Disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and pandemics, can strike at any time and cause widespread disruption to our daily lives. One of the most critical needs during such times is access to food. That's why it's essential to have an emergency food storage plan in place, so you and your family can weather the storm and stay nourished and healthy.
Why emergency food storage is necessary
When disaster strikes, stores may close, roads may become impassable, and food deliveries may be disrupted, leaving people without access to fresh food. In such a situation, having a stockpile of non-perishable, nutritious, and easily-prepared food items can mean the difference between hunger and being able to eat. Having an emergency food supply can also reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with not knowing where your next meal will come from, allowing you to focus on other important aspects of recovery.
What to include in your emergency food storage
When it comes to emergency food storage, it's crucial to choose non-perishable items that can last for an extended period without refrigeration and are easy to prepare. Some examples include:
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Canned soups and stews
- Pasta and rice
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Energy bars and granola bars
- Crackers and cracker packs
- Dried milk
- Powdered or canned juice
It's also important to have a manual can opener, as well as a way to heat food, such as a camping stove or portable gas grill. Additionally, it's essential to store enough water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. A general rule of thumb is to have at least a gallon of water per person per day for three to seven days.
How to start an emergency food storage plan
Starting an emergency food storage plan can seem overwhelming, but with a little bit of planning and organization, it can be easy. Here are some steps to get you started:
Determine how much food and water you need: To begin, you need to calculate how much food and water you and your family will need to survive for at least three days. Keep in mind that this should include all members of your household, including pets.
Choose appropriate storage containers: You will need containers that can protect your food from pests, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. Airtight plastic containers, Mason jars, or food-grade buckets with tight-fitting lids are all good options.
Select your food and water items: Once you've determined how much food and water you need, make a list of the items you want to store. Focus on non-perishable items that are high in nutrients and can be easily prepared.
Rotate your food storage: Be sure to rotate your emergency food supply regularly, so that it doesn't go bad. Set a reminder on your calendar to check the expiration dates of your food items every six months, and replace any that are expired.
Store your emergency food supply in a cool, dry place: Store your food and water in a cool, dry, and dark location to maximize their shelf life. Avoid storing your emergency food supply in areas that are prone to flooding or temperature fluctuations, such as basements or attics.
In conclusion, emergency food storage is an important aspect of disaster preparedness. By having a well-stocked and organized emergency food supply, you and your family can weather any storm, knowing that you have access to the sustenance you need to stay healthy and strong. With a little bit of planning and organization, you can build an emergency food storage plan that will give you peace of mind, no matter what life throws your way.