How To Store Food & Water
Water SuppliesYou can store your water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has held toxic substances, because tiny amounts may remain in the container's pores. Sound plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, are best.
Before storing your water, treat it with a preservative, such as chlorine bleach, to prevent the growth of micro-organisms. Use liquid bleach that contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite and no soap. Add four drops of bleach per quart of water (or two scant teaspoons per 10 gallons), and stir. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place.
Another method to store water is to simply purchase bottled water and leave the seals intact, but remember to rotate your water every six months or as date stamped on the bottles.
Food SuppliesIf activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period and without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.
If your water supply is limited, try to avoid foods that are high in fat and protein, and don't stock salty foods, since they will make you thirsty. Try to eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
You don't need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned foods, dry mixes and other staples on your cupboard shelves. In fact, familiar foods are important. They can lift morale and give a feeling of security in time of stress. Also, canned foods won't require cooking, water or special preparation.
- Keep food in the driest and coolest spot in the house, a dark area if possible.
- Keep food covered at all times.
- Open food boxes or cans carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use.
- Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags, and keep them in tight containers.
- Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw-top jars or air-tight cans to protect them from pests.
- Inspect all food containers for signs of spoilage before use.