Emergency Preparedness -- FOOD

The Washington Office of Emergency Management has changed their recommendations for how long people should be prepared from the longstanding standard of 72 hours to a more realistic two weeks. This is based on how long it might take for people to start seeing relief in the event of a Cascadia earthquake. It’s important to remember, though, that preparedness for that length of time should be a goal. If you’re just starting to get things together, that goal certainly doesn’t have to be met right away, so don’t let that number overwhelm you.

Keep in mind that you’re preparing to sustain yourselves in an emergency, NOT to maintain your lifestyle.

Begin with a 36 to 72 hour supply; two weeks is preferred

Your best choice for emergency food is an adequate supply of things you eat regularly that do not require refrigeration.

Focus on high energy, high protein foods that will fill you up. Choose foods that require no little preparation, cooking, and little or no water. If it must be heated, think about how you will do so.

Avoid salty foods, if possible, as they increase thirst.

  • Canned or packaged meats and fish

  • Canned fruits, vegetables, and juices

  • Powdered milk or non-refrigerated soy or almond milk

  • White rice, packaged potatoes

  • Peanut butter, nuts, jerky, trail mix

  • Condiments, such as honey, sugar, salt, pepper, spices

  • Comfort and stress foods, such as. graham crackers, cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, coffee, tea, hot chocolate packets

  • Foods to meet special diet needs, and for infants and children

Don't forget food for the pets!

  • Beware of plastic bins – some have odors that can affect taste of food that isn’t canned

  • Dry goods i.e. rice (white, not brown), beans, oats, etc. can be stored in food-grade 3 or 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Seal Lids (air-tight) and oxygen absorber packets

  • Essentials: Can opener (or two), cooking source and fuel, pot(s), utensils, dishes, cups, matches

  • Keep extra propane and other fuel containers for cooking. Know the capabilities and limitations of your portable stove or heating device and make sure you know how to use them before you need them.

Questions? Contact info@CERTClarkCountyWA.com