No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.
Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.
Food Guidelines for storing:
- Keep food in a dry, unused area
- Keep food enclosed at all times
- Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
- Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
- Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
- Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
- Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front
Starting a Storage
Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers. Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.
1) Create Kits
First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.
2) Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals
Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.
3) Stock PLENTY of Water
A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
4) Stock up on Food Staples
You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.
5) Plan for Fire Needs
You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.
6) Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible
Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.
7) Plan for Every Emergency
Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.
These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.