It’s a bit expensive, but we were fortunate enough to be given some Mountain House freeze dried meals that will last about 14 days. We’ve sampled about 4 of them just to see what we’re “in for,” but overall not too bad. I’m sure there are other good brands out there of the fully ready-made variety, but the reviews of this brand seem to be pretty high, so we’re satisfied and would replace them if needed with the same. Heat water (to boiling if possible), add it to the bag in which the food comes, stir it once, then serve it. THAT is convenient! Have a means for heat (fire?), a pot to boil a little water in (or perhaps a little larger amount if you have to sterilize it for other purposes), these types of meals, and you’ll do very well very easily in the food department.
Bugging out may or may not even be possible. If we got hit with a large EMP (either solar or nuclear), our vehicles would not work. So not only would we not have electrical power for the foreseeable future, we also would have no means of traveling any significant distance and still be able to carry our needed things with us. And our journey may also be through some hostile territory as well. Each of us needs to keep these kinds of scenarios in mind with respect to our own personal locations and circumstances, and plan as best we can. Imagine Harvey or Irma AND a simultaneous EMP, meaning trucks with supplies, vehicles with law enforcement or rescue, etc., simply would not be coming. Massive destruction in our immediate area? We may have to literally build shelters from existing rubble.
And even if we can travel in a vehicle, once gas runs out, we live where the vehicle sputters to a stop. Fuel shortages in almost any disaster are virtually automatic. Horders will be filling up multiple 5 gallon gas cans, fights will break out (probably most of us have already seen that in past gas shortages) – the gas will go almost as quickly as the stock on grocery store shelves.
One thing both my wife and I do is always fill up by the time we get to ½ tank. And in our storage shed we keep four 5-gallon cans full that we try to rotate (especially when prices swing down). It may not be safe to put those in the back of a vehicle (especially an enclosed one, such as a regular car with the cans in the trunk), but you do what you’ve got to do in a true crisis.
We splurged and got a hard shell bed cover for my truck. Much can be both hidden and protected from the elements that way. We’ve also put together several plastic containers with lids, each with specific things in them as our ideal BO kit (meaning what we can get in the back of the truck if we’re fortunate enough to be able to take it).
We’re also looking at saving up for something like the new Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Power Station and a couple of the portable 100 watt solar panels with a 30′ cable to charge the unit (it will take up to two separate panels charging it at a time). Somebody needs to use a CPAP machine? Recharging phones in case there is still at least some cell service? A CB radio? Lights at night? Even a few rechargeable power tools or a laptop? No problem with such a device. Expensive? Depends on which side of the disaster we’re on, while looking at the cost.
One planned item that also needs to be organized and added is a container with important papers as well as family records, photos, etc. – in case we can never come back to get them. We’re working on as much archival storage as possible so the photos will be well preserved years from now, along with documents. Scanning and saving on long-term DVDs is also a good idea. There may or may not be a way of looking at them in the future on a working computer, but how much space do a few DVD cases take up “just in case?” Comfort and connection later on may be almost priceless – not a necessity for living, but a way of living more nicely.