Playing a key role in an emergency preparedness plan is long term food storage. And just as important is freeze dried food as it can lengthen the shelf life. In an emergency, there are other important items to think about in addition to the emergency food. Being prepared in an emergency requires the following items. * Preparation Time - Preparing the survival food before hand helps determine the length of time for preparation. 10-12 minutes is a general rule for freeze dried food but this can vary from producer to producer. Individual preference can also play a role in preparation time as different food consistency can vary by preference. * Water - One cup of water per serving is the general rule to reconstitute freeze dried food. The amount of water can really start to add up when you think that each survival meal has 4 servings. So, in order to prepare one meal it would require four cups or one quart of water each time. * Fire - Boiling the water to reconstitute survival food is not necessary. It is however, a good rule to use boiled water as the food will taste better because it is warm. Boiling the water also kills harmful germs. A heat source for boiling water is an important consideration, even though cold water can be used. In addition to boiling water, a heat source can provide a number of other benefits. There are affordable, reusable heat sources in the market that can meet this need. * Flavor Enhancers - Survival food that is packaged into meals is usually the product of well thought out recipes and are packed with flavor. Even if that is the case, most people like to add a personal touch to their food. Spices, seasonings and salt are important to have available in case of an emergency. Think of the types of spice additives you or your family use on a regular meal basis. In conclusion, prepare a freeze dried meal prior to an emergency. This will eliminate surprises and provide better insight into whats required to prepare the meal. The preparation before hand will minimize any potential issues when the time comes to use your stock of survival food. For all your food storage must haves, take a look at the best survivalist food experts at www.survivalistfood.com.