Emergency Kit Preparation Part I: Your Emergency Food & Water Supply

Those of us who reside in Atlanta can all remember the infamous Snowpacalypse of 2011 that left many Atlanta residents trapped in their homes for days as the snow was cleared and ice began to melt. As the temperatures continue to drop in the coming weeks and tornado season approaches, we are taking an opportunity to proactively help you prepare for an emergency situation. This post is dedicated to one of the most important steps to be taken in preparation for an emergency: ensuring you have planned for a sufficient and properly stored food and water supply.

Emergency Water storageEmergency Water Supply and Storage

In general, when planning for your emergency kit’s water supply, the CDC recommends setting aside at least one gallon of water per family member or pet per day and to plan for having at least a three day supply of water on hand. More water should be set aside for your kit if you live in an area with a warmer climate. The water in your emergency supply kit, if unused, should be replaced every six months.

If you are caught in an emergency situation and don’t have a sufficient bottled water supply, there are a few things you can do to disinfect water in an emergency.

Emergency Food Supply and Storage

When planning for your emergency kit’s food supply, plan to include foods that have a longer shelf life, require little or no water to prepare, and don’t require refrigeration or cooking. It’s also best to include foods that you can and do eat fairly regularly. Consider all family members and pets and their dietary and medical needs when creating your emergency kit. The CDC recommends storing enough food for two weeks. They also recommend avoiding foods with high sodium or spice content, as they can increase water consumption and diminish your supply more quickly.

Food should be kept sealed in plastic bags, glass jars, or plastic storage containers and kept in a cool, dry place. Make sure you plan for your emergency kit to include the necessary utensils and tools  (i.e. a can opener, if your kit includes cans) and cleaning supplies.Other things to consider packing include aluminum foil and cooking equipment and fuel.

In part two of our emergency preparation series, we’ll cover considerations for family members when prepping for an emergency. In the meantime, we have some great printable resources on our Emergency Department website to check out, including our Know When to Go flier to keep posted and top of mind!

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