Emergency Food and Water Preparation

A storm is seen hovering over a city.

Photograph by Kelly on Pexels

Hurricanes, heavy rainstorms, cold fronts, and extreme heat temperatures can cause power outages. Therefore, you must have emergency food and water preparation in case one of these emergencies arise in your city.

What food should I prepare for an emergency?

Proper food and water supply are critical in harsh weather conditions. Experts believe that it is necessary to have at least a three-day supply of food and water available.  

Store foods that have a long shelf life. Ensure that the food does not require water, refrigeration, or little to no cooking.

You might consider purchasing dehydrated or freeze-dried food. These items tend to have a longer storage life. Buying canned food is a classic option for food storage. Avoid purchasing canned products containing water or oil inside because they will more easily spoil. Dry mixes can also be beneficial. Do not store salty or spicy foods that will cause you to drink more water, which might be in short supply.

Write down the expiration dates for all your stored foods. Once you have a good amount of emergency rations, you can incorporate those food items into your regular meals. Replace them in your emergency supply as soon as you can. If you have pets, make sure to meet their needs too. Create a surplus of food, water, and other necessities for them.

Where do I store my emergency food preparations?

Cool, dark, and dry locations are the best place for storing your emergency food supply. According to Extension Food Safety Specialists, avoiding extreme temperature changes and exposure to light will maintain food quality for a lengthy period. Warm temperatures cause numerous foods to spoil faster than cooler temperatures. The ideal setting for your emergency food supply is between 40° to 70°F. Consequently, it is necessary to keep the stored foods away from refrigerator exhausts.

Also, store foods away from petroleum products such as gasoline, oil, paints, and solvents. Some food products absorb the smell given off by these products. No one wants to eat food that smells and tastes like petroleum. You should also seal your food in waterproof and airtight containers to keep away bugs and rodents.

What else do I need for emergency food preparation?

You will also need other items to prepare your food. Paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils are essential. How will you open the canned food? You might have an electric can-opener, but if the electricity goes out, you won’t be able to use it. Purchasing both a manual can-opener and a bottle-opener is the solution.

If you can go outside during an emergency, have a charcoal grill, propane gas grill, or camping stove available. You will also need charcoal or propane fuel to cook. Heavy-duty aluminum foil is always handy for food preparation. To avoid inhaling smoke a carbon monoxide poisoning, do your emergency grilling and stove cooking outdoors.

How should I prepare water for an emergency?

You should store at least a three-day supply of one gallon of water for each day for each person and each pet. If you have the room in your dwelling to stock up a two-week emergency supply, that is even better.

Factory-sealed water bottles are the most trustworthy and convenient option for storing emergency water. Ensure the expiration dates are far enough into the future that you can gradually drink the supply and replace it as needed. Like food products, do not store water near petroleum products, toxic substances, and pesticides.

If you found this article insightful, please read about five tips for restorative sleep.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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