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Keeping your Emergency Kit Nutritious

Posted on by Blog Administrator

Vegetables in cans

When gathering food for an emergency kit, we often think about items that do not require cooking or refrigeration and have a long storage life. Yet, we often forget to check the nutritional value of the food in our emergency kits. March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to review the food in your emergency kit and makes sure it is healthy and not expired. Here are a few healthy tips to keep in mind when gathering food for your emergency kit and reviewing the food you have already stored.

1. Avoid salty snacks.

Salty snacks make you thirsty and increase your need to drink water. When you have a limited supply of food and water, you don’t want foods that will make you want to drink more water than you need or planned for.

2. Include protein.

While you may not be able to rely on your normal sources of protein like meat, after an emergency, you should still include some good sources of protein in your emergency kit. Nuts, protein bars and peanut butter can be sustaining foods that can help keep you full and are easy to store in your emergency kit.

3. Look for high-energy foods.Mother and daughter with can

Food with protein, carbohydrates, and good fats can help keep your energy up, which can be very important during or after a disaster. Choose foods like nuts, dried meat, whole grains (crackers, cereal, etc.) and canned beans, fruits, or vegetables.

4. Don’t forget water.

Water is a crucial part of any emergency kit. Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. If possible, try to store a 2-week supply of water or at least a 3-day supply of water for each person in your family. Unopened, commercially bottled water is the safest and most reliable emergency water supply.

5.  Make sure your emergency kit food is healthy and safe.

In addition to choosing the right foods for your emergency kit, you should also regularly review the content of your kit to make sure none of your food has expired or become dented or damaged. Keep the food in your emergency kit in a dry, cool spot, out of the sun to help ensure that the food does not become damaged or unusable.

6. Stick with what you know.

The most important part choosing food for your emergency kit is making sure you know how to prepare and will want to eat the food you store. Stick with foods you know your family will eat. Also, do not forget about food allergies or dietary needs of your loved ones. Consider how you will meet everyone’s unique nutritional needs if you can only access your emergency kit food supply.

For more information about choosing and storing food for your emergency kit, visit CDC’s webpage http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/index.asp.

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24 comments on “Keeping your Emergency Kit Nutritious”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    The most interesting part of this blog is that it helps inform people of how to pack and prepare emergency food kits. This blog relates to my life because I have a young daughter and a husband and we are due for some kind of disaster here in California i.e. an earthquake. It is important for me and everyone to know how to be prepared for a big disaster. This knowledge has helped me to change the fact that I am not prepared for any type of disaster. We do not have any extra water and we do not have any type of food that would be sustainable for any amount of time if a disaster occurred. I will change this and prepare emergency kits for my entire family.

    I thought the most interesting thing about this blog was to include a gallon of water for pets as well as each person planning for. I think a lot of people forget about their animals in planning for an emergency.
    This relates to my life because I tend to not be the type of person that is planning for a emergency or having extra food items/water for the unexpected.
    The adjustments I can make personally in my life is to be better prepared for a natural disaster. I will begin to put together food kits with adequate supplies for my family and pets.

    This blog is interesting because people usually don’t even think about having, let alone preparing, an emergency kit. Also, it advises people what not to include and why you shouldn’t include it and it also gives healthy alternatives to those bad foods.

    This relates to me because I don’t have an emergency kit so it gets me to think I should, especially when I live in California where earthquakes are very common.

    The obvious adjustment I can make will be to arrange an emergency kit and ensuring it has nutritious foods that will help keep me healthy and energized during an emergency.

    From this blog, I learned that I can have multiple options of foods in my emergency kit that are not necessarily boring and bland items. I also learned that I need to avoid putting salty items in the kit because they are going to make me thirsty and the more thirsty I am, the more water I am going to drink. This relates to something in my life because I have never had an emergency kit but want to be proactive and start making one. This blog helped give me a lot of ideas of what I need to stock up on and keep in my vehicle and home. Some changes that I am going to make in my life after reading this blog is to actually put together an emergency kit and share with my friends and family to make one as well. It is better to be safe than sorry in a disaster.

