Store what you eat. During a disaster is not a good time to try new menu items. Storing what you already use makes it much easier to rotate food items back to your pantry when they need to be eaten, and to restock with fresh items. You can also purchase small amounts of emergency meals for your family to try, and then decide if you like them enough to store them. Many camping and chain stores have freeze-dried and ready-to-eat meals, or you can make your own. The internet contains a wealth of information about how to make your own emergency food ranging from camping and backpacking items to ‘emergency rations.’
|For Your Home||For Your Car|
Types of items to include:
Use canned foods for easy storage and long shelf life. Choose ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables that your family likes. Try to pick items that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
Also recommended are canned or dried juice mixes, powdered or canned milk, high energy food (peanut butter, jelly, crackers, unsalted nuts and trail mix); cereals, pasta and rice. Remember to eat at least one balanced meal each day. It is also a good idea to pack comfort foods such as candy, cookies or other special treats.
Store foods in a single or family meal-size package. During a disaster, you may not have a way to refrigerate leftovers.
Don’t forget your pets! Store canned and dry pet food along with an extra collar and leash. Be sure to include food and water bowls.
Add a manual can opener, cooking and eating utensils, and basic food seasonings.
Store a three day supply of water for each family member and pet. One gallon per person per day is recommended for drinking, cooking and washing. Write the date on the water containers and replace them as needed.
Learn how to remove water from your hot water heater in case you need it. (This is a good reason your water heater should be strapped to your wall to ensure it doesn’t tip over during an earthquake!) Be sure to turn off the gas or electricity to the tank before draining off the water for emergency use.
Purify water by boiling it for 10 minutes. Water purification tablets or a filter system such as those designed for campers and backpackers also work.
Other items to include:
First aid kit
List of insurance policy numbers
Copy of prescriptions
Extra eye glasses
Hearing aid batteries
Cooking stove with fuel
Cooking pots and pans
Sturdy shoes for each family member
Ax, shovel, broom
Pliers, wrench, pry bar
Household bleach and medicine dropper
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Books, games and other activities
Map of area (for identifying evacuation routes or shelter locations)
Diapers, baby formula
Warm set of clothes for each family member
In any season, it is a good practice to never let the gas tank of one’s vehicle get below half full. By always having at least a half full gas tank, you should be able to get at least 100 to 150 miles away without stopping if an emergency evacuation becomes necessary. Also, make sure that your vehicle remains in good mechanical condition. A mechanical failure threatens the safety not only the vehicle owner, but also of all the other people on the road behind who are behind a disabled vehicle.
Below is a list of items you may want to keep in your car in case of emergencies:
Cell phone charger
Clothing (jacket, boots etc.)
Electrical repair kit (i.e. fuses, wire, tape etc.)
Emergency contact info
First Aid Kit
Flares or warning reflectors
Flashlight and headlamp –LED if possible because they last longer and take less energy
Food/MREs/ High calorie-protein bars
Maps, local and topo
Pocket knife of multi-tool
Quart of oil, brake and transmission fluid
Siphon and empty gas can
“Stop Leak” Tire Inflation