When starting to prepare for disasters or emergencies, one of the things that many people think about is stocking up on military MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) packs which contains a shelf-stable meal for one person that does not require refrigeration.
Surplus military MRE's are convienent, however they are also expensive, costing on average around $8 to $10 each, plus the cost of shipping. There are even Heater Meals brand versions of the popular MRE's that have come out catering to the civilian market which heat themselves automatically through a chemical reaction once you add water to the heating pouch which average around $12 - $15 each plus the costs of shipping.
MRE's are a good option for ready to go, shelf-stable meals that do not require refrigeration can be useful for several situations like hiking or backpacking, camping, roadside emergencies and breakdowns, and disaster preparedness.
In the case of Disaster Preparedness, having several weeks or even months worth of MRE's stocked up and ready to go can be extremely beneficial, yet it is also extremely cost prohibitive. That is, unless you make your own, which can save you quite a bit of money and lets you have more choice in its contents.
Having prepackaged MRE's has another drawback that a lot of people do not think about, unless they have been in the military and had to eat a lot of MRE's in their career. They are very limited in their diversity meaning there are only a limited number of meal options to chose from. Eating the same thing over and over again gets old very quickly.
There is another drawback to the pre-packaged military MRE meals. They are high in fat content and low in fiber were originally designed to meet the needs of someone doing heavy physical activity. When you combine that with the low water content, you are destined to get constipated, which is why many Marines jokingly refered to MRE's as Meals Requiring an Enema.
By creating your own MRE packs, you determine what foods are included into them. So you have more flexibility in selecting the types of foods that you and your family enjoy eating. This is especially important in a disaster situation where low moral will already be an issue. Make sure th