Storage Basics - 08-2005


       Water and Food Storage – There are many canned food sales going on right now, especially the first two weeks of August.  Many of them include water storage containers.  Check them out and see if they will fit your needs.  Make it a priority to get your water storage started right now if you have not done so!  Even if you can only save your water in smaller containers for portable situations, do it now.  It is recommended that we have a minimum of 14 gallons of water per person stored.  That is basically drinking only.  You need more for bathing, brushing of teeth, food preparation, cleaning, sanitation needs, etc. 

       As for food storage, now is the perfect time for canning, bottling and freezing the many items available in our gardens and fruit orchards.  Many of the stores are having their canned foods on sale right now.  While these sales may not be the best sale prices of the year, they generally have really good prices, and many items to choose from.  During the year many stores will have “loss leader items” at greatly reduced prices to bring you into their stores.  That is also a great time to purchase in bulk and build up your storage. 


Water: Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.  Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.  A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day.  Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount.  Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.

·       Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparations and sanitation) (Six gallons = 48 lbs.  Best to distribute the load.)

·       Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.

·       Carry iodine/halozone/bleach to purify water.  Camping ceramic filters are excellent as well. (Don’t drink water that has been purified with bleach!  It can be very hazardous or deadly for persons with mouth, stomach or esophagus problems.)

·       Plastic sheets can catch and funnel rain water.


Food: Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.  Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water.  If you must head food, pack a can of sterno (may not be allowed in shelters).  Choose food items that are compact and lightweight.  Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supply Kit:

·       Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables.

·       Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)

·       Condiments, sugar, salt, pepper, etc.

·       High energy foods  - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix.

·       Vitamins

·       Foods for infants, elderly persons, or persons on special diets.

·       Comfort/stress foods  - cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant cocoa, herbal tea bags.

·       Food preparation equipment (See tools and supplies).



First Aid Kits and Medicines: Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.  A first aid kit should include at least the following items (add others for your family’s specific needs):

·       Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes; 4- and 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6 each)

·       Hypoallergenic adhesive tape

·       Triangular bandages (3); 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls); 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3)

·       Scissors; Tweezers; Needle

·       Moistened towelettes

·       Antiseptic

·       Thermometer

·       Tongue blades (2)

·       Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

·       Assorted sizes of safety pins

·       Cleansing agent/soap

·       Latex gloves (2 pair)

·       Sun screen

·       Medicines:  Non-prescription drugs:

o      Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever

o      Anti-diarrhea medication

o      Antacid (for stomach upset)

o      Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)

o      Laxative

o      Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center.

o      Any prescription drugs that you need on a regular basis, i.e., Insulin, blood pressure medication, etc.



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