Food & Sanitation - 10-2005

FOOD    90-day Foods – The human spirit is famous for adapting, improvising and overcoming. In about 90 days you can adapt to any circumstances. The more you can make meals normal or what your family is used to eating, the better. Younger children really need this. Right Now Foods will help you minimize the stress of the moment and help every one adjust. Also store things that will help keep your family from breaking down, [games, hard candy, chocolate, etc.,] and keep a copy of the scriptures handy too.

       Examples of Right Now Foods would include macaroni and cheese, Ramen noodles, boxed potato dinners or Hamburger Helper type products, Rice-A-Roni, canned goods like Ravioli, Spaghettios, chili, tuna, potted meat products, boxed meals, popcorn, dried banana or apple chips, instant oatmeal, cereal, etc. Use these meals at first and slowly incorporate meals made from your storage. This will help your family’s digestive systems adjust. Going straight to whole wheat from no wheat can cause real digestive difficulties. Be aware of possible food allergies. Many people are allergic to wheat and don’t know it until they are eating daily, and wheat is often too harsh for young children who can only tolerate it in small amounts, not as their staple diet.     

       1-year supply – It is a myth to have or teach that you require less than a 1-year supply of food! President Harold B. Lee has wisely counseled that, “Perhaps if we think not in terms of a year’s supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn’t have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year… We wouldn’t get fat on it, but we would live…”(Welfare conference address October 1, 1966)

       Wheat, grains, beans, leavening, honey, sugar, powdered milk, cooking oil, shortening and salt are the basics. Basic foods are less expensive, last a long time, and do not require a lot of space. In a disaster they are the hardest to obtain. Lots of vegetables can be grown in any yard space, but grains are so land intensive to grow, it is doubtful that they will be obtainable by most people.

       Variety is the key to a successful storage program. Store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, spices to cook with, onion and garlic. Buy a good food storage cookbook. Store dehydrated and/or freezer dried foods as well as home canned and store bought canned goods. Store vitamins, especially if you have children, since children don’t store vitamins as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital.

       What to store – Start  with the basics and then build on them. 

·       14 gallons of water per person is a 2-week supply

·       400 lbs of grain per person (a combination of wheat/rice/oats/corn can be used to reach these levels)

·       60 lbs of honey or white or brown sugar (infants & young children are often allergic to honey)

·       60 lbs of beans

·       16 lbs of milk

·       10 gal of oil

·       8 lbs of salt (using a mineral salt adds trace minerals to your diet, i.e. RealSalt, etc.)

       There is a website where you put in the number of family members, their age and gender and it will figure up the amounts you need for your family’s food storage. Go to, click on Provident Living, then click on Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness. Click on What to Store and it will give you several areas. Follow the link to Interactive Food Storage Calculator to reach where you enter your information. Also check out the helpful information on what to store, how to store, recipes, etc., this website offers.


       This can be a problem during an emergency if advanced preparations have not been made. Water, gas and electricity are the first things to go during disasters. Toilets will not function if water has been cut off. Even if the water is on, if the electricity is off there is no way for sewage to be pumped through the lines and the sewage will back up overflowing your toilet. Plan for and prepare an alternate (and portable) method of sanitation. Big changes in normal routines can cause upsets to body systems that often result in gastro-intestinal problems, which compound the problems of sanitation. (A plastic bag can be used in your toilet bowl in a pinch.)

·       A five-gallon bucket will function for a makeshift toilet.  The items listed below will serve to augment your sanitation in preventing spread of disease and odors. Keep the lid tight on the container to prevent the spread of germs.

·       Four-gallon (or larger) capacity white plastic bags and ties

·       Large grocery bags – for use in conjunction with disposal of solid wastes.

·       Small can of Lysol or other Disinfectant – to help retard the spread of germs.                  

·       Small container of liquid chlorine bleach

·       Folding camp shovel with serrated cutting edge – for digging latrines and disposing of wastes.

·       Deodorizer tablets – to reduce odors.

·       Large trash bags and ties

·       Collapsible camping toilet (use with plastic bags) or Port-A-Potty.

·       Plastic bedpan

·       Ammonia – as an aid in disinfecting.

·       Laundry detergent and bleach – another plastic bucket could be used as a washing container.

·       Clothes pins – to hang up wet clothing

·       Cotton dish towel, paper towels, sponges and scouring pads for cleaning

·       Bar soap, liquid soap or disinfecting disposable cloths, baby wipes, etc., for cleaning hands, etc.

·       If in a wilderness area, select a suitable spot at least 50 feet from any open water. Dig a hole no more than six to eight inches deep to stay in the biological disposer layer of soil. Save the dirt or sod to fill the hole when finished.



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