How to Prepare for Emergency Food Needs

When it comes to emergency preparedness, having a supply of food is essential. FEMA and Washington's Emergency Management Division recommend having a two-week supply of non-perishable food on hand in case of an emergency. Although most emergencies are unlikely to last that long, it's important to be prepared. Here are some tips on how to plan for emergency food needs.The ideal place to store your emergency food supply is a cool, dry, and dark place with a temperature between 40° and 70° F.

This will help increase the shelf life of canned or dried foods. When selecting foods for your emergency kit, choose items that don't require refrigeration, minimal or no preparation or cooking, and little or no water. Military and camping supply tents are good sources of some compact, well-preserved foods that are good choices for emergency preparedness kits. You can also increase the amount of staple foods you normally have on your shelves to create a two-week emergency supply.

Make sure to inspect your canned food regularly for any rusty, leaking, bulging, or heavily dented containers and broken seals. Store staple food packages in airtight plastic food storage containers, glass jars with screw lids, or non-rusting metal cans.If you plan to include canned food in your emergency food supply, consider placing zip-lock plastic bags for storing food or freezing food in your emergency supplies. Preparing food after a disaster or emergency can be difficult due to damage to your home and loss of electricity, gas and water. Therefore, it's important to have a three-day supply of non-perishable food on hand at all times.Planning for short-term emergency food needs can be as simple as increasing the quantities of some basic, non-perishable foods that you would normally use.

Discard homemade canned foods or foods in glass jars that have been soiled by flood waters. The amount and type of food to be stored will depend on your household members, their preferences, their special health conditions, the ability to use food in an emergency, and the storage space.