The 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina shows the importance of preparing survival kits in case of an emergency or natural disaster. In 2005, the category 5 hurricane had sustained winds of 125 mph and caused over 1,800 deaths and $151 billion in damage, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
An emergency food kit can help you prepare for unanticipated events, as well as, allow your family to leave your local area within minutes of an official warning. When creating your “bugout bag,” consider the following:
See how much food each family member needs. You should customize your food rations based on the size, needs and preferences of your family. It would be prudent to stay away from items that someone would be allergic to, especially in an emergency situation.
Bring a variety of nutrients. Consider packing a diverse array of nutrients such as these food items suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Include canned vegetables and canned fruits, meats, eggs, powdered milk, nuts, cereal, and beans. Ideally, the items you bring should have a long shelf life.
Have plenty of drinkable liquids. FEMA suggests storing at least three days of water for drinking and sanitation. However, you way want to consider storing even more than the minimum three-day amount. Each family member can consume eight or more glasses of water per day, and that doesn’t include sanitation uses. Survival experts often recommend purchasing a portable filtration system that allows you to tap into various water sources while you travel to a safer area.
The food items you store should require little or no cooking and meet special dietary needs (such as baby formulas), according to this infographic on food prepping.
Here are 10 essential food items for your survival kit:
- Water (for drinking and sanitation)
- Canned meat
- Caned fruits and veggies
- Instant noodles
- Beef jerky
- Granola bars and crackers/biscuits
There are other pre-packed food items that feature an extended shelf life. Depending on your family’s needs and tastes, canned sardines and high-calorie energy bars provide nourishment while on the go. You may also want to add bottled liquids (such as canned juices, Gatorade, etc.) or powdered milk.
Peripheral goods such as peanut butter can also complement your food kit. Finally, meal-ready-to-eat (MREs) packages can be highly useful if you live in a disaster-prone area such as Florida (hurricanes) or Oklahoma (tornadoes).