You Don't Need to be a homesteader to be prepared in times of an emergency. In our area a snow storm or high winds can disrupt power for days. Preparing an emergency food supply will allow you to feed your family for a few days, even if you have no electricity. When preparing your emergency food supply keep in mind your family's food preferences, and include some comfort foods which will help to elevate spirits in a stressful situation. Avoid salty foods that will make you thirsty because water may need to be conserved. The general recommendation for water is one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand. By gathering them and storing them in one location it can help your household through the worst days of an emergency. If you put them in a Grab-N-Go tote, you can take them with you in the event that you can’t remain at home. This list includes shelf stable foods that mostly require little to no cooking or added water.
• Canned meats, including soups (reduced sodium)
• Canned fruits and juices
• Canned vegetables, including soups (reduced sodium)
• Protein or fruit bars
• Dry cereal
• Ultra-pasteurized milk (only needs refrigeration after opening)
• Dry powdered milk
• Dehydrated potatoes & canned gravy
• Instant rice
• Peanut butter & jelly
• High energy foods, like nuts and dried fruit
• Comfort foods such as cookies, hard candies, instant coffee and tea bags
• Food for infants and for special dietary needs
• Staples, such as sugar, salt, pepper
• Water – 1 gallon per person per day
Make sure you have a can opener and knife for opening products, and disposable cups, plate, bowls and utensils.
Store your emergency food supply in a cool, dry place that is rodent proof. Some foods can be stored indefinitely, while others have a six month or one year shelf life, so check your supply every six months, and replenish as needed.
Cooking – A grill or camp stove that heats with propane can be used outdoors. If you want to be able to cook indoors, consider purchasing a butane burner and canisters. You may reheat canned foods in the can if you remove the label first to avoid a fire hazard.
Emergency Preparedness resources can be found at the Cornell Cooperative Extension website, www.ccesaratoga.org, under the Food & Nutrition tab. You can also find the following suggested resources for preparing a 3-Day emergency food supply at other government websites.
Keep Your Food Safe During Emergencies: Power Outages, Floods & Fires, www.fsis.usda.gov/ (search for title)