Tip of the Week – Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

With Hurricane Irene heading toward North Carolina, this week’s tip is about being prepared when disaster strikes. Do you have enough food and water for your family and pets in case of emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, ice storms, etc.?

The American Red Cross recommends “when preparing for a disaster, store at least three days of non-perishable, nutritious food that requires little or no water or cooking to prepare. Don’t forget to store a manual can opener with non-perishable food items. When assembling items, remember that you and your family may be without water, gas, or electricity for an unknown period of time.” You can check out the Red Cross website at: http://www.redcross.org/flash/brr/English-html/kit-contents.asp for a complete list of food and non-food related items to include in your emergency kit.

Here are some of the foods you may consider including in your kit:

  • Water (at least one gallon per person per day)

  • Canned meats, fruits and vegetables (don’t forget that manual can opener!)

  • Juice boxes, etc.

  • Sugar, salt and pepper

  • Dry foods such as cereals, crackers, granola bars, etc.

Don’t forget your pets!

Include paper items such as napkins, plates, cups, utensils, aluminum foil, etc.

And don’t forget the wine (screw caps come in handy, otherwise include a corkscrew!)

You should swap out the food items in your kit every six months – a good rule of thumb, at least in North Carolina, is to update your kit in May (right before hurricane season starts) and then again in December (right before snow and ice usually hit.) It is a good idea to store everything in a waterproof container. Make sure you only pack things that your family likes – if you’re in a situation where you need to use the kit, it’s not the time to eat things you don’t care for.

Eat, drink and be merry (and stay safe out there!)

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4 Responses to Tip of the Week – Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

  1. Mandi Woomer says:

    Excellent suggestions. Might I add bleach and batteries to the list of what to have on hand? I know it’s a food blog, but if people use their regular dishes instead of disposable, a few drops of bleach in the wash water will sanitize them. Speaking of wash water, fill up the bathtub to have this water on hand for washing and flushing if necessary. Four years of studying hurricanes and other disasters, I really felt compelled to add my 2 cents!

  2. Mandi the 50 year old Wench says:

    Weather Channel had another great tip that never occurred to me, put water into ziplock freezer bags and line the freezer with them. In the event of a power outage, the frozen bags of ice will keep the fridge and freezer cold.

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