Natural disasters are inevitable, but one way we can prepare for these unexpected events is to store an emergency stash of food and water at home. Floods and storms can come quickly and without warning, and in those moments, the last thing you need to be doing is driving around looking for emergency supplies because you can be putting yourself in danger.
Storing food and water requires proper handling, so nothing spoils and you’ll have enough for everyone in your family. Below are some useful tips on how to best store your emergency supply of food and water:
- Create a list of food items you will need. Make sure that they are non-perishable or can last several days without spoiling because power outages during emergency situations are common, and when that happens, refrigerators don’t work.
- Occasionally check the expiration dates on your stocked food items. Use those that are nearing their expiration date and replace them to be sure you keep things stocked. If there are items in your emergency stash that you use on a regular basis, each time you buy new stuff, place it in the emergency stash and use what was already in there first. This will help you prevent waste.
- Purchase supplies in bulk. If you have advanced warning that a natural disaster is heading your way, purchase food in bulk and water in gallons, so you have enough for you and your family for a few.
- Buy supplies in variety. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy what you eat. Be sure to include a variety of food in your emergency storage, so you will have enough to eat and you can enjoy a normal range of flavors.
- Store water in a cool, dark place that is hidden from direct exposure to the sun. Bacteria build up is much faster and more likely when water is exposed to heat. It doesn’t do any good to have water during an emergency if it could be damaging your health.
- Buy food and water in containers that have air tight lids. This will prevent them from being exposed to certain bacteria. Also buy sealed plastic bags, aluminum foil, and cling wrap, so you can store excess food properly during an emergency.