your foods are stored in jars, you may have to abandon most of them. 

Every person in your family should have a bug-out-bag.  Either a small backpack or a small suitcase with wheels.  Even toddlers can carry a few things. You can tuck a bag or two of food into everyone’s kit.

Go ahead and use the jars in your kitchen supplies. But don’t neglect to put the lion’s share in bags for easy transport.


  1. Linda,
    This is really well written. I had not thought about bugging-out in regards to food items in quite the way you've put it here. Good info. Thanks!
    Beth Hunter

  2. Thank you so much, Beth. I've been playing around with this idea for some time.. Gues it comes from being a soldier's daughter... always in the back of my mind was the possible need to evacuate.

  3. WOW. I'm seriously going to rethink my food stores and those "pretty jars"
    I just remember many years ago hearing about flooding devastation in Utah. They said the amount of broken canning jars in the water was making a bad situation even worse.
    Thanks for the reminder. Glass does not bug out well.
    Soni Nanci

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm so glad you got the message. I see looming disaster with all the people who are jumping on the bandwagon with the canning jars.

      I didn't hear about that flooding, but I'm thinking with all the people in Utah who prep... this truly could be a problem.

  4. Good point. I like canning, but I live in earthquake country and haven't hit on a storage method for my jars of canned food that would survive even a small quake.

  5. I am wondering if any bad chemicals from the plastics leak into the food? I was using glass jars to prevent that from happening but now I am rethinking that after this article and from also worrying about earthquakes. Anyone know anything about the plastics/chemicals thing???

    1. Hi Anonymous, (wish I had a name to go with your great letter) :)

      I've read quite a bit about the chemicals in plastic containers. It sounds pretty bad. However, SUPPOSEDLY, the FDA has strong regulations regarding FOOD-SAFE containers. Supposedly, if they are properly used, there should be no risk of contamination or cancer as a consequence of using them.

      ...she throws her hands into the air...

      I can't advise you on this one. I don't trust the Fed. on many things, especially FEMA stuff, but I simply decided that I'd have to take my chances with food-safe plastics.

      I do strongly recommend that whatever you use to store your foods be in food-safe plastics.

      Personally, I am recovering from breast cancer, but there is no way of knowing if it is a consequence of using plastic freezer bags, or whatever.

      Good luck!