Living with food allergies is hard, but trying to survive with food allergies in a post-SHTF world would be harder! How can you make food allergies less of an issue in your prepping? What are the extra steps to take when stockpiling food with allergies?
Stockpiling is a big part of prepping, so it takes dedication and thoughtfulness to come up with an effective plan when you’re allergic to certain food items. Here are some important tips to help you stockpile when you have food allergies!
Know Alternative Ingredient Names
Sometimes, peanuts are listed on food labels as beer nuts, monkey nuts, or ground nuts. No matter how careful you are, if you do not know these alternative names, you’ll be at risk of catching an allergic reaction.
Have Epi-Pens on Hand
You’re probably used to having an Epi-Pen with you all the time if you have food allergies. This medicine is injected into the middle of the upper leg.
You need to make sure that epinephrine is always available since it’s the only way to treat anaphylaxis. You also need to take note of the expiry date, although there are many ways you can make medication last longer than the expiration date. Aside from stockpiling food you’re not allergic to, have a backup supply of Epi-Pens with you, along with antihistamines!
Don’t Introduce New Foods During a Disaster
Post-SHTF, where medical help may be difficult to find, you need to be extra careful about the food items you are eating. An EMP, hurricane, or even the apocalypse, is not the time to try a new food that you don’t regularly eat. So stock up on food that you are 100% safe for you.
You should also beware of food provided by emergency shelters, the government, or Red Cross teams since they might not be safe. Aside from the suspicious ingredients, there could be cross-contamination or improper labels.
Cross-contamination means that even if the food is not made with the specific allergen, it could be that the manufacturer also makes food that uses an allergy trigger food.
Have the Right Utensils in Your Supplies
This is one way to prevent cross-contamination. Most of the food you place in your bug out bag is required to be cooked in whatever packaging they are in, usually requiring you to pour boiling water in the packet, zip the pouch close, and just let it cook. Follow this rule as much as possible even if you want it cooked in a pot.
Be so careful in a survival situation that you think of allergens as poisons. If your food doesn’t touch surfaces you’re unsure of, then you won’t get sick.
If you’re keeping your food in a bag along with other tools, avoid using survival gear made of porous materials like wood and scratchable surfaces since allergens can hide in them. The same goes for your container and eating utensils. Go for metal containers or package in new mylar bags.
Keep More Food than Normal
Many preppers suggest a 72-hour kit, but you should plan for at least two weeks so you’ll have less chance of worrying about looking for food that might be dangerous for you during a survival situation.
Usually, you’re told not to carry too much food in your bug out bag or get home bad because it has a really bad weight and volume to value ratio. You’re told to have two to three days worth of food, but if you have food allergies, it makes sense to carry more food. Ask yourself, what if the place you’re going to does not have food? What if the government offers food you’re not allowed to eat? What would you do if things take longer than expected to get back to normal? What if emergency medical services are unavailable?