Last-Minute Items to Grab Before an Emergency

Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 6-13) is now underway. If you live in an area of the country that is susceptible to hurricanes, you’re well aware of the importance of being prepared for one.

If not, now is still a good time to do a survival food audit at home. Even if you don’t have hurricanes in your area, you should still be prepared for extreme weather that could result in power outages or limited access to roads, stores or help.

A large part of our home survival kit holds long-term food, a power source and water purifier. We have other items stored up and bug-out-bags packed in case we have to evacuate or leave our home.

While most of these items are long-term food items set aside for major emergencies, we also have a short-term supply of food to use.

Food storage isn’t just a necessary preparation for a natural disaster. It’s also good to have in case some unexpected family emergency comes up, someone losing a job or having to buy a new car. And you’ll be the most prepared if you have short-term and long-term food storage supplies.

Long-term food storage includes items that are freeze-dried, or packaged to last over 1 year, up to 25 years. Most long-term kits also include water purifiers, flashlights, batteries, and an emergency radio.

Short-term food items have a shelf life of 3-6 months, and are items like canned products and frozen or dry goods.

In situations where you have notice of a hurricane or storm and can prepare, stocking up on short-term food should be first on your to-do list. So… What should those items be?

Think about the foods that you and your family cook with and eat on a regular basis. Make a list of these foods and then decide how much of each food item you’d go through in a 3-6 month time. Keep these foods in your pantry or some other food storage area, and then use and rotate them in your daily cooking. Restock these items when they go on sale and as your supply gets low.

Here’s what’s on my checklist:

  • Bottled water
  • Cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Apples
  • Instant coffee
  • Trail mix
  • Boxed non-dairy milk
  • Canned vegetables, beans and tuna
  • Other food items that will come in handy during a short crisis include:
  • Juice boxes
  • Crackers
  • Single-serving fruit cups and applesauce
  • Canned soups and stews
  • Comfort food

Of course, don’t forget to grab paper towels, paper plates, paper cups and pet food.


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