Having an emergency food supply is essential for any household. It's important to have enough food to last for at least 30 days in case of a disaster. But what emergency food should you buy? Apples can last up to three months if stored in a cool, dry area, away from more perishable fruits. Tomatoes will last for several days at room temperature. If you follow a special diet, have food allergies, need kosher or halal foods, or have other dietary needs, you'll need to make replacements. Treat food exposed to firefighting water the same way you would treat food exposed to flood waters. Getting the right emergency food for 30 days can be tricky. Don't just buy a million cans of soup, boxes of cookies, and grains in bulk. You'll need to have emergency food ready to eat as it's not always safe to cook after a disaster. Most of these foods will last at least a week after you buy them and give you a fresh alternative to all of those packaged foods. Be sure to store emergency supplies where they are safe from insects and rodent pests, as well as from flooding. The American Red Cross recommends having a 3-day supply of non-perishable food that feeds your entire family or everyone in your household. A 3- to 5-day supply of food and water can be stored in a relatively small area to provide some security in the event of a disaster and the consequent loss of water, gas and electricity. Real Simple's emergency food supply list contains foods that not only don't need to be cooked and nutritionally dense, but are also tasty. For an all-in-one shortcut, you can order 3-day emergency preparedness kits and other emergency supplies from the American Red Cross. Before an emergency and to ensure food safety at all times, equip refrigerators and freezers with thermometers to monitor temperature. Plus, you'll want to extend your supply as long as possible, so storing long-lasting food is key. Before you can calculate the amount of food you'll need, you need to calculate the amount of food everyone eats on a normal day. Follow these simple steps to start your emergency food supply so that you're prepared, but not wasted: 1. Make a list of all the people in your household and their dietary needs 2. Calculate how much food each person needs per day 3. Buy non-perishable items that will last for at least 30 days 4. Store the items in a cool, dry place away from pests 5. Monitor the temperature of refrigerators and freezers 6. Replace items every 6 months or as needed 7. Have an all-in-one emergency preparedness kit on hand Having an emergency food supply is essential for any household in case of a disaster or other unexpected event. Make sure you have enough non-perishable items that will last for at least 30 days and store them in a cool, dry place away from pests.