I live in Utah and so a lot of the natural disasters that are so prevalent in the news these days are very unlikely to reach me in a very personal way. Utah has no coast line and so a hurricane or tsunami is impossible. Utah has a very rocky, mountainous terrain and so tornados are also rare, although they have happened before. There are also no volcanos or high flooding dangers where I live. It can snow here quite a bit, but the state is, in my opinion, very prepared to deal with blizzards. If the snow fall gets starts getting heavy the snowplows are dispatched within the hour.
The only way my life could be devastated in any real way by nature would be through an earthquake. The worst case scenario for me would be a destructive earthquake followed by a heavy blizzard. An earthquake could prevent the snowplows from being sent out and a blizzard would prevent rescue workers from doing what they need to do.
I realized that if this happened, and the aftermath continued for more than a week, that I would be in a very dismal situation. The main problem would be a lack of food. I figure that it would take about a week to two weeks before my family and I ate up what we have in our fridge and cupboards. After that almost all of our food would be either gone or spoiled. I do not have any food storage and so unless I did something dramatic my family would be in serious danger of starvation.
If things got to this point the only thing that I could do would be to risk a journey on foot in the most terrible blizzard that has ever been imagined. In this completely hypothetical situation the snow would be up to my shoulders and it would seem dark outside even in the middle of the day. The risk of being stuck and frozen to death would be the obvious drawback but I couldn’t let my family starve so I would make the journey. The nearest supermarket from my house is only a little over ½ a mile but I imagine that in those conditions it would take all day to get there.
If I got to the supermarket, and smashed the glass of the front entrance with a rock or my shoe, I would look for things that do not spoil easily. Fruit, like apples or bananas would be out unless I there were packages of dried fruit. It is unlikely that my electric stove or microwave would be working at home by this point so it would be important to choose foods that could be eaten raw. I would focus mostly on grains, like rice because rice stays good forever. Cereal (no milk) would probably be a good choice.
I would have to camp out in the supermarket over the night in order to rest up and have time to make the trip during the slightly warmer daylight hours. If I managed to make the return trip with food for my family I would probably have some case of frost bite or hypothermia.
The entire situation just sounds miserable and makes me want to have more food storage on hand; even if an earthquake and an Armageddonesque blizzard are unlikely to strike my neighborhood at the exact same time. But as they say: you just never know.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in outdoor survival and emergency food storage.