Food Stock

Do you think to have a food stock for emergency cases makes sense?

Not sure what you mean by "emergency cases" , Bernhard? Living in a rural area we always have a well-stocked cans/dry goods cupboard and a couple of freezers with basic veg, poultry and meat so we can exist for a few days if one of us is ill, do not feel like driving to the shops - or indeed if we have unexpected visitors popping in. Most of the time we cook from fresh ingredients, batch cook/bake and these are also in the freezer. Cooking for just the two of us is not always time effective so cook meals for 4/6 ,freeze and another two meals in the next few weeks without any effort.

Tend to buy water/juices/milk in packs of six ..

The way we shop in France has changed due to distance from a supermarket so not really for an emergency, just covenience.

You are lucky :-)

The Germans and Austrians and some other recommend to create a stock for 10 days food / 5 days water. In the case of water poisoning or lack of electricity, people should be ready to live of their own reserves until the state can support...

I live in the country at the top of a steep hill and have been cut off for a week or more in winter several times, I also have a big family so I always have stocks of food but also cleaning stuff. I buy bread and fresh things every day but:

I hate utilitarian shopping and also have little time for it so I buy all my loo roll twice a year, pasta in 5 kilo sacks, rice in 20 kilo sacks, onions by the 10 kilo etc lots of 6 packs of milk, huge tins of confit and chopped tomatoes etc and make sure I have gas etc. Big bags of flour, sugar pulses etc. Olive oil in 5 litre cans, lots of vinegar mustard soy sauce etc. I also have frozen unprocessed fish, vegetables etc but as sometimes the electricity goes off I wouldn't rely on that. My store-room is known as the War Cupboard. I don't buy water as we drink tap water but if there were no tap water I do have two wells and I suppose I could use my chlore choc to disinfect their water just in case... actually we'd probably drink out of the swimming pool.

When I lived in conflict ridden developing countries the bath was always full of water because you never knew when the taps would die.

Arrgh I sound like one of those loopy preppers don't I.

Yes Veronique, seems that over here buying in bulk is the norm - perhaps due to a degree of remoteness in some location and probably that many of us have larger properties than in the UK and room for storage. Our 2 -bed bungalow in the UK had limited storage which just about housed a weekly shop. Can be a disadvantage on other levels: never really de-clutter: just move unwanted items to another location in the property.

I feel another new comment coming on: how to de-clutter painlessly!

I have a problem with some of his choices and anyway how long can you survive without Wine?..

Well spotted Chris - Silly Me! Forgot my 12 cartons of white wine (from local Foire au vins) in the back bar, plus however many red my husband has stashed away. How long can you survive without WINE ??........ today, probably another 2 hours.

Like you we moved from a 2 bed bungalow. Now we're in a 3 bed house wondering where on earth we used to put all this stuff. As to the wine question, I can easily go a whole day without a glass. It's really not a problem....

My Scottish family all have war cupboards too but they live in the sticks like me...

I actually Googled 'how to survive a nuclear war' the other day!! I have these moments of 'the world's gone mad'! It was quite interesting information actually. The biggest and most important piece of advice was to have the biggest stock of water in sealed containers as you have room for. Oh, and lots of bin liners to use for toilet needs and then tie in knots and put in a bin with a lid. Sometimes I feel silly for researching this, others completely justified...

One important thing that has not been mentioned is cash. If the electricity goes down for any extended period of time none of the ATMs or card payment machines will work. With no cash and card terminals not working you wouldn't be able to buy any provisions even if you could find them.

I live in the city. We stockpile no food - apart from current needs - but try and stay fit and healthy so as to be ready to loot and pillage local shops when the revolution comes.

The following link gives you an idea of what the Germans think you need for such an emergency case. However they did forget the wine :-)

Still quite interesting:

A few winters ago a blizzard hit Lozere and took out the electricity for a week. That was when we bought a generator which saved all the stuff in the freezer (and all the neighbours' freezers), kept my breathing aid running at night and provided us with hot water. The neighbours were about to come round for showers when the power came back!

Of course, we haven't had to use it since, but it's there just in case it happens again. As is the store cupboard which, with the freezer, would keep us going for many days.

My wife was brought up in a French Forestry Commission house miles from the nearest shop. So she learned at a very young age that you had to have enough food in the house for at least a week to keep you going until the weekly visit to the local market. Which was when you bought the week's supply of bread. Our local bakers still sell the proper "pain de campagne" which will keep for a week, because there are still a lot of people in Lozere living in isolated hamlets and farms who can't get to the shops every day.

4 years ago we were stuck for 9 days; the year before that, for a week. We've been frozen in, with or without electricity, for shorter periods as well over the past 15 years. And yet I live only 9 km from a near and yet so far. You need to have stocks if you want to feed 7 people adequately for any more than a couple of days. We do have a generator now!

We're only six km from town, Veronique. As you say, so near and yet so far.

The issue for the Germans and Austrians was not a sudden cold snap and loss of power, they are surely used to that in the mountain regions but a recognition that so called assymetric warfare will not be tanks and armies rolling across Europe, but a disruption of society by cyber attacks, destruction of infrastructure such as water, fuel and power supplies and no doubt an attempt by some social groups to cause mayhem through well organised protest groups.

Whilst the French state will recover it will take time, weeks maybe months and snow will be the least of our collective problems.

Basic food, water is obvious plus fuel for the car and generator and in rural areas a strong local community working together.

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