With all of the hurricanes that have been affecting the Southern and Coastal areas in the United States lately , it might be a good idea to have an Emergency Food Kit on hand.
In the event of an disaster, power outages could last for several days, roadways could be dangerous to drive on and there maybe no way to stock your food supply. Emergency kits doesn’t have to break the bank, simple canned foods, dry mixes and other items that do not require refrigeration, cooking, or any special preparation; could make all the difference & a lot of these items are more than likely in your cabinets.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
(-)Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
(-)Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
(-)Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
Suggested Emergency Food Supplies
Consider the following tips when stocking your emergency food supplies and be sure to include a can opener, and eating utensils.
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Choose foods your family will eat.
- Remember any special dietary needs.
- Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
A good rule of thumb is to not eat too much of foods that will make you thirsty; such as salted crackers, also stay away from salty cereals and heavily salt mixed nuts. Instead, look food that has a high liquid content.
Another note is to be very mindful of Safety & Sanitation regarding your food. In the event of a lack of electricity or a cold source, food can become unsafe and bacteria in food can grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 °F; if these foods are eaten you can become very sick. Just remember, “if there’s any doubts about if what you’re eating is safe, it’s a good rule of thumb not to eat it.” Here’s a few Do’s and Don’t below.
- Keep food in covered containers.
- Keep cooking and eating utensils clean.
- Discard any food that has come into contact with contaminated flood water.
- Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more.
- Discard any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- Use ready-to-feed formula. If you must mix infant formula use bottled water, or boiled as a last resort.
- Eat foods from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat.
- Eat any food that looks or smells abnormal, even if the can looks normal.
- Let garbage accumulate inside, both for fire and sanitation reasons.
Alternative cooking sources can be used in times of emergency including candle warmers, chafing dishes, fondue pots or a fireplace. Charcoal grills and camp stoves are for outdoor use only. Commercially canned food may be eaten out of the can without warming.
To heat food in a can:
- Remove the label.
- Thoroughly wash and disinfect the can. (Use a diluted solution of one part bleach to ten parts water.)
- Open the can before heating.
Managing Food without Power
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
- Refrigerated or frozen foods should be kept at 40° F or below for proper food storage.
- Use a refrigerator thermometer to check temperature.
- Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours.
- Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more.
Using Dry Ice:
- Know where you can get dry ice prior to a power outage.
- Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a 10-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days.
- If you use dry ice to keep your food cold, make sure it does not come in direct contact with the food.
- Use care when handling dry ice, wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
These are also good notable mentions to have in your food kit.
Whole wheat crackers (consider vacuum packing to prolong freshness)
Nuts and trail mix.
Canned meat such as tuna, potted meat, salmon, chicken and turkey.
Eating calorie-rich and Protein-rich foods are really the best to stick with because they have calories and nutrients you will need to help you keep warm and healthy.