When you’re thinking about preparing for potential natural disasters, you realize an emergency stash of food is absolutely crucial. However, many either feel less urgency, thinking just a few canned goods and bottled water are enough, or get overwhelmed by the process.
But, when you’re putting supplies away, even just incrementally, how much food do you really need?
Basic Emergency Preparation
FEMA recommends individuals and families stock pile at least two weeks of food. You might already have a bit of a start, with some canned goods, dry mixes, and other basics already in your cupboard.
But, emergencies are different from living day to day. In these times, you need:
- To avoid malnutrition, focus on getting proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fats for energy and feeling full. Emergency experts say to add canned meats, beans, and rice and to include some vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements to balance out your diet.
- The basics on hand, such as cooking oil, cornmeal, salt, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and vinegar.
- Water and power, as you might not have electricity for a few days and emergency help could take just as long to arrive. For water, you need enough to regulate the body’s functions, so have at least one gallon per person or pet per day.
- Speaking of pets, make sure to include a separate stock of dry pet food and water.
- If you have any elderly family members, babies, or nursing mothers, make sure your supply reflects their dietary needs, with extra formula, vitamins, or medications included.
- Even though you’re in emergency mode, prepare to make at least one balanced meal per day with the basics and other dry goods.
- If you expect to rehydrate your food, include more water in your supply, in addition to your daily amounts.
What happens if a disaster requires you to evacuate the area? The experts, in this case, say you should have three days of nonperishable food per person and pet per day in a portable container, along with any other essentials, such as first aid supplies.
Extreme Emergency Preparation
Preparation might not just be to get through an ordinary natural disaster. As you’ve seen countless times on the news, hurricanes and tornadoes devastate an area, forcing people to live without electricity for days, to leave their homes long term, or to wait a week or longer for emergency help to arrive.
In these extreme instances, whether you’re located in a high-risk area or are preparing for a war or pandemic, you need to build up a bigger supply. This may entail:
- Have one to three months’ worth of emergency food. This not only takes into account a delay in emergency response but a month or two of damaged infrastructure and local supply chains.
- Invest in a high-quality water purifier, as your emergency supply could run out.
- Have a kit consisting of containers of dehydrated or dried foods as a backup. Have at least a year’s worth of food available, and make sure that whatever you purchase has a 25-year shelf life.
Just starting to prepare for a potential disaster? Get your basics and more through 1st Aid Supply. Browse today for emergency food kits and cans of water.
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