No matter what type of environment you live in, no matter how much money you make, and no matter what stage of life you are in there are a few basic facts of life you can’t escape. One of these is that you will die without food and water. A healthy adult can last for 3 or more weeks without food and 3 or so days without water. Depending on your shopping schedule you may have enough food to last for a while, but if the roads are impassible for longer than you expected you may not have what it takes.

1: Emergencies can happen at any time

Emergencies like hurricanes give you a few days to prepare while earthquakes happen in an instant. No matter how much time you have to prepare, by the time you know what the emergency is you are already out of time. Even if you have days to prepare for an emergency it is likely that everyone around you is also preparing for that same emergency. By having a cache of food and water you can keep yourself out of the rat’s nest that will become your local Walmart when the next big hurricane is approaching.

2: Emergencies are not always what you expect

Emergencies that require stored food vary widely and are not very forgiving. What we think of most is a natural disaster of some kind. Some may be anticipating some kind of political instability that would prevent every day grocery shopping. But some of the less thought of, and honestly much more likely, situations are injury and unemployment. If you have 3 or 6 months of food stocked in your home it will take a serious expense off of the table while you are between jobs.

3: Emergencies can last longer than you thought

When hurricane Ike hit Houston my house didn’t have power for a week or two. Some in the Houston area didn’t have access to electricity for months. Aside from electricity the roads were impassible due to the fallen trees and debris washed in during the flooding. If you could even get to the grocery store it may not have been stocked with food because the delivery trucks couldn’t make their deliveries.

4: Emergencies often affect more than just you

When emergency strikes you will likely not be the only one trying to find food. Whether you want to be that good neighbor who shares with their neighbor during an emergency or you want to make a strategic trade with someone for medicine or gasoline having food on hand for more than your own household is key.