How Much Food Should You Store for Emergencies?

If you're planning to store food for a natural disaster or emergency, it's important to know how much you should store. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you should store at least one gallon of water and 2000 calories of food per day for each person in your household. This is the minimum requirement for a 72-hour emergency kit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing 1 gallon per day for each person and, if possible, creating a two-week supply.

When deciding what foods to store, use common sense. Consider what you could use and how you could prepare it. Storing foods that are difficult to prepare and that are unlikely to be consumed could be a costly mistake. 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.

Planning for short-term emergency food needs can be as simple as increasing the quantities of some basic, non-perishable foods that you would normally use. Your 72-hour emergency supply goal should be to store high-calorie foods that sustain you in the short term.Don't forget to store more water if you have pets. 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. In addition, a food year is an important safety net as a self-sustaining food production cycle is established.Consider placing zip-lock plastic bags for storing food or freezing food in your emergency supplies.

Military and camping supply tents are good sources of some compact, well-preserved foods that are good choices for emergency preparedness kits. Of course, individuals and families who store six months or more of food security have significantly greater peace of mind that they will be able to endure any emergency. 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.The amount and type of food to be stored will depend on your household members, their preferences, their special health conditions, the ability to use food in an emergency, and the storage space. One approach to long-term food storage is to store basic foods in bulk along with a variety of canned and dry foods.

Karen Borchert
Karen Borchert

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