When a disaster occurs, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks. Store enough emergency food to provide for your family for at least 3 days and note the following tips:
- Store food items that are familiar, rather than buying special emergency food. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have.
- Ideal foods are shelf stable (no refrigeration required), low in salt, and do not require cooking (e.g. canned fruit and/or vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, nuts, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices, and non-fat dry milk).
- Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package.
- Include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors.
- Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place.
- Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits, or vegetables will normally last at least 2 years. Use dry products like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk, or dried fruit within 6 months.
- After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within 4 hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for 2 days.