It is good to plan how you will provide food and water for your family before a disaster strikes. Disasters include fire, famine, floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and more. The disaster could be of a bigger or smaller magnitude than you expect. The main objective of having emergency food and water supplies is to ensure that you can support your family’s needs for a relatively long time.
You can be in a position to manage all these by incorporating emergency buying into your normal shopping. In light of this, some considerations need to be considered when storing water or food for emergency use.
Emergency Food Storage Supply List
Nonperishable foods: The first thing you need to have in mind is that you should choose nonperishable foods for emergency rations, such as canned goods, beans, cereals, dried fruits, peanut butter, rice, jerky, and jelly. You need to include various fruits, meats, treats, and vegetables that your family can use without cooking.
Comfort foods: The next step is to keep foods that your family likes eating on hand in emergencies. Familiar foods can help ease stress at such times. It would help if you did not forget your favorite gravies, spices, and sauces to add variety to noodles, beans, soups, and rice dishes.
Dry foods: It is prudent to store dry mixes, flour, and cereal in airtight containers. Each of these should contain sufficient food to feed your family for one or two meals. Also, one needs to use airtight quart canning jars in storing instant soups, powdered milk, potato flakes, and dehydrated fruits and vegetables. All containers and jars should be marked with food contents and storage dates.
Storage location: You should also select a dry and easily accessible location to store your emergency food rations. Pantry shelves and kitchen cupboards are ideal. Foods should be rotated after each shopping trip to keep older foods in front and ensure that they are consumed first. It is advisable to store a manual can opener with your food supplies.
Pest control: Finally, it is necessary to store food in an area clear of pests. Insects, rodents, and other pests can chew through packaging, so you should check the pantry regularly to ensure there are no signs of any pest infestation.
Water Storage Emergency Preparedness
Bottled water: One of the most important considerations in emergency water storage is to keep bottled water cases on hand in case of a crisis. Plan to use at least one gallon of water per day, per person, for drinking, instant drink mixes, and mixing with food, as well as for personal hygiene.
Tap water: The other factor is to store tap water for cooking and drinking for up to six months in clean two-liter soda bottles that have been washed in hot, soapy water and rinsed clean. Bottles should be sanitized first by cleaning them thoroughly in a mixture of four teaspoons of unscented household chlorine bleach in a gallon of water.
The bleach mixture should also be rinsed out of each bottle with fresh water before being refilled with fresh tap water. If you are using well water, four drops of unscented household chlorine bleach can be added to each bottle. Stored water needs to be capped tightly and marked with the date of preparation.
It is good to remember that water needs to be stored in various container sizes to make it easier for you. Gallon jugs are perfect for food preparation and cleanup, but having some smaller bottles for drinking means you won’t need to use glasses unnecessarily. Besides, you might not even have the time to use the glasses, so if you can use the smaller bottles, it would be easier for you, especially if you need to move from one place to another.
Buying unopened, sealed water is one of the safest and least labor-intensive ways to store water. It can be expensive, and for this reason, it is unnecessary, but as long as you are willing to take the extra steps to ensure that the water is stored correctly, you should be good to go.
Soft-drink bottles are considered ideal since they wash out easily, and they come in convenient sizes. However, juice or other drink containers made of PETE plastic are also acceptable. That said, it can be difficult to get all of the juice residue washed out of them. You should not use milk jugs because they quickly break down and are not designed for long-term storage. Finally, the water should be stored in a dry, cool location and should be used up within no more than six months.
It should be noted that the ideal temperature for both food and water storage is between 40° and 70° Fahrenheit, while the humidity needs to be low in the storage area. This is because moisture increases the risk of mold bacteria growth and damage and speeds the breakdown of packaging materials. It is also important to keep food and water supplies away from direct heat or sunlight sources. This can speed up the breakdown of both food and packaging.
Safe Drinking Water
You may be tempted to use tap water and containers to prepare water for storage. This is much less expensive than purchasing water, and you can easily rotate in the fresh supplies without any feeling of wastage. Simultaneously, if your water comes from a clean source, pre-treated with chlorine, as is the case with most public water supplies, you only need to put the water in clean containers for storage.
It would be best if you were sure to use plain bleach, rather than the ones with added thickeners. The water will be safe to use when needed, though it is good to rotate through the entire emergency stock of food and water once a year. This will help you ensure that you do not have any wastage or stock that will lie unused for a very long time.
It is also advisable to store extra water for young children, pregnant women, the elderly, or those who are ill. This is because they may naturally need more water compared to other members of the family. At the same time, you should keep extra vegetable oil, shortening, and canned butter on hand to use in cooking.
There should be enough stock of vitamins and dietary supplements in case of emergencies. It’s also good to count family pets among family members to plan how much food and water needs to be stored.
Another point to note is that one should not ration water if his supplies run low. Instead, he needs to look for additional water sources, such as water heaters or swimming pools. In times of emergencies, people should avoid fatty or salty foods. These foods tend to make you crave liquids, which, as we know, are in short supply at the moment.