Winter weather can often cause national emergencies such as widespread power outages, hazardous road conditions, and flooding. We don't have a shortage of emergency weather-related situations in Utah, which can leave people homeless, without heat or light for several hours, or stuck on the highway due to a car accident.
Although these conditions can be aggravating at best, some can last up to 72 hours without relief. How would you do if you were trapped at home or in your car with nothing but the things you have on hand to help you survive? Can you have enough food and water, as well as a source of heat/warmth and other emergency supplies, for the last three or more days?
This question might be difficult to answer if you are new to food storage and emergency preparedness. Even if you think you're prepared, it's a good idea to go over the basics and see what should be included in a 72-hour emergency kit.
Here are Wild Oak Trail's six tips for planning your portable emergency supply.
1) Include the following foods in the 3-day Supply Kit:
Stock canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that do not need refrigeration, heating, water, or special preparation, as well as a manual can opener and eating utensils, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA 2012). Here are some examples:
Canned meats, fruits, and vegetables that are ready to consume
Fruit or protein bars
Granola or dry cereal
Peanut butter and jelly
Nuts, crackers, or chips
Powdered drink mixes that can be mixed with water
Stress/comfort foods, candy bars, etc.
2) Include the following beverages in the 3-day Supply Kit:
Water in a bottle
Fruits or soda (If possible, avoid diet sodas because the artificial sweeteners break down and can create an off taste in soda that has been processed past its expiration date.) Regular soda, on the other hand, would taste flat.)
Pasteurized non-perishable milk (Sold in cartons; does not require refrigeration.)
3) Where should the 3-day Supply supply package be kept?
These supplies should be kept in a safe position near a front door or garage if you need to evacuate on short notice when at home. One or two compact containers can suffice. Consider a tote with wheels and a handle, as well as backpacks and other lightweight items. Make sure they'll fit in your car and that you can carry or drag them to a safe place if you have to abandon them.
4) The amount of water that should be included:
A gallon of water per person (adult) per day is recommended. However, the amount of water you need depends on your age, physical health, exercise, diet, and environment. Whether purchased in individual serving sizes or larger containers like 3-liter jugs, bottled water is the easiest to store. Think how you'll transport this once more.
5) At home, how to keep food cold or frozen:
Ensure perishable items stay usable for as long as possible if you have a power outage that doesn't cause you to leave your house. Fill empty spaces with bagged blocks of ice or fill clean plastic containers/jugs with water and freeze if you have enough notice or extra freezer space. Food in the freezer can remain cold for 1-2 days even though it does not stay fully frozen. Refrigerated foods can last longer if they are placed in insulated ice chests and covered with cubed ice.
6) How to keep emergency food supplies in good condition:
It's essential to have a 72-hour supply of food and water and store it securely and rotate it to keep it tasty and safe to eat.
Store the foods in a cold, dry setting.
To keep pests at bay and prolong shelf life, store in tightly sealed plastic or metal containers.
Throw out any canned goods that are dented, corroded, or bulging.
Use foods up until their expiration/freshness dates, then substitute as required.
Rotate water storage at least once a year.
Review your food and water storage needs on an annual basis as your family grows or shrinks.
The initial time and financial investment required to build a 3-day emergency food supply can seem overwhelming. However, once you've identified yourself, you'll be less afraid because you'll know you're trained and can feed your family in an emergency.