I received an
outpouring of concern from many who knew I was in the midst of
the “bomb cyclone” blizzard in Nebraska that has now
turned into flooding in much of the state.
of watching ranchers brave the elements to protect pregnant
cows and those with newborn babies from screaming winds of
snow has been both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. In
preparation for the predicted super storm, my ranching family
and friends spread out huge swaths of extra hay for their cows
which also served as a bed of comfort and warmth for their
babies. Tragically, many of our neighbors to the east were not
as fortunate as they have watched their livestock perish in
It takes a lot
of energy to brave natural disasters … for humans and
animals alike. And during such trying times, food can provide
comfort as well as nourishment. A well-stocked emergency kit
can supply both … and perhaps save lives.
flashlight, batteries, first aid kit and a battery-powered
radio, here are the supplies experts at www.ready.gov
recommend we have ready for extreme emergencies:
water: At least 3 gallons per person or 1 gallon per person
per day for three days.
— Food: At
least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food such as
ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables. (Don’t
forget a can opener!) Also protein and fruit bars, dry cereal
or granola, peanut butter, dried fruit and nut mixes, canned
juice, and individual boxes of soy beverage or non-perishable
pasteurized milk that does not require refrigeration.
supplies: bleach wipes, towelettes, garbage bags with ties.
Comfort/stress foods. Yes, just like a warm bed of hay, we do
need foods that provide comfort as well as nutrition during
times of severe calamity. For me, that would be M&M’s or
peanut butter cookies.
emergency preparedness experts, keep all food in covered,
water-proof containers. If cooking is not possible,
commercially canned foods may be eaten out of a can without
heating. And do not eat any food that has come in contact with
contaminated flood water.
If the power
goes out, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much
as possible. Refrigerated food will stay cold for about 4
hours if it is unopened. Thawed food usually can be eaten if
it is still “refrigerator cold.” It can be re-frozen if it
still contains ice crystals.
perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or
leftovers if the temperature in your fridge reaches higher
than 40 degrees for more than 2 hours. And remember, “When
in doubt, throw it out.”
If you know a
power outage is likely, stock up on dry ice. A 25-pound bag
will keep food frozen in a 10-foot freezer for 3 to 4 days.
Just remember to handle dry ice with heavy gloves and don’t
let it come in direct contact with the food.
Stay safe and
please continue to pray for our farmers and ranchers in the