A great many homes have pantry shelves and if you take inventory, you will find in most cases enough food to last for several days. Try not to let these shelf supplies run too low.
Should you choose to maintain a separate shelf just for emergency use, date the cans and rotate them with the pantry supply so that they do not get old.
In storing food, consider the possibility of friends or relatives who might have to depend upon your family's hospitality, should they be evacuated from their homes.
After an earthquake, use the food in your refrigerator and freezer first. Even thought he quake may not have interrupted your power, aftershocks or fires may; or shortages elsewhere could result in loss of your electric current.
When opening cans of fruits or vegetables, do not throw away the liquid in which they are packed. This is another source of liquid if there is a water shortage.
Do not drink or eat anything from open containers near shattered glass. Strain suspected liquids though a clean handkerchief.
Suggested list of foods to store for a family of four for four days:
2 pks. of powdered non-fat dry. 4 (14oz.) cans of evaporated.
6 (14 oz.) cans of tomato, orange or grapefruit (larger cans lose their vitamins if left open).
4 (14 oz.) cans of a variety of fruits. 2 lbs. dried fruits (apricots, raisins, prunes).
12 (16oz.) cans of a variety of vegetables.
8 (10.5 oz.) assorted varieties.
- Meats and Meat Substitutes:
12 cans of hash, stew, tuna, etc.
2 jars of peanut butter
2 jars of cheese
- Cereals, Crackers and Cookies:
3 boxes of each
4 oz. instant coffee or tea
2 pkgs. of instant cocoa mix.
24 cans of soft drinks
Plan to have available about 4 gallons of water (including the liquids that you store with your food supply) for each member of the family. This about a week's supply for drinking. Bathing, washing and cleaning up messes will take additional water.
In planning, consider the water that you have already stored. The hot water heater is full of 20 to 30 gallons of water. Ice cubes can be melted. If there are no chemicals in the holding tank of the toilet, there are a few gallons of water there that can be used,. Do not waste water in flushing until you know what the water situation will be.
Water can be safely stored in plastic jugs. Use bleach jugs as they are emptied. Don't rinse them out as the remaining bleach will act as a purifier. Change this water every six months. Date the bottles.
After a quake, if you have water pressure, start running some water into the tub. It can be stored here and purified later if needed for drinking. The water from taps after a quake can be contaminated.
How to Purify Water
Bleach Purification table
Boil vigorously for 1 to 3 minutes. To improve taste, pour from one container to another several times.
- Purification Tablets:
Available at any drug store follow direction on package
- Bleach Purification:
Liquid household bleach can also be used. It must contain hypochlorite, preferably 5.25%, add according to table below then stir and mix.
Amount of Water Clear Water Cloudy Water
1 quart 2 drops 4 drops
1 gallon 8 drops 16 drops
5 gallons 1/2 tsp. 1 tsp.
This suggested list consists of items usually available in a home and used regularly. It is designed to help your family identify and organize them for any emergency. Quantities of emergency supplies should be adequate for at least 72 hours. A two week supply of water, food, medicine and other consumable items is recommended as a minimum reserve.
- Water - 2 qts to 1 gal, per person per day
- first aid kit - ample and freshly stocked
- first aid book (American Red Cross)
- Essential medication and glasses
- Smoke detector, battery operated
- Fire extinguisher - A-B-C type
- Escape ladder for second story of home
- Flashlight - spare batteries and bulb
- Radio - portable, battery operated
- Spare batteries
- Can Opener (non-electric)
- Food for pets
- Watch or clock
- Large plastic trash bags- for trash, waste, water protection, ground cloth
- Bar soap
- Liquid detergent
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Pre-moistened towelettes
- denture cleanser
- feminine supplies
- infant supplies
- toilet paper
- powdered chlorinated lime - add to sewage to deodorize, disinfect and keep away insects
- newspaper to wrap garbage and waste
- household bleach
Safety and Comfort
- Sturdy shoes - for every family member
- Heavy gloves - for every person clearing debris
- Matches - dipped in wax and kept in a waterproof container
- Clothes - complete change kept dry
- Knife or razor blades
- Garden hose - for siphoning and fire fighting
- Hat or cap - protection from sun, rain or cold
- Barbecue - hibachi, camp stove, chafing dish, fireplace, etc.
- Fuel for cooking equipment - charcoal, lighter fluid, fuel for camp stove, presto logs
- Plastic knives, forks spoons
- Paper plates and coups
- Paper towels
- heavy duty aluminum foil
Tools and Supplies
- Crescent wrench - for turning off gas main
- Coil of 1/2" rope
- Coil of baling wire
- Plastic tape
- Plastic sheeting
- Pen and paper
- Deck of cards, toys for children
Car Mini-Survival Kit
- Sturdy shoes
- Extra clothes/jeans/sweater
- Local maps
- Bottled water
- First aid kit and book
- essential medications
- fire extinguisher
- short rubber hose
- Non-perishable food
- blanket or sleeping bag
- sealable plastic bags
- Small package of tissue
- Pre-moistened towelette
Stock first aid supplies before you need them,. and if possible, avoid adding these items to the jumble of items in the medicine cabinet. The American Red Cross recommends that first aid supplies be assembled in a suitably labeled fire resistant box such as a fishing tackle box or small tool chest so that everything will be handy when needed. Do not lock the box or you may be hunting for the key when seconds count. Remember to store kit out of the reach of small children.
Clearly label all items and know what they are used for. According to the American Red Cross, a first aid kit may include these items, all available without prescription:
As you pack the kit, be sure the contents are arranged so that items can be found quickly without unpacking the entire box. Additional equipment such as an icebag and a hot water bottle are handy to have in the house when needed.
- American Red Cross Standard First Aid and Personal Safety, First Aid Book
- Dry, sterilized gauze squares in 2, 3 and 4 inch sizes, individually wrapped for cleaning and covering wounds.
- Rolls of gauze bandages in 1, 2, and 3 inch sizes for bandaging sterile dressing over wounds.
- Two plain absorbent gauze pads: 18 x 18 and 24 x 72 inches.
- Eye dressings
- Several triangular bandages
- Box of assorted adhesive dressings (Band-Aid, Curad, etc.)
- A couple rolls of adhesive tape in different widths.
- Roll of absorbent cotton
- Pair of scissors (good)
- Pair of tweezers (good)
- Alcohol pads
- Thermometer or temp a dots
- Tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks
- Large and small safety pins
- Sharp knife or stiff-backed razor blades
- box of wooden safety matches