Covering the basics: food and water in an emergency
Posted at: 02/02/2012 12:00 PM
If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm, or other natural disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks. By taking some time now to store emergency food and water supplies, you can be prepared to provide for your entire family.
“Especially during the winter months and storm season, people in western New York should keep an up-to-date reserve of food and water,” said Leighton Jones, Director of Disaster and Emergency Services for the American Red Cross of the Finger Lakes NY Region. “People should not wait for storm warnings, either. Beat the mad rush to the store by being prepared ahead of time.”
As you stock food, take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Familiar foods are important ad they lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress. Try to include foods that they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. Foods that require no refrigeration, water, special preparation, or cooking are best. Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils.
Food storage tips
• Keep food in a dry, cool spot—a dark area if possible.
• Open food boxes and other re-sealable containers carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use.
• Empty open packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw-top jars or air-tight canisters for protection from pests.
• Throw out canned goods that become swollen, dented, or corroded.
• Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies, dated with ink or marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front.
• Have enough water on hand for drinking, washing, and cooking. A good rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day for at least three days.
Don’t end up stuck in an emergency without the basics such as food and water. For more tips and emergency preparedness checklists, visit www.redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.