Monday, June 20, 2011

Food: Urban

Should you find yourself stationed in an urban environment, you probably lucked out in terms of acquiring food. People have food everywhere so, since I'm assuming the population has decreased significantly, you're going to have some options. However, depending on your disaster and specific location, certain options may or may not be more fruitful. For example, if people had time to prepare for the disaster, there will be both more people still around and less food in residencies. In that case, look for grocery stores to take food from. Remember, fresh produce, meat, and milk are the first foods to go bad, so make sure you either eat them first or find somewhere where you can store them for some length of time because the grocery store most likely will not have electric power. If there is not a noticeable number of people still in the area, I would recommend staying in the grocery store. The reason I don't recommend it when people are around is that they will probably converge there as well, and if you take residence there you may be perceived as a threat. But I'll leave social interaction for another post.

A key to remember, especially in an urban setting: know what is worth the effort! Don't risk the dangers of urban decay for minimal or dimly-perceived rewards. Only spend effort on something if you will be rewarded with more energy than you spent. As a corollary to that: don't unnecessarily risk your life! It's your biggest asset! If you're not sure if you should do something risky or move on, remember the rule of threes. An average human can survive for about three minutes without air, three hours without protection from the elements, three days without water, and three weeks without food. It varies slightly per person, but that is a good guide. Keep it in mind if you happen to need to decide between scaling the side of a building and going a few days without food. Your well-being will thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Food: Immediate

So the world just ended, but you're still hanging on. Here are the first steps you should take to keep your belly (reasonably) full.

The first thing you should do is assess your current resources. How much food do you already have readily available? By doing so you gain vital information regarding if/how soon you must move, and therefore if you can remain stationary from the get-go or if you have to go nomadic to find food.

Depending on where you are and your resources available, you would be better off eating certain foods as soon as you can. Foods that spoil quickly should usually be eaten first, while canned and packaged foods can be kept for extended periods of time.

I have heard that it is a good idea (and I would agree) to keep an MRE or similar self-contained ration in your car/house in case of an extreme emergency. The MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat) is the current US military field ration. It stays good for about three years and can be bought on the internet or at military surplus stores. They kind of have a reputation for tasting really bad, but I've eaten one and it was pretty good.

Keep one just in case you find yourself without food when disaster strikes. Don't rely on them exclusively, but only until you can find other sources of food. Once you're relatively stable, then you are going to have to venture out and find food. Depending on your environment, this might necessitate taking different actions. These will be discussed in later posts.