Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How To Survive

IMMEDIATE ACTION: Prepare enough food and supplies for at least a week, longer if you can.

This is not a wait-and-see situation. If we assume that there will be no more major earthquakes, and no worsening of the situation surrounding Fukushima Dai-ishi nuclear power station, it is still likely that the Kanto region of Japan will suffer food shortages.

Some causes of food shortages:
(1) People panicking and buying up all the food. :)
(2) Existing food in Japan failing to reach supermarkets due to lack of fuel etc.
(3) A cessation of food imports. (Japan imports more than half of its food).

Something else to consider: if the nuclear situation worsens, it may not be possible to leave your house(or homestead, as you will learn to call it) for days or even weeks.

My homestead strategy is to stock up on foods that keep well and that I would usually eat. If, as I very much hope, there proves to be no food shortages, I won't have a lot of strange food on my hands.

While there is fresh food in the supermarket, I strongly recommend only eating fresh food, my thinking being that you might not get a chance to eat fresh food for a few days or weeks, so make the most of it while you can.

When buying food aim for 4 things: food that doesn't require lots of water to digest, food that is nutritious, food that is high in calories and food that makes you feel good. Buy a wide selection of spices and sauces as you might be eating the same food several days in a row.

Canned food is great because it can be eaten cold in an emergency and doesn't require water. Dried food such as pasta keeps well, but requires water to cook. On the topic of pasta, here's how you cook it: don't boil and then drain it. Instead, just leave it in a covered saucepan of very hot water until it softens. If you expect water shortages, ensure that you use the water for soup once the pasta is soft enough.

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

With a lack Of fresh oxygen it would be wise to get safe but efficient house hold plants. Because you will be confined to your house there will be a carbon dioxide build up, and plants will filter some of that CO2 and give you fresh oxygen. I would recommend plants that don't take too much space, require less sunlight and less water.

Anonymous said...

I would advice not doing any vigorous activity while in the house. Body functions require a lot of water, oxygen, and especially food. Because of the shortage, try to move around as little as possible to conserve energy.

Anonymous said...

If you are accessible salt water, here is a link on how to make salt water drinkable.(DO NOT DO THIS DO THIS IF WATER IS CONTAMINATED WITH RADIATION)

Anonymous said...

On the subject of foods -
I notice a lot of people here in Japan are buying water, rice, and bread.

Rice is great. It saves forever and provides a damned lot of calories per pound. You can live on it for a while. But it requires water to make edible.

Water, duh. Need water for cooking, drinking, lots of stuff.

Bread = immediately edible, but very temporary. Will mold after a week or two and it's not actually that calorie dense per unit of must-carry-it-on-the-go. Might as well buy pringles as bread if you just want survival food. Not as healthy (insofar as pure refined carbs are healthy..), but they're as many calories, they saves better, and they won't be sold out as quickly. Woo, processed junk food.

The thing I haven't seen people buying that would be sensible is things like canned goods (soups, tuna fish, etc.) and nuts.

If you can find a 1 kg bag of almonds or something, useful calories per pound are extremely high. They're also pure protein and a pretty primitive food, so your body is pretty good on a starvation diet including these.

Chocolate too, pound for pound, is one of the most useful energy foods available. And one more since we're in japan - squid jerky. It's cheap, it's light, it's dense protein.

Also, if you can't buy any water, get the foods above and buy bottled tea. Tea's not being sold out so quickly. It won't go bad, it's always fine for drinking, and in a pinch, you could even soak pasta in it to make it edible.

In short, get some large calorie count stores for the house (pasta, rice, junk food), as much liquids as possible (foremost water, but tea and booze acceptable in a pinch), and dense protein or calorie sources that save well both for the long run and in case you have to beat feet with limited baggage (nuts, jerky, chocolate).