Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

What should I keep in the pantry for emergencies?

It is a good idea to think ahead about this very subject. Many of us don’t prepare for emergencies as we should and hope that running to the grocery store will get us what we need in the face of a storm.

We definitely should have on hand staples including non-perishable food items that will provide nourishment for everyone in the household (don’t forget the pet).

Be sure to update your emergency supply rations every six months and use what is ready to expire and replace with fresh items.

Here are some items to add to the emergency stock:

  • Water – keep enough for drinking and cooking at minimum for each person in the household. You should have one gallon of water per day per person or pet according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Keep at least a three day supply and up to two weeks if space allows.
  • You can store water in clean containers before a storm hits, sanitize the container with 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach per one quart of water.  Let the container air dry before adding water. Label and date drinking water and dispose of after six months. Store in cool dry place in air tight container.
  • Stock up on at least a three day supply (up to two weeks if possible) per person of non-perishable foods such as canned foods, fruits, vegetables, beans, shelf stable milk, crackers, granola bars, nuts, canned juice, canned soup, dried fruits, canned chili and protein foods like chicken, tuna and peanut butter. Date food and monitor for expiration.
  • If needed, include baby formula and pet food in your emergency pantry.
  • Include a manual can opener and dry matches or lighter.
  • Store paper plates, utensils, aluminum foil, cooking stove and charcoal, paper towels, wet wipes, bottle opener, food storage bags, garbage bags.
  • If you experience a power outage eat from the refrigerator first, next the freezer then your pantry to avoid waste.

It’s good to be ready and with a little planning, between what you normally keep in your pantry and some extras to round out the list, you will be able to handle the emergencies that might occur this storm season.

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