Preparing an Emergency Food Kit
Having an emergency food kit on hand is important when a disaster strikes.
Having an emergency food kit on hand is important when a disaster strikes. Safe food, drinkable water and electricity may not be available for days or weeks. An emergency food kit contains enough water and food for each household member for at least 3 days. Store it in a cool, dry place that is easily accessible and separate from your usual groceries.
- Disinfect by boiling: Bring water to a rolling boil and boil for at least 3 minutes. Cool water before you use it unless you will cook with it.
- Disinfect with bleach: Add 1/8 teaspoon of unscented household bleach to 1 gallon of water. Stir and wait 30 minutes. There should be a faint odor of bleach remaining, if not, repeat the procedure. (The amount of bleach used to purify water is different from the amount used to make a sanitizing solution, which involves using more bleach.)
- Dried foods: beef jerky, crackers, fruit, powdered milk, ready-to-eat cereals
- Canned foods: beans; fruit; fruit juices; meats and fish, such as tuna and chicken; soups; vegetables
- High-energy foods: breakfast bars, cookies, granola bars, nuts, peanut butter, protein bars, trail mix
- Baby formula and baby food, if needed
- Can opener
- Hand sanitizer
- Important family documents such as passports, birth certificates, social security numbers
- Medical supplies, first-aid kit
- Paper plates and plastic utensils
- Portable radio
- Prescription drugs
- Waterproof matches
References and Resources
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. (2007, June). A consumer’s guide to food safety: Severe storms & hurricanes. (Rev. ed.), page 6.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. (2013, July 30). Keeping food safe during an emergency. Retrieved from https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/emergency-preparedness/keeping-food-safe-during-an-emergency/CT_Index