Authorities recommend that most households have at least three days’ worth of emergency supplies on hand at all times. You never know when a disaster might strike and make you rely on what you have on hand. However, you can know what items to have in food storage in case of a disaster.
Everyone will need to stay hydrated. You might even need water as an ingredient for meal preparation and cleaning. Personal needs may vary, but 1 gallon of water per person per day is a good rule of thumb to start with. Powdered beverage mixes, be it fruit punches or milk, can help add some taste.
One staple you might not think of for a disaster is coffee. Having a 2 lb bag of whole bean Colombian coffee can prove very useful. Just drinking bottled water and powdered milk might get old really fast. Without soda available, coffee is a great way to get your caffeine fix in an emergency. Also, if you and friends are just sitting around waiting for the power to come back on or snow to break, then sharing a cup of joe around a fire or emergency lantern can be a source of social camaraderie.
Modern grocery shopping makes it easy to store up packaged snacks, and some of them have a shelf life long enough to sit in the disaster section of your pantry without going bad. While they make things easy, they’re also nutritionally deficient in many cases. Be sure you have solid sources of protein available to keep everyone’s strength up. Canned meats work well, but you can also rely on beans, nuts, and legumes.
If the power and water are out, cleaning things is impossible. Plan on using paper plates, single-use utensils, and plastic cups for the time being.
A camp stove fueled by gas is necessary to boil water and cook food. If you have outdoor space, you might be able to build a fire, but you can’t rely on having electricity in the aftermath of a disaster.
The kind of disaster you might face can vary drastically based on the region you live in. Some areas of the country are most threatened by hurricanes, whereas others might have higher risks of snowstorms, tornadoes, or earthquakes. No matter the kind of disaster, you can help your family get through it with the right emergency food storage already in your pantry or shelter.