Submitted by Denis Korn
Reminder: The equipment you have assembled for emergency preparedness should match the scenarios, persons invovled and the time frames you have determined will affect your unique circumstances. Inappropriate and incomplete essential equipment for food preparation can significantly affect your emergency experience. Much of this equipment will be the same as an extended camping trip.
Avoid using aluminum cookware as the aluminum can be absorbed by the food being prepared in these containers. Aluminum in food products can be detrimental to your health. Lightweight equipment is more versatile in emergency situations especially if you need to be mobile. Cast iron pots, frying pans and dutch ovens are great for preparing many foods and if you will be stationary, however they will require proper maintenance and are heavy.
Many models are available commercially in varying price ranges and some can get quite hot - 300 degrees plus. Special cooking containers are available. Consider making your own from available plans, and always have plenty of tin foil for simple emergency solar ovens.
Alternative Stoves - Grills & Grates
There are numerous stoves, grills and grates available from camping equipment outlets. You might desire simple or elaborate heat sources - using various fuels, or you may feel adequate building a camp fire from available natural resources.
Fuel - Gas/Diesel/Propane/Wood/Charcoal/Fuel Oil/Kerosene/Shelf Stable Additive for Gas or Diesel
Match the type and amount of fuel with the heat sources you have chosen. In some cases the same fuel can be used for cooking, heating and light.
Depending on your anticipated scenarios, you might want to consider gas, diesel, propane, solar, wind or stationary bicycle powered generators. There are also units that do not gernerate power they simply store it.
If your emergency scenarios are longer term then sprouting is a nutritional must.
There are many quality, manually operated - or electric if appropriate - grain mills available - with both stone and steel burrs. Cooking whole grains and beans can be done in a shorter time if the particles are smaller, and a wider variety of recipe variations are possible. Whole grain flours are not reccommended for long term storage, so milling your own whole grain flour is best.
Wheat Grass Juicer
This is another excellent appliance for longer term scenarios. Electric and manual juicers are available. Wheat grass juice is a nutritional powerhouse - especially if other fresh foods are not readily available. Many folks have stored whole grain wheat, and learning to grow wheat grass should be a very high priority.
If you have access to extra fruits and vegetables and enjoy do-it-yourself food storage, then wet pack canning is for you. This would be especially valuable for longer term scenarios. Canning equipment may be scarce in a prolonged food shortage. This could also be a very beneficial bartering item.
This appliance could be an essential if fuel, water or time is scarce in your anticipates emergency scenario. Cooking whole beans and grains using a quality pressure cooker reduces cooking time dramataically. Also be aware that beans which have been stored for an extended period of time and/or have lost significant amount of moisture - becoming very dry, get very hard and are very difficult to impossible to cook (even when soaking) in the traditional boil in a pot manner. Consider using a pressure cooker if you have such items.
If you store foods that are not what you typically eat or prepare frequently, then a good set of cookbooks and books that provide guidelines on recipes and preparation is a must. Also keep in mind that even if you are knowledgeable other folks might have to help in food preparation and they will need assistance.
Store appropriate cleaning supplies, disinfectants, or whatever would provide convenience and sanitation given your emergency situation.
Food Containers - Plastic/Glass/Plastic Bags/Foil
Always a good idea to have planty of container options for food or other needs. Don't forget large lawn size plastic bags (be careful around children) for not only food issues but also weather and climate protection.
Package and/or Process Your Own Equipment/Supplies
This would include large foil pouches, metal and plastic sealable buckets, oxygen absorbers, sealing equipment, vacuum sealers, glass and metal containers and sealing equipment and dehydrators.
Water - Purifiers/Filters/Additives/Distillers/Containers
Needless to say, this is an essential catergory and one that should be researched with due diligence. I do not reccommend you cut corners when it comes to providing adequate amounts of pure and clean water. You can never have too much water in an emergency, but you can most definitely have too little. You can have the proper equipment to treat water because you have an abundant natural source available, you can have stored water available in large containers or small ready-to-drink packs, or you can prepare with both options. The amount of water you store and/or the filtering capacity of the filters you possess will once again be determined by the scenarios you anticipate and the drinking, food preparation and hygiene requirements you consider.
Be aware that there are numerous filters, purifiers, tablets and distillers available - depending on your needs - and that purifiers will kill viruses and filters will remove small particles and organisms - you dont' "filter" a virus. I personally have mutliple devices and plenty of treatment capacity. You might have to be mobile and you might have to seek new water sources. Make sure you have the proper containers in which to store your treaed water and possibility transport it from a distant source.
Depending on your scenarios, many of the same food preparation equipment items that you will need in an emergency are what you use when you go camping, boating or backpacking. Suppliers of outdoor gear generally also have preparedness supplies.
Non-Electric Can Opener
Don't forget to have a manually operated can opener available if you have any canned goods. Fortunately most mutli-tools and pocket knives have openers built in.
Have plenty of matches and a quality fire-starter device that will light fires in rain and wind.