As the east coast prepares for Hurricane Irene it got me thinking about how to prepare your kitchen pantry for an emergency. I would guess that most Americans are not prepared as well as they should be. Fortunately with a hurricane we are typically provided with some advanced warning so we can ‘stock up’ on necessities. I have seen it happen here in Arkansas when the weather man predicts an ice or snow storm. Everyone rushes out to the store for milk and bread and whatever else they will need to get them through the next few days. I imagine grocery stores all along the east coast are experiencing increased crowds and a rise in sales right now.
What would you do if an emergency situation arose without advanced warning? What if there was an earthquake or a tornado or a storm that was predicted to be mild turned out to be the storm of the century? What if you experienced an emergency and were unable to get to a store? Do you have what you need in your house to get you through the next few days or even longer?
1. Designate a pest proof space to store your emergency supply.
Plastic, lidded storage containers will keep your food dry and free of bugs and mice. They can be stacked easily and labeled for easy retrieval of items. A shelf in your pantry or garage or even under the bed is a great place to store your emergency supply.
2. Stock up on non-perishable convenience foods.
If you are faced with an emergency situation, you will need foods that are quick and easy. You may not normally eat canned ravioli but it is better than nothing. Canned food lasts a long time and can be eaten cold or hot. Additionally if you watch sales fliers or clip coupon you can purchase goods at a lower cost.
3. Stock up on water.
FEMA recommends that individuals keep a stockpile of food and water to last at least three days. One gallon of water per person, per day is recommended.
4. Consider other necessities you may need.
Will you need a can opener? Other kitchen utensils? Medicine for family members? Your stock pile is about more than just food. Other items to consider would be extra clothing, blankets, radio and batteries,a first aide kit and some cash.
5. Rotate and check your food supply frequently.
At least once every 6 months you should evaluate your emergency supply kit and make changes as needed. Check expiration dates on all items and replace soon to expire foods. These foods can be consumed or you may consider donating them to a food pantry or shelter.
Here is a list of some of the things we have in our emergency supply:
Beef and Chicken Bouillon
Gallon water jugs
Battery Powered radio
What do you have in your emergency supply? Leave a comment below!