When it comes to emergency preparedness, having a supply of food is essential. To ensure that you and your family are well-prepared, it's important to know how much emergency food to store. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing at least 2,000 calories of food per adult per day, as well as one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and disinfecting. It's also a good idea to create a two-week supply of water if possible.
When deciding what foods to store, it's important to consider what you can use and how you can prepare it. For an all-in-one shortcut, you can order 3-day emergency preparedness kits and other emergency supplies from the American Red Cross. Mishandling fresh food can also change the safe storage time of food, regardless of packaging dates. Having a week's worth of food for each person in your household will give you peace of mind in case of an emergency.
Store staple food packages purchased for emergency supply in airtight plastic food storage containers, glass jars with screw lids, or non-rusting metal cans. If you include canned food in your emergency food supply, inspect your supply regularly to make sure there are no rusty, leaking, bulging, or heavily dented containers and that there are no broken seals. For children, Valley Food Storage's 175-serving long-term food bucket contains about 23,000 calories, which would provide your child with food for at least two weeks at those calorie levels. Long-term food storage of 525 servings would provide about 70,000 calories, which equates to just over a month of food for this age group at those calorie levels.
Real Simple's emergency food supply list contains foods that don't need to be cooked and are nutritionally dense. This food supply should be non-perishable; select foods that do not require refrigeration, minimal or no preparation or cooking, and little or no water. A food year is an important safety net as a self-sustaining food production cycle is established. Having an adequate emergency food supply is essential for any disaster preparedness plan.
Knowing how much emergency food to store and what types of foods to store will help ensure that you and your family are well-prepared in case of an emergency.