Building an Emergency Food Supply

Preparing an emergency food supply is a crucial step in ensuring your family’s safety in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. The UK government recommends that households have enough food, water, and other essentials to last at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency. FEMA in the US recommends storing at least three days’ worth of non-perishable food for emergencies.

For a three-day emergency supply, select non-perishable foods that require no refrigeration, minimal or no preparation or cooking, and little or no water. Canned meats, fruits, and vegetables, canned juices, milk, and soup, high-energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, and trail mix, and foods for infants, elderly persons, or persons on special diets are all great options.

For a two-week emergency supply, start by increasing the amount of basic foods you normally keep on your shelves. Plan food supplies so that at least one well-balanced meal can be eaten each day. Consider including dehydrated or freeze-dried foods, which are lightweight and take up little room.  It’s important to choose non-perishable items that are easy to prepare and provide adequate nutrition. Some ideal options include ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables, canned juices, milk, and soup, high-energy foods like peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, and trail mix, and foods for infants, elderly persons, or persons on special diets. Other good choices are dehydrated or freeze-dried foods, which are lightweight and take up little room. Consider including canned beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, canned tuna or chicken, jerky, nuts, dried fruits, powdered milk, and shelf-stable milk substitutes like almond or soy milk. Additionally, don’t forget to include condiments like salt, pepper, and hot sauce to add flavour to your meals. With these 20 food items, you can build a well-rounded emergency food supply that will help keep you and your family nourished in the event of an emergency.

It’s important to inspect your supply periodically to make sure there are no rusty, leaking, bulging, or badly dented containers and no broken seals. Large or severe dents in the sides of a can may also break a seal around the can end or seam, even though it might not be obvious. Replace items found in any of these conditions. Do not eat out of cans found in any of these conditions during the emergency.

In the event of a power outage, it’s important to use perishable food and foods from the refrigerator first, followed by foods from the freezer. To minimize the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of freezer contents on it. Finally, begin to use non-perishable foods and staples.

Preparing an emergency food supply may seem daunting, but with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can help ensure that you and your family are well-fed and well-prepared for any emergency.