When it comes to emergency food storage, it's important to have the right items on hand. Peanut butter is a great source of energy, packed with healthy fats and proteins, and doesn't need to be refrigerated after opening. Multi-grain cereals that are individually packaged are also a good choice, as they won't go bad quickly. Ready-to-eat emergency foods are easy to find at your local grocery store, but they tend to be nutritionally lacking.
Granola bars and soup out of a can may be OK for a day or two during a blackout, but all that sugar, fat, and sodium will make you feel bad in the long run. Camping tents are a great source of compact, well-preserved foods that are good for emergency preparedness kits. For an all-in-one shortcut, you can order 3-day emergency preparedness kits from the American Red Cross. The federal government recommends having a basic emergency supply kit that includes enough food and water for each member of your household for at least three days.
Before an emergency, equip refrigerators and freezers with thermometers to monitor temperature. It's not always safe to cook after a disaster, so having ready-to-eat food is essential. If you follow a special diet or have food allergies, you'll need to make replacements. Food in cans or jars may appear undamaged, but the heat from the fire may have activated bacteria that spoil food.
Treat food exposed to firefighting water the same way you would treat food exposed to flood waters.When stocking up on emergency food items, it's important to choose items that will last for at least 30 days. Choose foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in sugar and sodium. Canned fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, canned meats, dried fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein bars are all good choices for long-term storage. Be sure to store emergency supplies where they are safe from insects and rodent pests as well as flooding.