when the Loma Prieta Earthquake wiped out power to the
surrounding community, I remember being thankful for the
battery-powered kidsí radio we had purchased at a garage
sale for a dollar. And for extra batteries.
young daughters thought cooking outside on the BBQ and dining
by candlelight was fun. For me it was a wake-up call to be
not alone. A recent Gallup poll reported that 41 percent of
people do not have extra food and water stocked for an
emergency and 27 percent do not have an extra supply of
medicine. Both should be basic disaster preparations, says the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
some other guidelines from FEMA and the American Red Cross:
enough food and water to last 2 weeks. Water is most important
ó at least 1 gallon per person per day for drinking, food
preparation and hygiene, says FEMA. Bottled water in its
original sealed container is safest. They caution against
using milk or juice containers which could harbor bacterial
familiar foods. We donít need more emergencies during an
emergency. Best foods are those that do not require
refrigeration or special preparation.
stocking canned goods and staples in a cabinet, make sure the
"Use by" dates get "used by" that date.
Remember FIFO? First In, First Out. Store new supplies in the
back and move others forward to use first.
emergency foods in a dry, cool, dark area if possible. Keep
sugar, dried fruit, and nuts in screw-top jars or air-tight
canisters to protect them from pests. Wrap crackers, granola
bars and cookies in plastic bags and sealed containers.
replace foods according to these general guidelines:
months: dry powdered milk, dried fruit, crackers
12 months: canned fruit, vegetables, soup and juice; cereal;
peanut butter, jelly, hard candy, nuts, vitamins.
than 12 months (if stored properly): vegetable oils, white
rice, pasta, dried beans, baking powder, salt, instant coffee,
tea and cocoa, non-carbonated soft drinks, bouillon products.
power goes off: Eat perishable food first ó from the
refrigerator, pantry or garden. Eat from the freezer next;
food should last at least 2 days if the door is not opened
often and the interior of the food still contains ice
non-perishable foods last Ö after you inspect for signs of
spoilage. Toss any canned item that is swollen, dented or
emergency, we can get by on less food but not on less water,
say experts. Each day, eat at least one balanced meal and
drink at least 2 quarts of water.