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Food stockpiling for emergency use

Food stockpiling for emergency use

Disasters often strike without warning or with little warning. Stocking up the right non-perishable food items can help you weather the storm.

Fuelling your body during an emergency is different from your everyday diet. Your body will use more energy, so you should eat high-energy, high protein foods. In addition, nutritious foods will help to maintain good health.

Always keep these in your pantry

Non-perishable food items that have lengthy expiration dates to stash away:

  • Peanut butter is a good source of energy with healthful fats and protein.
  • Whole-wheat crackers is a suitable replacement for bread. Vacuum-packing your crackers can prolong their freshness.
  • Nut and trail mixes are high-energy foods and convenient for snacking during an emergency.
  • Cereal. Choose individually packaged multigrain cereals.
  • Granola bars and power bars are a great source of carbohydrates and stay fresh for at least six months.
  • Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins, offer potassium and dietary fibre.

Non-perishable foods to stock

Keep a can opener on hand at all times.

  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey can last two years in the pantry. They provide essential protein.
  • Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas.
  • Canned soups and chilli. Look for low-sodium options.
  • Dry pasta and pasta sauces.
  • Bottle water, at least a three-day supply. You need at least one gallon per person per day.
  • Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, contain electrolytes and carbohydrates to help you rehydrate.
  • Powdered milk.
  • Sugar, salt, and pepper and other basic seasonings.
  • Multivitamins.

What to buy right before an emergency

When there is still time to run to the market, buy fresh produce and food items with shorter shelf lives.

Foods to buy:

  • Apples can last up to three months when stored in a cool, dry area away from fruit that ripens more quickly, like bananas.
  • Citrus fruits contain lots of Vit C and will keep you hydrated.
  • Avocados, if unripe, can last at least a week outside the refrigerator.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams are suitable for side dishes.
  • Cucumbers and summer squash can be eaten raw.
  • Winter squash will keep for a few months.
  • Dry-cured salamis.

Emergency food advice

  • Refrigerated food that spends more than four hours over 40º Fahrenheit is not safe to eat. However, if food is still cool to the touch, they're safe.
  • If you don't have electricity, heat food outside on a charcoal grill or propane stove. For indoors, keep a can of Sterno, or heat in a can.
  • If you need regular medication or have a small child, stock up on those items too.
  • If you live in an area at high risk for flooding, consider buying all pantry items in cans.

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