    The interesting thing about this blog is that most people probably don’t realize nutritional value when packing food for their emergency kit. Also, it gives me an idea of what type of foods are important in the event a natural disaster occurs and you need access to food in your emergency kit. How this relates to my life is that, I don’t have an emergency kit at the moment, but after reading this blog, this gives me a better idea of what type of food should go into my kit and what should not. Some changes I can make based off of this is that I know that protein will be very important being included into my kit as well as adequate amount of water which is about 1 gallon per day. Also, I have to be aware of any food allergies that any family members may or may not have.

    I find this blog to be very informative and extremely useful, especially because when it comes to emergency kits, most people, as you have mentioned, mainly look for foods that have a long storage life and we have to realize that we can only live off of canned corn and beans for so long. So, having a nutritionally balanced kit can sustain us for a longer amount of time. Recently, I have been considering making emergency kits for my family so I will most definitely be referring to this blog to get it started. As for storing the emergency kit, where would you most likely recommend that we keep them because when natural disasters hit, who knows which part of our homes will be accessible?

    I think that nutrition for emergency food stores tends to be overlooked. Being a fairly nutritious person myself, even I had not really thought about balancing meals in cases of emergency. On that note, it’s somewhat understandable that someone might not care too much about a properly balanced diet when faced with a disaster. One would think that just making sure you have enough of whatever fills basic hunger needs would suffice, especially when considering foods that are viable for long storage. But it’s definitely something to think about, and it’s an interesting idea overall.

    – Being that most of us live in an area that has a natural disaster,earthquakes for me, it seems that most of us don’t have an emergency food supply in-case something were to happen. This is a very good guideline for what we should pack in our emergency food supply.
    – Now, I don’t know if this is everywhere but I recently had to build an emergency food supply bag for my nephew in elementary school. The school supplied a list of examples foods that should sustain the child in the case that an emergency occurred. The list that the school provided was filled with items that wouldn’t sustain a child very well in the case of an emergency. I remember seeing juice boxes, salty crackers, and cookies; items that were typically high in sodium and can / will dehydrate someone quite quickly. Should the schools not follow this guideline for our children as well?
    – I realize that the schools want us to give our children something that they would enjoy if something were to go wrong. but something as simple as water should be a very important item on the list that the schools provide.

    Good points for preparing your emergency kit. I never thought that much about what to put in my kit. I will make sure that food is not too salty and I pack protein.

    What is interesting about this blog? I thing that I thought was interesting about this that it is showing the proper way to have an emergency kit.
    How does this relate to something in your life. This relates in my life because, I feel it is very important for everyone to have emergency kits for everyone in there home. You honestly never know when some type of disaster can happen.
    What changes or adjustments can you make from the knowledge gained in this blog? This blog has made me realize that i should probably start fresh on my emergency kits. I never really put a lot of thought into them besides that they need to feed and hydrate my family. The nutritional part of the emergency kit is very important and now i have realized this.

    What was interesting about this blog is that it made me think about the importance of a nutritious emergency kit. Its relatable to me, because in everyday life i’m thinking about healthy food just to maintain a good weight.
    The changes or adjustments that i can make from the knowledge in this blog is to actually set aside or pack these important foods in case of a disaster.

    Very interesting blog, I never thought i had to consider the kinds of food that goes in an emergency kit. i especially like how you mentioned about preparing salty food is not ideal because it will make you more thirsty. Having water is really important. At the moment, my family is preparing for drought we are experiencing. we have alot of water bottles stored in house but im not too sure if it a two week supply. Along with that, we purchase a emergency kit at our local sam’s club that has everything we need in case of a disaster. it always good to prepare for these things even when everything at the moment is normal.

    This blog is interesting because it reminds us to include food in emergency kits, which may be an idea that is often forgotten since medical supplies are often first priority in disaster scenarios. I personally don’t have an emergency kit, let alone have gathered food for an emergency kit and this post has definitely reminded me how important it is to do so. Living in California comes with a few earthquakes now and then, so being prepared for “the big one” by having an emergency kit and food/water supplies ready will be extremely helpful. With the knowledge gained in this blog, I should definitely start preparing an emergency stock of healthy and safe foods. It is also critical for me to remember to avoid salty foods since it will only increase thirst for water, as well as to include sources of protein that have long shelf lives.

    @Park you should store your emergency food supply in a dry, cool spot–out of the sun. Your disaster supplies kit should be stored in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag. For more information about storing and maintaining your emergency kit visit, http://www.ready.gov/maintaining-your-kit.

