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Emergency Survival Food Storage
Emergency survival food storage basics
Why build an emergency food stockpile?
One look at the evening news and it's clear why you should prepare an emergency food stockpile: Earthquakes. Floods. Tornados and hurricanes. Terrorist attacks, including sabotaging water and power supplies. Potential epidemics, like new and deadly strains of the flu. The list goes on.
Consider New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, or
more recently Haiti after the earthquake. Remember the
images of people stranded and hungy? That's reason enough to build a
food stockpile. Nobody wants to be stuck for days with no food or clean
water. And an emergency can happen anywhere, at any time.
When you’re prepared you get peace of mind: You know that you and your loved ones have a strong chance to survive an emergency situation. A food and water stockpile is a critical part of that preparation. (This article will discuss food storage basics. For more complete information about how to survive an emergency situation, go to the bottom of this Hub page and follow the link to Amazon.com, where you can find many books on the subject.)
With that in mind, let’s discuss the basics of emergency food storage.
Emergency food storage can be key for survival in the aftermath of a tornado or other disaster
How much to store
How much will you need?
Nobody can predict how long an emergency will last, or how soon rescue workers will arrive. For the purpose of “general preparedness” let's assume that 2-4 weeks worth of food and water is a reasonable supply. After all, you can only stockpile so much. If an emergency lasts long enough you’d have to start finding new sources of food and water. That’s beyond the scope of this article. Again, you'll find books on the subject by following the link to Amazon.com at the bottom of this article.
Here's a simply way to determine how much food you need in your survival food storage kit. First, calculate the daily calorie needs of each person that would need to be fed. There are online calculators for this that you can easily find using a Google search. Then, multiply that by the number of days you want to plan for.
Water is even more important than food, as a person will die from dehydration much more quickly than from starvation. For emergency stockpiling, one gallon of water per person per day is recommended. If you live in a very hot, dry place you can bump that up to 1.5 gallons per person just to be safe.
Other supplies you should keep in your survival stockpile
While food and water are the main things you’ll need, there are other items you should include in your emergency stockpile. These include:
Medicines, health supplies and supplements: Prescription medicines, pain relievers, fever reducers, stomach remedies, anti-diarrarheals, cough medicines.
First aid kit
Cooking supplies: A pot, pan, measuring cup, ladle, and other cooking utensils.
Flatware: Knives, forks, spoons
Dishes and cups: Preferably something that won’t break, like strong plastic.
Sanitary supplies: Bar soap, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrushes
Flashlight, lighter, matches, candles, extra batteries
Hand-crank radio (preferably with a flashlight and cell phone charger built in.)
Manual can opener. Important, so get a good one.
Blankets and/or sleeping bags
Toilet paper, disposable diapers
Special needs: Consider special needs of anyone in your family. Babies, younger children, senior citizens, and anyone with special medical conditions may need supplies that are out of the ordinary.
amount will depend on your budget, but you should have enough for a
tank of gas and some food.
Also, consider special items such as birth certificates, insurance papers, wills, credit card account
information, an extra ID card, and other items. Some of these could
become especially important after an emergency, and you don’t want to
have to struggle to prove your identity or insurance coverage in the
aftermath of a disaster. These should be kept in a watertight container.
Finally, consider something to alleviate stress and help pass the time. A deck of cards, paper and pencils, a harmonica, yo-yo, or books can help keep everyone distracted and relieve stress. You might be surprised at what a difference a little distraction can make. It can help everyone stay calm and avoid panic--which is critical for survival. .