• Login

Survival, Preparedness, Disaster Relief and MRE

“Disasters don’t knock on the door before they occur and disorganize your life and the society at large and at every imaginable level. The rate at which climate-related natural disasters occur throughout the world has been increasing since last 3 to 4 decades. There have been earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, tropical cyclones, heat/cold waves, wildfires, drought, tornados and floods that have severely disrupted the life of people. More often than not there are a large number of people who die due to lack of basic facilities that include food and water. In recent times, the frequency of occurrence of natural disasters and the intensity with which they occur and affect life and property has become more acute and serious.

During the first week of the occurrence of the disaster, everything is in a highly disorganized state, all the food that you had has been lost and destroyed due to the impact of the disaster. Grocery store shelves have all been emptied and you have no idea when the rescue and relief organizations will provide you with food because they are too busy saving lives of people and clearing debris. In such a situation, you have no one to blame. But you don’t know how long you can go without food especially when you are in utmost need of some energy.

Sometimes if a warning is issued that a disaster might occur, you might be asked to evacuate. Evacuations occur on a very short notice and you do not have enough time to pack anything that isn’t necessary. All that you have time for is for packing food and clothing. You have your entire family, and packing snacks and canned food won’t support you for long. Plus, keeping in mind the deadlocked traffic that is associated with the process of evacuation.

If you live in a place that is prone to occurrence of any natural disaster or even a place that’s not. Being prepared for the worst to happen won’t make you look like someone preparing for doomsday. Food is one of the most crucial sources of energy when we are evacuating or are injured and affected by the catastrophe. Canned foods are bulky and require a lot of space, one thing that you don’t have enough of when preparing for a disaster. Most of the canned foods need special preparation before you can consume them. If you’re on foot, you cannot carry enough canned food that can last for a week. You also need a can opener for opening the cans. When you are in a life or death situation, there is only so much you can remember.

In situations such as this survival is of principle importance and you have no one to fall back on except yourself. MRE plays a key role in providing you with necessary nutrition and energy in cases of a natural disaster. MRE or meals, ready to eat are an extremely important part of preparedness in case of a natural disaster.

You can stash away as many MREs as you want as they come in really handy when you are involved in an evacuation or there has been a natural disaster. MREs are extremely convenient to carry and are contained in small packages that have one to two servings of a meal in them. Unlike canned food they are space efficient and lightweight which makes them very easy to carry in case of an emergency. You don’t need any preparation or extra heating appliances to heat before consuming an MRE.

Nepal suffered from a massive earthquake in April 2015. More than thousands of people died caught up under the falling buildings and debris. Even more died because of lack of preparedness. Nobody had an idea about this impending calamity and when it did occur it claimed the life of many. In 2011, we witnessed an earthquake in Japan triggering a tsunami soon after. It was one of the biggest natural disasters ever to occur in the history of the world.

When a country or a region is caught up in an emergency situation such as these, saving the lives of its people becomes the top priority of the government. Except for relying on the issued warning no one really knows when exactly a disaster might occur. Till external help is received, the government is involved in carrying out rescue operations to save and rescue people from the affected areas. The people from the nearby areas are given the instructions to evacuate and move to safer regions. In such cases having MREs prove to be extremely beneficial. You have no access to the food at your home; it’s either destroyed or too heavy to carry. You cannot rely on food being supplied by the government. It’s limited and there are too many people who need it so much more than you do.

When a natural disaster occurs, the region is not just affected during its time of occurrence. But it is affected for all the time that the region and its people take to recover fully from the mental and physical shock, injuries and to go back and resume a normal lifestyle. It’s said that you should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Having enough MREs to support you for at least a week is the best thing you could do for preparing for the worst. So many people affected by the disaster die because they don’t get food to eat or whatever amount they get is not enough to help them recover physically. MREs are packed with nutrients and are prepared keeping the government guidelines of nutrition in mind. Depending upon the type of MRE you buy meals can vary from 1200 to 2000 calories per day. Most of the MREs contain a full day’s meal and a snack. They also have an eating utensil either a spoon or a fork packed along with the food that’s made of plastic making it lightweight. MREs are made to meet all your nutritional needs. There are MREs that come with a flameless heater. So there is no need to build fires to heat the food.

You can survive for more days without food than you can without water. Water is the biggest necessity after oxygen. When caught up in a natural disaster when all electricity and water supply is disrupted you do not have many sources of drinking water except for when it arrives from the relief organizations or is supplied by the government. You can take care of this there are MRE drinks too. They are portable packages of safe and clean drinking water in case of any emergency.

MREs are a very reliable source of food and water in case of an emergency. Being prepared at an individual level gives a lot of reassurance during the times when people are dying from the dearth of it. Preparation at a higher level, the governmental level is also necessary. Whenever a country is under the spell of a natural disaster, there is a lot of loss in terms of life and property of the country. The entire economy of the country suffers. Governments of other nations do step forward and extend a hand of help, but no one understands the needs of its own people as its own government does. Thus, it is important to ensure that the maximum possible number of people are rescued and saved.

Emergencies make it difficult to cater to the needs of all the people but providing them with food and water that is enough to help them survive the calamity is the responsibility of the government. Instead of providing them open food that is most of the times unhealthy prepared because it is prepared in bulk amounts the government could and should resort to MREs. Preparing food takes time and resources such as utensils required for preparation, enough raw materials for preparation, people to prepare and space, relying on other countries for help takes time meanwhile many people die. Preparing and distributing food also causes a lot of wastage as the people do not have utensils to eat it in. Eating it from the ground or from other surfaces causes even more infection. MREs are a blessing in such situations. Having enough to feed the people requires just one thing, space to store enough of them. When needed they can easily be distributed among people. Giving MREs to people makes sure that they are getting enough nutrition to keep them going. Also since one packet of MRE has the ration of an entire day all that is needed is to distribute them once in the morning. And pay attention to rescuing more people and trying to get things back on track.

MREs are ruggedized for disasters. They are waterproof, impact resistant and hermetically sealed which means they can very well withstand extreme hostile conditions that are created during the time a natural disaster occurs. They are mobile and, therefore, the best option to help get ahead of things. MREs are very convenient in terms of storage time too. They are prepared to suit a variety of storage spans ranging from 3 days to even a year. They are packed in a hermitically sealed environment that guarantees the retention of a same level of their nutritional value whenever consumed anytime within the mentioned limit.

Most of the times occurrence of natural disasters cuts off the contact with other nations making it difficult to access the affected regions by rail, road or by air. Storms, tsunamis, cyclones and earthquakes disrupt all forms of communication. In such conditions, it becomes extremely difficult to transport any kind of help in terms of food and facilities over national boundaries. Setting up basic communication takes time of a few days and in the meanwhile there is a lot of loss of life because there isn’t enough food and water.

If a country is not prepared for such situations of natural calamity, the repercussions can be disastrous. In general it can take a lot of time for the residents to bring their life back on track. Lack of proper nutritional food also prevents speedy and complete recovery and can sometimes become the cause of long-term health issues. It is the responsibility of the legislature of any country to take responsibility of the life of its citizens. It is, therefore, crucial to have a backup at least in terms of food and basic amenities to aid in fast recovery.

Being prepared for an emergency is extremely crucial to survival. Keeping MREs ready is one of the key factors contributing to preparedness and providing disaster relief.”