Not by choice, but I head up the Emergency Preparedness Committee here in Playa Vista (a gung-ho neighbor started the idea, then moved and I stepped in). Made a website, then lined up CERT training. Class #1, our firefighter instructor talked about his shelf-stable food for disaster preparedness. With a little research, I found Mountain House Meals.
The Big One hits (The Tornado or The Hurricane)… fast forward past injuries, no utilities, picking up the pieces, getting back into the house and starting to survive… visualize eating.
After picking through the warm fridge, and melted freezer, next is the pantry: crackers, cereal, soup, beans, pasta, rice, chocolate, nuts. Hopefully, you’ve secured the wine racks (I’m doing that soon), because we’ll all NEED it.
Then… what? Still hungry. The belly wants it’s next MEAL. And looting a grocery store isn’t an option – they’re empty anyway. No last rooster to catch and cook like Miss Pitty Pat did for returning soldier Ashley.
SNAP OUT OF IT. We have lasagna, biscuits and gravy, beef stew, chicken chili, chicken and mashed potatoes, am I DREAMING? No, I’m tucking into this bucket o’ Mountain House freeze dried meals!
The last time I ate dehydrated food was at San Diego State; my younger sister and I were dirt poor roomies. We discovered a store had cheap soy based powdered food on sale and we stocked up. And ate it. Not tasty, but edible.
Time passing has improved the options – this is an unbelievable array of freeze dried meals in pouches that are the cooking vessel. Pour boiling water in, let sit, eat. (With exception of one item, they can all also use cold water.)
This is a feather-light 3.5 lb. bucket of food. It costs $85. There are 29 meals in here (each pouch is 2.5 servings). Shelf life minimum 10 years, but they swear you can go 30 years and it’s just as palatable.
You can buy individual packets, of course. And also #10 cans, which have an even longer shelf life.
I brought our bucket to CERT for a taste test so classmates could share my lightbulb moment – it’s delicious. Nobody stuck up their nose; nobody gagged. “Mmmm, not bad,” was probably the worst review. In a couple of weeks, I’ll get together with a group of LA food bloggers for another taste test!
If you are a planner, then you have water, canned and dry goods, medical supplies, pet food, tools and other things preparedness experts recommend. Here is a good list. Top it off with a bucket of these meals, and you can rest easier. I sure do now!
–>What is CERT, you ask? Community Emergency Response Training, a seven week course conducted by the LA Fire Department. Free. It may FEEL like a gigantic commitment, but the moment you start the first class, it is fascinating and empowering.
While you’re signing up for CERT, do your peace of mind a favor and buy at least one bucket of Mountain House foods and stick it on some shelf, it won’t hurt you if it falls on your head in an earthquake.