Preparing Your Family For Disaster: Part 2
Is it possible to create a great disaster management kit for your family? With the right guidance and methods, the answer is yes. We have already acknowledged the importance of food and water. Now, let’s delve deeper into the mechanics of storing these items.
Keeping Emergency Food Safe and Fresh
Modern science tells us that food should be consumed within 6 hours from the time of cooking – only then it will taste great and benefit your body. Faced with such a proposition, how can one plan to store food indefinitely for emergencies? The good news is that we have lots of food options to choose from when our goal is only to survive. When hit by a disaster, fresh food will be scarce and is not your first bet. Sealed commercial products such as dry food or wet food will take over the food pyramid.
Here are some proven tips and guidelines that everyone should follow:
1. Don’t make the mistake of placing your food supply along with other survival gear. Why do people use a refrigerator? The primary goal is to keep food cool so that it lasts longer. You might not be fortunate enough to use a refrigerator in times of emergency – in fact, you may not even have electricity. Elevated shelves are relatively cooler than the surface and are also not directly subjected to sunlight. That is exactly where your food supplies must go.
2. Do away with all your plates and bowls – you won’t need them. What you need are a lot of closed containers. They help to keep food fresh and safe from the external environment. You can also use zip lock bags, they come in handy when you want to store chips and biscuits after you unwrap them.
3. Be sure to open jars, boxes or foil packs with utmost care so that you can re close them without exposing food to bacteria and viruses.
4. Sometimes, you may not eat an entire cup of instant noodles. Wrap up the leftovers tightly in clear and good-quality food grade plastic and place them in your containers.
5. Life is pretty monochromatic without sugar and salt even during disasters. Again, unwrap them and place them in your sealable containers.
6. Despite taking measures, food items can still spoil. Before every consumption, try and determine the freshness with smell and sight.
7. All food items in your disaster kit should be ideally replaced every six months. This will gear you up perfectly for an actual disaster.
8. Over the counter multi vitamins are a great way of ensuring that you and your family get an adequate dose of nutrients when things go wrong. Add such products to your disaster kit.
9. No matter what the circumstances, it is extremely important for each family member to at least have one full meal that is rich in calories to maintain good health. Considering the fact that there might be a lot of activity to be done throughout the day, early mornings are the best times to have these meals.
Water, Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink
Hydration has been a major concern in the event of disasters throughout history. Things won’t be different when you are up against one yourself. Clean, drinkable water is extremely critical for survival.
Here are some more great tips:
1. Let’s start off with some bad news – you won’t be able to consume water that is bacteria free. Emergency procedures aren’t good enough to completely purify the water. You will need to find peace in accepting this fact.
2. Running water is a boon during these times, but it is essential to boil it before consumption. This will kill a lot of bacteria, if not all.
3. If boiling is not an option, you can try distillation. Just pour in the water into a pot and place the cover upside down facing the cup. Distilled water will drop back into the cup while contaminants won’t be able to make their way through.
4. If all else fails, use some bleach to disinfect the water. Typically, 15 drops of bleach should be enough of 1 gallon of water. It takes should an hour for the bleach to do its work. If the water doesn’t smell of bleach, you may need to repeat the process again for if you want better quality of water.