Earthquake Supplies Kit and Emergency Preparedness (cont.)
- Keep foods that:
- have a long storage life
- require little or no cooking, water, or refrigeration, in case utilities are
- meet the needs of babies or other family members who are on special diets
- meet pets' needs
- are not very salty or spicy, as these foods increase the need for drinking
water, which may be in short supply
How To Store Emergency Food
- A disaster can easily disrupt the food supply at any time, so plan to have at
least a 3-day supply of food on hand.
- When storing food, it is not necessary to buy dehydrated or other types of
emergency food. Canned foods and dry mixes will remain fresh for about 2 years.
- Certain storage conditions can enhance the shelf life of canned or dried
foods. The ideal location is a cool, dry, dark place. The best temperature is 40
to 60°F. Keep foods away from ranges or refrigerator exhausts. Heat causes many
foods to spoil more quickly.
- Keep food away from petroleum products, such as gasoline, oil, paints, and
solvents. Some food products absorb their smell.
- Protect food from rodents and insects. Items stored in boxes or in paper
cartons will keep longer if they are heavily wrapped or stored in airtight
- Date all food items. Use and replace food before it loses freshness.
How To Use Emergency Food
- Use perishable food in your refrigerator or freezer before using food in your
- Discard cooked, unrefrigerated foods after 2 hours at room temperature,
regardless of appearance.
- Eat only foods that have a normal color, texture, and odor.
- Discard cans that bulge at the ends or that are leaking.
Preparing food after an earthquake may be complicated by damage to your home
and loss of electricity, gas, and water. The following items will help you to
prepare meals safely:
- Cooking utensils
- Knives, forks, and spoons
- Paper plates, cups, and towels
- A manual can- and bottle-opener
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Gas or charcoal grill; camp stove
- Fuel for cooking, such as charcoal. (CAUTION: Never burn charcoal indoors.
The fumes are deadly when concentrated indoors.)
NOTE: Do not use your fireplace for cooking until the chimney has been
inspected for cracks and damage. Sparks may escape into your attic through an
undetected crack and start a fire.
SOURCES: Last Editorial Review: 3/2/2010
Centers for Disease Control. "Being Prepared for an Earthquake."
Centers for Disease Control. "Emergency Supplies."
Centers for Disease Control. "Food & Water Concerns."
Centers for Disease Control. "What to do During an Earthquake."
Viewers share their comments
Earthquake Preparedness - Your Experience
Question: Briefly, share your earthquake experience, including any prep or supplies that may have helped.
Earthquake Preparedness - Evacuation Plans
Question: Discuss your earthquake evacuation plan, including practice drills and equipment.
Earthquake Preparedness - Indoor Safety
Question: If an earthquake strikes while you're indoors, do you know where to take cover? Please discuss your plans.
Earthquake Preparedness - Supplies and Kits
Question: Describe what's in your earthquake emergency kit. Where do you store your emergency supplies?
Earthquake Preparedness - Water Safety
Question: When an earthquake hits, your water supply may be at risk. What back-up plans have you made?