    This blog is very interesting, in regards to helping me realize and think about things that we may not think about on a regular basis. When we think of food as mentioned at the beginning of the blog, we simply think of anything dry and something good to eat but forget about the nutritional aspect of it. This can relate a lot to my life whether it is in an emergency kit or in daily life snack packets we keep as extra food. With this information, it allows me to have an insight to pick up food items and read the nutritional values before putting it into an emergency kit and also this is definitely good information to have for even the purpose of the people around me and making them aware of it to.

    1. The interesting thing about this blog is that it teaches us the types of food to have in an emergency. We must have high energy foods such as nuts and protein bars to give us strength. We also must avoid salty foods because it makes us thirsty (dehydration leads to death).
    2. This relates to my life because I have an emergency kit a home with a lot of salty snacks like cheese-its, pretzels, and saltine crackers. We must avoid salty food to reduce consumption of water. Unfortunately, salt preserves food and food with high storage life are high in sodium.
    3. The adjustments I can make regarding this blog is to go in my emergency kit and check if the food I have is healthy enough for a disaster. I must replace my salty snacks with trail mix and granola bars.

    What I found interesting about this post was how it was broken down into 6 simple tips, this would be a very useful post to look at whenever I plan on compiling an emergency food kit A change I will probably make is actually having an emergency food kit, it is important to be prepared for the worst which is not possible if I don’t have access to food in a bad situation

    What is interesting about this blog is that it educated the public on important things they should think about when preparing for an emergency situation. I like that the blog included information on what to avoid and what would be beneficial to your body. As nurses sometimes when we educate about public health we need to pass on valuable information about emergencies and disaster preparation. Some changes and adjustments that I need to make after reading this blog include planning an emergency kit, I never thought about making one. It convenient and it helps to be prepared.

    I found this blog interesting because most articles you read about don’t factor in the healthy side of eating during an emergency situation. This has me reevaluating the emergency kits I keep in my car as well at my home. Reading this helped me think outside the box when it comes to what I should pack for each member of my household. Canned vegetables, no salt added, such as corn, peas, tomatoes, and beets. Adds one of Pritikin’s RDs, Dr. Jay Kenney: “Canned unsalted beets taste great with a little balsamic vinegar.”

    1. This topic is interesting because personally, I did not think to consider all of these tips. I just figured collecting items that were easy to store and lasted-long were the best tips to use. Also, I did not visualize the amount of water each person would need. According the waterready.org, a good rule of thumb would be to supply one gallon of water per person, per day (waterready.gov). That’s a lot of water. Being a resident of Southern California, it is extremely good to know these tips because of our proximity to major fault lines and the posing threat of earthquakes. Going forward, I can be sure to make emergency kits that will be beneficial to the safety and livelihood of me, as well as others around me. Anyone interested in blogging can take advantage of it by using it as a platform to spread awareness of the need for properly nutritious emergency kits.

    I love all of this information! I’m from Mississippi and have most of my family there still. All of us went through Hurricane Katrina and could have done with reading this blog post. When people are preparing an emergency kit for themselves or their family they just prep by recommendations and by knowledge of what non-perishable food items. Those guidelines aren’t very specific many times. The Federal Emergency Management Agency only states “food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food” in their recommendation for a basic disaster supplies kit. But the last thing you’d want is to survive a disaster and then compromise your health because of inadequate supplies. I’ll be forwarding this to many of those Mississippi family members since it’s now hurricane season.

    As a cardiac and emergency nurse I appreciate the attention and suggestions of creating emergency food kits with thought to medical conditions and health. Disaster create a state of high stress in the body which makes the body more susceptible to illness or exacerbation of chronic conditions. In addition to allergens and adequate nutrition, attention should be directed to sodium and sugar content for individuals with conditions such as congestive heart failure and diabetes. Exploring alternative sources of protein without meat lends to creativity and planning on the collaborators part. Adequate water supply is essential and critical to life above all other sources of food.

    Some great tips in this article. I’m a nutritionist and I normally advise people to avoid canned food because of the salt content but in this case, preparing for an emergency I’d recommend choosing the most nutritious and lowest sodium foods possible. Nuts, protein bars, canned vegetables and tuna are good choices.

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