Emergency Food Supplies

Posted by Surya V on April 25, 2013 0 Comments

Managing food supplies in an emergency, disaster or terrorist attack is vital to maintaining one’s health.

There are a number of recommendations for properly managing food supplies, including:

  • All food should be kept in covered containers.
  • All eating and cooking utensils should be kept clean.
  • Garbage should be kept in closed containers and disposed of outside, or buried if necessary to limit decay smells.
  • Hands should be washed frequently with pure water that has been disinfected.
  • It is recommended that only pre-prepared products be used for baby formula.
  • If food has been left at room temperature for two hours or more, it should be discarded.
  • Any foods that have an unusual odor, texture or color should be discarded.
  • Canned foods that appear corroded, dented or swollen should always be disregarded.
  • All food should be kept in a dry, cool area. A dark area is highly recommended.
  • Perishable foods should be wrapped in plastic and placed in sealed containers.
  • Open packages of dried fruits, sugar and nuts should be placed in airtight canisters to ensure protection from pests.
  • Before eating any food, it should be thoroughly inspected for any signs of spoilage.

When faced with an emergency, there are a number of alternative cooking sources, including chafing dishes, fireplaces, fondue pots, camp stoves, charcoal grills and gas stoves, which require manual lighting.

If faced with a long-term power outage, people can ensure their refrigerated and freezer foods stay safe by using dry ice, which will help extend food’s life for an additional three to four days. Dry ice should always be handled with care and gloves to ensure no skin damage occurs.

Nutrition is important, especially during a disaster or emergency. Some helpful nutrition tips include:

  • People should prioritize eating one well-balanced meal daily.
  • People should drink enough liquids to allow the body to function properly. This averages around a half gallon per day.
  • Maintaining a proper caloric intake is necessary for normal body functions.
  • Taking mineral, vitamin and protein supplements will help maintain balanced nutrition.

Additional tips include storing a minimum of three days worth of non-perishable food supplies. These should consist of foods that are family friendly or address any required dietary needs. Salty or spicy foods should be avoided, as these require more water intake to process. Selecting high-liquid content canned foods is also extremely beneficial for incorporating additional fluids into meals.

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