When a disaster occurs, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for days, or even weeks.

Store enough emergency food to provide for your family for at least three days.

Store food items that are familiar, rather than buying special emergency food. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have and include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors.

Ideal foods are:

  • Shelf-stable (no refrigeration required)
  • Low in salt
  • Do not require cooking

Some suggested foods include:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam
  • Low-salt crackers, cookies, and cereals
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Canned soup or meats
  • Juices
  • Non-fat dry milk

Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package. Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low-acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least two years. Use dry products, like boxed crackers, cookies, cereals, dried fruit and dry milk within six months.

Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place.

After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the refrigerator door closed. Refrigerated food should generally be consumed within four hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for two days.