Are YOU ready?
With all the recent emergencies around the country, you probably have reflected on your preparedness. One important thing you can do now is to have an emergency kit. While
it may seem obvious to include plenty of food and water in your kit, most people struggle with what specifically to include or how much. While it may be very individualized to your own family’s needs, below are some generalized tips for adding food and water to your kit.
What: Choose foods that will not perish quickly. This includes can foods, packaged bars, and snacks, simple mixes, and even shelf-stable milk, or other canned/bottled drinks. Choose foods you know you will eat and enjoy. Don’t forget to include a manually operated can opener in your kit as well. Remember to check the dates every few months and replace items as needed.
How Much: It is recommended to have at least 72 hours or 3 days worth of food. Don’t forget to think of individual needs particularly if you need infant formula or other baby food. Try to choose foods both foods that will keep you full longer and foods that bring you comfort.
What: The easiest way to store clean, ready to use water is through water bottles. Buy a bulk package at the store when on sale and store them in your kit. You can also fill clean containers or bottles with water from your tap before an emergency happens.
How Much: Regarding water, you want to stay hydrated so plan for just under one gallon per person per day and add some extra in case of sickness, hot temperatures, etc. During an emergency try to avoid caffeinated soda or other drinks that could make you thirstier and go through more water.
If Contaminated water is your only option. Water can quickly become contaminated in a disaster. If this happens and you no longer have access to clean water, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends treating contaminated water to get rid of any microbes by one of three ways: boiling, chlorination, or distillation.
Boiling: Bring the water to a boil for one minute, then cool.
Chlorination: Use ordinary household bleach and make sure it is the bleach solution that contains 5.25 to 6.0% sodium hypochlorite, or it won’t be sufficient enough to kill microbes. Use 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Distillation: Boil the water and then collect the steam or evaporation as it rises. This allows for not only the microbes to be killed but also gets rid of other harmful contaminants that may be contained in the water.
To see a printable list of what to include in your emergency kit click on the link below: