As another formidable storm approaches the hurricane ravaged East Coast, our typical fall weather (overcast, drizzling) feels comparatively safe. My thoughts are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy as they struggle to stay warm, dry, and fed during another challenging week.
Disaster preparedness includes stocking up on food and water to eat in the event of a natural disaster or extended power outage. While we don’t get many hurricanes here in Whatcom County, it never hurts to have an earthquake, volcano, or windstorm-preparedness plan in place.
When it comes to storing food for a disaster, there are a couple of important rules and first among them is rotation. Rather than hiding a thousand cans of soup and a hundred packets of freeze dried ice cream in some dusty corner of your cellar, store items you’ll eat on a regular basis, label them with the month and year, and eat them before they spoil. New, replacement packages can go behind the older ones as they come in. It’s a good idea to keep foods in a cool, dark spot, but don’t stick them someplace where you’ll never see them again!
Store familiar foods that your family will enjoy. Not only are they less likely to spoil due to neglect, they’ll also offer comfort during a true emergency.
In addition to choosing foods your family likes to eat, you should also choose foods that are healthy and nutritionally balanced. Another consideration is ease of preparation: can most of your stored foods be eaten without added water, heat, or unavailable equipment or ingredients? Make sure to keep a manual can-opener on hand.
Water is absolutely essential, too, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that families store (and rotate) at least 14 gallons per person—a two week supply.
Additional tips on food and water for emergencies are available here: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf