In the event of an emergency or natural disaster, it is important to have enough food and water to last at least 2000 calories and 1 gallon per day, per person. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends having a 72-hour supply of food, water, and non-perishable supplies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests creating a two-week supply if possible. Don't forget to store extra water if you have pets.
When it comes to food storage, it is important to use leftover canned foods within 3-4 days of refrigeration, unless they contain meat, poultry, or fish; these should be used within 2 days. Open dating is usually found on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. A best use date or best if used before date is the date of use to eat the food at its best quality or taste. When stocking up on emergency food, it is important to plan what to buy and how you'll use it.
You don't want to end up with a lot of unusable food after a disaster. Bacteria in food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to inspect canned food carefully for signs of damage if it has been in flood waters. In most cases, keeping canned food past the expiration date will only affect the taste of the product it contains. It is also important to keep a list of dates when food should be inspected and possibly rotated (used and then replaced with newly purchased items).
If you want to calculate specific daily amounts of food that meet your individual needs and those of your family, visit MyPyramid. Additionally, it may not always be safe to cook after a disaster, so having emergency food ready to eat is essential.Creating an emergency storage for your home doesn't have to be difficult. By following these tips, you can save money and rest a little easier knowing you have food you can trust.