Don’t wait until the cupboards are bare before going shopping. Try to keep at least two weeks worth of non-perishable food at all times. If you can’t afford to buy an extra two weeks worth of groceries at a time, build up your stores gradually by spending an extra five or ten dollars each week.

These items should be normal food items that you buy and eat on a regular basis. When you cook, use the oldest food first, that way your emergency stores are always fresh and new. This may seem like an unnecessary precaution, but go to the grocery store the next time a big storm is in the forecast and watch the panicked shopping begin.

You may not be at home when an emergency strikes, so consider keeping a few basic supplies in your vehicle. A flash light, a few 1 liter bottles of water, some granola bars or long storing snack foods, and a blanket could come in handy if your car breaks down away from civilization.

Adding a tarp / tent and a hand cranked radio would also keep you informed and more comfortable if you are unable to return to your home due to wild fires, flood waters, or closed roads. Remember to replace perishables every 6 months so that you have fresh food and water when you need them.

Once you keep your pantry stocked up and store emergency items in your trunk, you are already ahead of most of your neighbors. Even though you have food stored, make sure you have a means to heat it. Keep your camping stove handy and store extra fuel or make sure you have an extra cylinder of propane around for the grill. As you consider your own survival strategy, remember to keep asking yourself ‘what do I need, and what can I live without’. There is nothing wrong with luxuries, but remember to keep stocked up on the staples and you will be one of the survivors.