During heavy snowstorm when the power went out a few years ago, my food was starting to get boring after five days. I’d eaten all my fresh food and gone through my canned food.
How much food and water should you have on hand for an emergency?
You should have a kit that contains food, water, and supplies for at least three days, recommends the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Store water in food-grade storage containers, or if you want to make your own containers, use two-liter plastic soft drink bottles. Don’t use plastic jugs that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars can’t be adequately be removed so bacteria could grow in those containers.
You’ll need one gallon of water daily for each person for three days.
For food, avoid foods that will make people thirsty. Select salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content. Dry mixes and other staples that don’t require refrigeration or cooking also are good choices. Be sure to include a manual can opener.
For specific planning, determine what kinds of emergencies may occur in your area. In the Pacific Northwest where I live, it could be winter storms, forest fires, landslides, flooding, earthquakes, and tsunamis in some areas.
See FEMA’s “Are You Ready?” booklet for information on getting the basics you’ll need, developing an emergency plan, seeking shelter during different types of hazards, and identifying evacuation routes. The guide has checklists to help you get prepared.