Important Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a Food Storage Unit
Article by Chelsea Seger
Before you buy a food storage unit for you and your family, you need to ask yourself some important questions.
1. How long has the company been in business selling preparedness foods and supplies? Most companies will hate this question since 95% of the internet ‘preparedness’ companies have only been around for less than 1-3 years. You want to purchase your preparedness reserves just like you would for your car or life insurance. If there is ever a problem, you’ll want a company that’s been around for 15 or more years so you can be much more confident that they will be around to back their warranty. Demand and expect exceptional customer service both before and after the sale wherever you buy.
2. Look closely at what they are calling a ‘Year Supply Food Unit’ No dealer will want you to know this, but there is NO SET STANDARD as to what constitutes a ‘Year Supply’ food unit… none. This is where we have seen many people get really taken advantage of. Because there is no standard, you could get anything. I’ve seen so called ‘year supply units’ that had as few as 48 cans of food! Know what you are really getting.
Look not only at the quantity of cans, but the variety of foods you’ll be getting plus whether they are freeze-dried complete meals or only cook from scratch dehydrated foods. Does the diet of foods match your family’s tastes? Do you eat more “fast foods” or are you a scratch cooker? Does your food reserve provide for breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals and clearly show how much you will get each day or is it totally subjective and you have to guess? Sadly, most companies don’t show this.
Does the company offer an exact listing of what you will get, or do they provide only a vague number of cans? Are the food items they include premium freeze-dried no-cooking that are completely prepared meals or do they require cooking from scratch with labor filled meal preparation, cooking and cleanup? Does your reserve include REAL freeze-dried meats, or only cheaper imitation TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)? We recently saw a website that offered a food reserve unit that provided approximately 400 calories per day–and no variety! Just a “cheap” price. Buyer beware!
3. How many Calories Per Day Average does the unit provide? Here is another CRITICAL question to ask. The FDA says that the average adult male in the USA uses about 2400 to 2600 calories per day and females about 2000 to 2200 calories per day. Your food reserve should reflect this daily average, too. In an emergency, you will very possibly be using even more calories than normal due to disaster cleanup and helping others. The U.S. Military plans a minimum of 4500 calories per day for soldiers in the field in comparison.
As a rule of thumb, plan to spend an average of .70 to .95 per meal for a good quality food reserve. Reserves with freeze-dried foods do cost bit more than many less expensive bulk wheat, flour, beans, etc., but don’t forget, they store for up to 25 years and they require zero meal preparation, use much less fuel and water for cooking and cleanup (both may be in short supply after a disaster or emergency)!
The BOTTOM-LINE: Know exactly what you are getting and comparing against. You’ll want a food reserve that will provide a minimum of 1,800 to 2,500 calories per day. 4. Does Your Unit Offer a Wide Selection of Foods & Meals? Does the food reserve unit you are look at offer a wide range of foods choices? Are the foods provide things your family will eat? Remember, you want to store what you eat so you will eat what you store. Your unit should offer different meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even some snacks where possible.
5. Does the company offer an Unconditional 100% Satisfaction Money-Back Guarantee in WRITING? If not, hang up and go onto someone else. Again, how long have they been in business?
About the Author
Chelsea Seger has been involved in food storage for many years. For more information, please visit http://www.squidoo.com/mountain-house-year-supply