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Do 1 Thing: Food

Categories: Do 1 Thing, General, Preparedness

By Cate Shockey

This blog is part of a series, covering a preparedness topic each month from the Do 1 Thing Program.  Join us this month as we tackle “food.”

A delicious topic – food!  As a super picky eater with minimal cooking skills, a prepackaged stockpile is right up my alley.  

The Do 1 Thing task of the month is to work on your emergency food supply.  CDC encourages storing enough food for at least three days if you have to evacuate, and a two week supply for your home.  You’ll want to store foods that you eat regularly that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking. 

Cate's Food SupplyFor me, cereal hoarding has finally paid off.  I added some soup, crackers, dry pasta, some candy, and a manual can opener to my supply.  I also added in an extra gallon bag of dog food for the pup.  (Make sure you consider the dietary needs of your family and include pets in your food storage plan!)

The key is to buy ahead of time.  Look for sales.  Use coupons.  Replace items before they run out or expire.  Be aware of the food you have and how long it will last.  

My coworker Maggie is taking a fresh approach to her emergency food supply. Raising backyard chickens, Maggie and her husband collect an average of 18 eggs a week from their 3 chickens.  They also use the chicken bedding for compost, which they add to their garden that supplies them with fresh veggies. Growing a garden ensures that you have nutritious food, but also greatly improves your self-sustainability in an emergency.

Another option is to stock your food supply with MREs (Meal Ready To Eat), ensuring easily-prepared meals when in an emergency. The food in an MRE is already cooked and does not require added water, with the added benefit of being nutritionally-balanced. Coworker  Alanna keeps her MREs with her Red Cross emergency backpack, making her emergency food supply accessible as well as portable.

There are so many different options for getting your food supply ready.  Here are a few additional steps you can take this month for your food supply:

  • Install a thermometer in your fridge and freezer. In case of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.
  • Pick up a sealed storage bin for your emergency supply.  This will help keep the food fresh for longer and also keep out little critters looking for a snack.
  • Store your food in a cool, dry spot – out of the sun.  
  • Wrap any perishable foods, like cookies or crackers, in plastic bags and put them in sealed containers. 
  • Add a manual can opener to your food supply kit. You never know when there will be a power outage and you’ll need it!

If there is a power outage, remember this rule:  Eat the food in the fridge first, the freezer next, and then your stockpile.  This should help make your food supply last longer.

See Do 1 Thing’s food checklist for more tips and information, and start putting your plans in place for unexpected events.   Are YOU ready?

Leave a Comment

What foods do you have in your emergency kit? What can’t you live without? Tips on how to plan ahead for certain dietary restrictions like diabetes or gluten allergies? Share them in our comments section!

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