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CDC - Gather Emergency Supplies including Food and Water - May 18, 2011

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  • CDC - Gather Emergency Supplies including Food and Water - May 18, 2011

    1. Get a Kit

    Gather Emergency Supplies

    If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.
    Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supplies for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last that long.
    You may not need to go out and buy foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned goods, dry mixes, and other staples on your cupboard shelves.
    Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in an emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least 2 quarts (a half gallon) of water each day. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least an additional half-gallon per person, per day for this.
    Store at least a 3-day supply and consider storing a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you are unable to store this much, store as much as you can. You can reduce the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
    And don't forget to take your pets and service animals into account!

    Disaster Supplies Kit
    A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that could be needed in the event of a disaster.
    Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:
    • Water?one gallon per person, per day (3*day supply for evacuation, 2*week supply for home)
    • Food?non*perishable, easy*to*prepare items (3*day supply for evacuation, 2*week supply for home)
    • Flashlight
    • Battery*powered or hand*crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Medications (7*day supply) and medical items
    • Multi*purpose tool
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
    • Emergency blanket
    • Map(s) of the area

    Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Games and activities for children
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Two*way radios
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Manual can opener

    Additional supplies to keep at home or in your kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
    • Whistle
    • N95 or surgical masks
    • Matches
    • Rain gear
    • Towels
    • Work gloves
    • Tools/supplies for securing your home
    • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Duct tape
    • Scissors
    • Household liquid bleach
    • Entertainment items
    • Blankets or sleeping bags

    Pack the items in easy-to-carry containers, label the containers clearly and store them where they would be easily accessible. Duffle bags, backpacks, and covered trash receptacles are good candidates for containers. In a disaster situation, you may need access to your disaster supplies kit quickly - whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating. Following a disaster, having the right supplies can help your household endure home confinement or evacuation.
    Make sure the needs of everyone who would use the kit are covered, including infants, seniors and pets. It's good to involve whoever is going to use the kit, including children, in assembling it.
    Benefits of Involving Children

    • Involving children is the first step in helping them know what to do in an emergency.
    • Children can help. Ask them to think of items that they would like to include in a disaster supplies kit, such as books or games or nonperishable food items, and to help the household remember to keep the kits updated. Children could make calendars and mark the dates for checking emergency supplies, rotating the emergency food and water or replacing it every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Children can enjoy preparing plans and disaster kits for pets and other animals.

    Disaster Supplies Kit Checklist for Pets

    • Food and water for at least three days for each pet, food and water bowls and a manual can opener
    • Depending on the pet, litter and litter box or newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
    • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container, a first aid kit and a pet first aid book
    • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets cannot escape. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth and other special items
    • Pet toys and the pet's bed, if you can easily take it, to reduce stress
    • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated, and to prove that they are yours
    • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.

    Additional Supplies for Sheltering-in-Place

    In the unlikely event that chemical or radiological hazards cause officials to advise people in a specific area to "shelter-in-place" in a sealed room, households should have in the room they have selected for this purpose:
    • A roll of duct tape and scissors
    • Plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit shelter-in-place room openings

    Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for up to five hours. Local officials are unlikely to recommend the public shelter in a sealed room for more than two-three hours because the effectiveness of such sheltering diminishes with time as the contaminated outside air gradually seeps into the shelter.
    NOTE: Always keep a shut-off valve wrench near the gas and water shut-off valves in your home.

  • #2
    Re: CDC - Gather Emergency Supplies - May 18, 2011

    Water Supplies

    If a natural or human-caused disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for a while. By taking steps now to store emergency food and water supplies, along with a disaster supplies kit, you can reduce the affect of any such disaster on your family.
    Detailed information on the steps outlined below can be found in the American Red Cross publication, "Food and Water in an Emergency."
    In an emergency, having a supply of clean water for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene is a top priority.
    • Store at least 1 gallon per person and pet per day.
    • Store at least a 3-day supply of water for each member of your family.

    In an emergency, drink at least 2 quarts of water a day, 3 to 4 quarts a day if you are in a hot climate, pregnant, sick, or a child. If supplies run low, don't ration water: Drink the amount you need today and look for more tomorrow. Don't risk dehydration. Emergency assistance should be available within a few days at most.
    How and Where to Store Water

    Learn where the water intake valve to your home is. If you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials recommend doing so, you would need to shut off water to your house at the incoming water valve to stop contaminated water from entering your home.

