Building your own food and water back up emergency supply is a smart plan to incorporate in the face of an unexpected emergency or serious disaster. FEMA recommends storing at least a two-week supply. However, most survival experts believe a three-day supply should be sufficient for an immediate response to a bad situation. With just a bit of forethought, careful planning, and regular maintenance, anyone can easily create and maintain a basic emergency food storage supply. Here’s some key information regarding which foods to select and how to properly store them as well as how to maintain your fresh water supply.
Emergency Water Storage Tips
In an emergency situation, having enough clean water to drink is one of the top priorities to consider. The average person needs a minimum of two quarts every day. People living in warmer climates, nursing mothers, young children, and sick people need even more. Water is also necessary for proper hygiene and adequate food preparation. Stockpile at least one gallon per day per person. Consider stockpiling a two-week supply of fresh water for every member of the family. If this isn’t possible, just store as much as you possibly can.
If your supplies are running somewhat low, never try to ration water. Just try to drink the amount you require today, and look for more tomorrow. Reduce your activity level and stay cool in order to minimize how much water your body requires.
For the healthiest results, buy food-grade water supply containers from camping or surplus supply stores to use for your long-term emergency water storage.
Stockpiling Emergency Food
• Store your emergency food in a dry, cool, dark place. A basement is an ideal place to store food since it’s darker and cooler than the rest of the house. Be sure your area is easy to get to if there’s any damage done to your home or if flooding occurs in the basement. If your home doesn’t have a basement, use the crawl space or a closet centrally located in the home, whereby the support beams would hopefully support the bulk of the roof during a serious storm or earthquake.
• Make sure all food items are properly sealed in quality airtight containers. Store any loose packages of nuts, dried fruits, and sugar in sealable, airtight jars in order to protect your storage food from any subsequent water damage or pests.
• Use high-calorie food choices that offer a great deal of nutrition and don’t need refrigeration. In general, dry foods like beans, white rice, and pasta have an extended shelf life and provide numerous calories as well. For a bit of variety, protein bars, nuts, and dried fruits are all excellent choices. Chocolate candies aren’t the most nutritious food, but serve to lift your spirits during a difficult emergency or disaster, which is a great help if there are young children in the home.
• Check your food storage periodically for any items that may be past their expiration date. When selecting items to eat, take the first-in, first-out approach. This method will help you preserve your food to make it last longer. While most commercial emergency food kits come equipped with the date on which they were originally packaged, any other food needs to be marked using a permanent marker in order to keep track of the date.
Food Storage Containers
Any food items you intend to store for an indefinite period of time should be properly stored in food-grade containers. Containers like these won’t transfer any non-food or toxic chemicals into your food. Usually, a food-grade container has the acronym ‘HDPE’ stamped on it or a #2 near the recycle symbol. Thoroughly clean your containers with warm soapy water, rinse, and completely dry before storing any food in them. Also, be sure the lid you buy for your food-grade container is both spill-proof and airtight. Gamma lids and lids with gaskets are perfect since they don’t require an opener.
Healthy Nutrition Tips
During a disaster and after it’s over, it’s crucial to maintain your physical strength. Consider the following:
• Drink enough water to allow your body to properly function; ideally 2 – 4 quarts per day.
• Eat at least one nutritious meal every day.
• Consume enough calories to perform any work that’s necessary in your situation.
Lastly, include a vitamin supplement in your emergency food storage supply to make sure both you and your family are getting an adequate amount of nutrition when you need it most.