If you missed Part I in the series, you can see it here.
Many of you may be thinking “Ok, so I need things that can store easily and don’t necessarily need refrigeration. Where do I begin?!” You can start with my Ultimate Pantry List, which has lots of ideas of items that you can keep on hand in the event of an emergency. And if you dehydrate your own food, you’re in even better shape!
Now that you have your emergency food supply set up, you should set up a food prep station next. This is a designated area where only food prep is done. It should be kept neat, organized, and sanitary at all times. It’s even more crucial at times when you either have no power, or it’s very limited. I highly recommend that you put all knives, vegetable peelers, and other very sharp food prep utensils in a clearly labeled plastic shoe box with a lid and keep it out of reach of children and pets. Here’s some more tips for setting up a food prep station:
- Have an alternative “gadget” that does not require power and that can be used safely by a variety of people, like a manual can opener. It would be a great idea to have this in a clearly labeled plastic storage box. For most people, the shoe box size should be sufficient. Cans aren’t really that useful unless you can open them, right?!
- Group like items together in a highly visible spot. Have a spot for your favorite herbs, spices, and other flavor boosters. TIP: I like to have the packets of chicken, beef, and vegetable broth on hand. Out of the box, the small packets take up almost no room at all and can give you a similar boost of flavor that broth in cans or cartons can. Some times I run out of a can or carton of broth, and the packets are an awesome back up. (Ok, that’s 2 tips in 1!) Do the same for any dishes, silverware, bowls, etc. This way you don’t have to go searching through cabinets and drawers in near darkness for all that you need to make a meal.
- Have a bin of some sort where you can put all your dirty dishes etc at the end of the meal. A plastic shoe box is perfect for the silverware. Fill the bins with soapy water ahead of time to make cleanup easier.
- If you already have your kitchen set up into zones, then finding things with little to no power should be easier than stumbling and fumbling around.
- Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at the ready for when you use items like raw meat and fish.
- Also keep a surface cleaner or tub of surface wipes near your prep station. It makes clean up a snap and will help things remain clean.
- Whether we have power or not, a trash bin is always next to where I’m prepping meals.
Ok, anyone that knows me also knows I love fashion. Headlamps are not attractive. But they are definitely useful when you’re prepping meals, walking around, and just trying to get things done. You can find them readily available in a huge price range. I got mine for less than $10. I only use it in emergency situations so I didn’t think it was necessary to spend more than that on one. Just make sure you’re careful with your “third eye” when you’re talking to people.
Stay tuned for Part III … that’s when things start to get yummy!