How to Prepare an Emergency Food Supply Kit

Having an emergency supply kit at home is the best way to prepare for a pandemic or other natural or man-made disaster. It should contain the essentials essential for each person in your family to survive, including fresh water, food, and medical supplies (including prescription drugs) for three days or two weeks. All items in the emergency kit should be inventoried and replenished regularly, usually every six months. When storing food, consider your family's unique needs and tastes.

Try to include foods that you enjoy and that are also nutritious. Look for foods that don't require refrigeration, preparation, or cooking. People with special diets and allergies will need special attention, as will infants, toddlers, and the elderly. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula if they are unable to breastfeed.Canned diet foods, juices, and soups may be useful for sick or elderly people.

Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils. And don't forget non-perishable food and water for your pets. To prepare it, pack at least 2,000 calories of food per adult per day. Also, pack at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and disinfecting in clean plastic containers.If you want to calculate specific daily amounts of food that meet your individual needs and those of your family, visit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing 1 gallon per day for each person and, if possible, recommends creating a two-week supply. Don't forget to store additional water if you have pets.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. This food supply must be non-perishable; select foods that do not require minimal or no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. The shopping list mainly includes non-perishable canned foods, with some perishable foods that are easy to find and store.Of course, this short-term prep kit should include food in addition to water, personal hygiene items, flashlights, blankets, and other essential items recommended for emergencies.

The first step is to consider what type of emergencies are most likely to occur in your area and what other types of emergencies you want to prepare for. At a minimum, the federal government recommends that you have a basic emergency supply kit that includes enough food and water for each member of your household for at least three days.Use leftover canned foods after 3-4 days of refrigeration, unless they contain meat; canned foods containing meat, poultry, or fish should be used within 2 days. Planning for short-term emergency food needs can be as simple as increasing the amounts of some basic foods and non-perishable foods that you would normally use.Although most emergencies are unlikely to interrupt their food supply for two weeks, some people choose to consider a short-term supply as one that will last that long. Store staple food packages purchased for emergency supply in airtight plastic food storage containers, glass jars with screw lids, or non-rusting metal cans.

Consider storing zip-lock plastic bags for storing food or freezing food in your emergency supplies.Individuals and families can eliminate some stress, worry, and inconvenience by planning for emergency food needs. Keep in mind that short-term emergency supplies should emphasize survival, energy, and hydration (water), but planning ahead means you can also plan nutritionally balanced meals. Military and camping supply tents are good sources of some compact, well-preserved foods that are good choices for emergency preparedness kits.When planning your emergency food supply, consider the need to refrigerate leftover canned food.