Minimal preps refers to minimal amounts of resources and energy needed to prepare something, in this case it is food. As your emergency preps move closer to the a Long-Term time frame, you should anticipate a transition period. A transition from what-to-what? Well, this series specifically focuses on food considerations. So, we'll keep it there. But these posts are written with complete novices in mind, so the transition is from a somewhat productive consumer, to a well-connected producer.
I suggest a tiered-approach to building up your short-term food preps. Here is one such suggested tier structure:
- 15-45 Day
- 45-90 Day
This time frame was discussed in posts 1a/5 and 1b/5. The principles discussed there have an emphasis on minimal expense of resources and energy. Again, I only suggest guidelines because flexibility must be retained. If you are not able to adjust with changes, you will not last.
The 14-Day preps is in anticipation of search/rescue efforts and a time-frame to set-up a basic foundation and secure locations, amongst a myriad of other variables given the circumstances. Ideally, the primary preps which provide nutrition during this time are those which are simply opened and eaten. That's it.
The next transition is a mento-physical (yep, I made that up) one. Remember, the days are not set in stone. They are simply guidelines that will need specific adaptation to your situation.
Preps which you will use during this period should physically introduce you to the energy intensive use of food storage beyond your 91-Day preps. By this time, you should have figured out access to water for cooking, washing foods, etc. The emphasis here is minimal preps such as adding water, mixing basic ingredients which might be sourced from #10 cans, individual-component packages, and so on. These preps will physically require more of an energy & resource expense than the Open/Eat preps but not as much as the 91-Day preps. It would not be a bad idea to integrate your immediate preps with supplemental ingredients such as bouillon, dehydrated veggies, freeze-dried meats, and more.
Another vital aspect of this time-frame worth mentioning, is the quality of networks and trusted-acquaintances you should be creating & strengthening. Nobody lives in a vacuum. If you have ever been in even a short-term disaster such as a two week period, it can feel like an eternity. 30-45 days is a relatively short-amount of time when compared to a year, but feels like an extensive amount of time when you are actually living it.
Other preps which can prove beneficial at this time involve the integration of skills that require a slightly greater input of energy and execution such as light gardening, small game hunting, sprouting, and unleavened breads. Do not be lead to believe that such activities can be performed without skill or knowledge. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gardening is not simply a matter of dig, bury, water, and reap. Small-game hunting is not simply a matter of point-and-shoot. Sprouting is almost as simple as adding water and observing, but not completely without acquaintance and experience. Unleavened breads will not satisfy high-fructose syrup & flavor dependents. So get a head-start and familiarize yourself in these areas while things are relatively peaceful.
45 Days is one whole month past your 15-Day preps and should find you fairly well acclimated to your situation now. The main difference between the preps which you are using now and the ones you used in the beginning is that a greater percentage of items require more effort such as rice, beans, dried meats, dehydrated foods, and more. You should be actively bartering and interacting with others. This greatly reduces strain, promotes psychological coping and health, and adds to the security of the interactive network.
The idea of baking breads may not appeal to many people, but having experienced home-made fresh bread throughout my life, I recommend it! Bread baking is not difficult but requires patience and practice while learning. Bread baking machines are not what I'm referring to by the way.
The distinguishing feature from the 90-Day Short-Term and the 91+ Day Long-Term storages, is the hope of things returning to normal and some modern comforts becoming available again without having to cross the 90-Day threshold. If you can weather the 90-Days successfully, then 91+ Days is no big deal.
-The Berkey Guy