Because you never know when disaster will strike, and if it does, you know you’ll want to eat ramen.

A lot of people who aren’t too handy in the kitchen will tell you that instant ramen isn’t just convenient, but a survival aid. In certain situations, though, that can legitimately be the truth.

Since instant noodles have a long shelf life, can be easily prepared, and provide enough calories to keep your body fueled, they’re a good choice to keep in a disaster preparedness kit. With that in mind, Cup Noodle maker Nissin is offering what it calls the Cup Noodle Rolling Stock service to make sure you’ll have food to eat, and the means to prepare it, in the event of an earthquake, typhoon, or other natural disaster.

The starter pack includes nine Cup Noodle varieties (enough to feed one person for three days), and also everything you’ll need to cook them even if the disaster has left you without utilities such as water, electricity, and gas. The bundle provides a cooking pot, gas stove and canister to fuel it, and two 1.5-liter (50.7-ounce) bottles of water that will keep for five years. You even get nine plastic forks and some other disaster gear, like a pair of gloves and a solar chargeable battery/lantern.

But where the “rolling stock” concept comes into play is in what happens next. For as long as you remain registered with the service, Nissin will mail you refills of Cup Noodles at regular intervals, to make sure you always have some on hand. The first nine-meal refill comes one month after you sign up for the service, and subsequent ones happen every three months.

▼ A diagram of a three-refill scenario

Each time you’ve got a refill coming up, Nissin will send you a notice by email. You’re not locked into stockpiling the same flavors, either. While each refill includes nine packs of food, there are actually 13 varieties to choose from, including non-ramen options like udon noodles or curry rice, all of which can be prepared with the water and stove included in the starter set.

What you’re supposed to do is resist the urge to immediately eat all of the instant noodles/rice that comes in your starter set until after your first refill comes. Once refill number two comes, you can go ahead and eat the stuff that came in refill number one, and so on. That way you’ve always got at least a three-day ration in case a disaster strikes.

▼ The starter kit box can also easily be converted into a backpack or stool

The refills are reasonably priced at 2,000 yen (US$18.85) each, though the starter kit is a heftier 13,000 yen because of all the cooking equipment and other items it includes. You can also upgrade the refills to include a resupply of water and gas cannisters each time for an initial one-time fee of 700 yen.

Nissin says its goal for the service is not only to provide sustenance, but also emotional comfort to disaster victims by letting them enjoy a simple but delicious flavor they’re used to so that they’ll have at least some stability when their life gets temporarily turned upside down. If this sounds like the way you’d like to weather such a storm, the Cup Noodle Rolling Stock program can be signed up for online here.

Source: Nissin
Top image: Press release
Insert images: Nissin
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