    • In a cool, dark place in your home, each vehicle, and your workplace.
    • Preferably in store-bought, factory-sealed water containers.
    • Alternately, in food-grade-quality containers made for storing water and available from sporting goods and surplus stores and other retailers. These containers must be thoroughly washed, sanitized, and rinsed. The water you store in them, if it's from your tap, may need to be treated before being stored. Ask your public health service or water provider for information on whether and how to treat the water. Follow those instructions before storing any.

    Safe Use of Water Containers

    1. Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with water.
    2. Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.
    3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use.

    Avoid using

    • Store-bought water past the expiration or "use by" date on the container.
    • Containers that can't be sealed tightly.
    • Containers that can break, such as glass bottles.
    • Containers that have ever held any toxic substance.
    • Plastic milk bottles and cartons. They are difficult to clean and break down over time.


    • Change stored water every six months.

    Alternate Emergency Water Sources Inside and Outside Your Home


    If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in?
    • your hot-water tank
    • pipes and faucets
    • ice cubes

    If your tap water is safe to drink, so is the water in your pipes and hot-water tank, even if the idea seems unappealing. If you don't drink tapwater, the water in your pipes and hot-water tank may still be useful for sanitation.
    To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, then open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, only a professional can turn it back on.
    To use the water in your pipes, identify and turn on the highest faucet in your home to let air into the plumbing. You then can get water from the lowest faucet.

    If you need to find water outside your home, try
    • Rainwater
    • Streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water
    • Ponds and lakes
    • Natural springs

    Take steps to make water from any of these sources safer before drinking it. You should not drink flood water. Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or dark color. Use saltwater only if you distill it first.
    Ways to Make Outdoor Water Safer

    Note: These instructions are not for treating water to be stored, only for emergencies when no other water is available.
    Untreated water can make you very sick. Besides having a bad odor and taste, it can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals and germs that cause such diseases as dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. Before drinking outdoor water, using it in food preparation or for hygiene, make it safer to use by
    • Straining it. Pour the water through paper towels, a clean cloth, or a coffee filter to remove any suspended particles.
    • Boiling it. In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute. Cool it and pour it back and forth between two clean containers to improve its taste before drinking it.
    • Chlorinating it. Using household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite (listed on the label) as its only active ingredient, add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon to water in a large pot or kettle. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still does not smell of chlorine, find another source of water and start over.
    • Distilling it. Fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot's lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up inside the pot when the lid is upside-down without dangling into the water. Boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

    None of these methods is perfect. The best solution is to use all of them. Boiling and chlorination will kill most microbes but will not remove other contaminants, such as heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals. Distillation will kill or remove most of any remaining contaminates.


    • #3
      Re: CDC - Gather Emergency Supplies - May 18, 2011

      Food Supplies
      If a natural or human-caused disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for a while. By taking steps now to store emergency food and water supplies, along with a disaster supplies kit, you can reduce the effect of any such disaster on your family.
      Detailed information on the steps outlined below can be found in the American Red Cross publication, "Food and Water in an Emergency."
      During and after a disaster, it will be vital that you and your household (including your pets) eat enough to maintain your strength.
      • Store foods that you eat regularly. Foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking are best. Include vitamin, mineral,
        and protein supplements to ensure adequate nutrition.
      • Store enough food for two weeks. It is better
        to have extra you can share than to run out.
      • Individuals with special diets and allergies will need particular attention, as will babies, toddlers, ill and elderly people. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula, in case they are unable to nurse. Canned dietetic foods, juices, and soups may be helpful for ill or elderly people.
      • Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils.

      During and after a disaster, eat at least one well-balanced meal each day, more if you are working hard. If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period and without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.
      For emergency cooking, you can use a fireplace or a charcoal grill or camp stove outdoors. Use only approved devices?like candle warmers, chafing dishes, and fondue pots?for warming food. If you heat food in its can, be sure to open it and remove the label before heating. Never leave open flames unattended.
      How and Where to Store Food

      • Keep food in a dry, cool spot?out of the sun, if possible.
      • Wrap perishable foods, such as cookies
        and crackers, in plastic bags and keep them in sealed containers.
      • Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits and nuts into screw-top jars or airtight cans to keep them fresh and unspoiled.


      • Canned goods that have become swollen, dented or corroded.
      • Fatty, high-protein or salty foods when your water supply is low.


      • Keep your hands clean ? it's one of the best ways to keep from getting sick. If soap and running water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gels or wipes to clean hands.
      • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use. Throw out perishable foods, such as meat and poultry, that have been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
      • Eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content if your water supplies are low.
      • If there's a power outage, eat food in the refrigerator first, the freezer next, and finally from your stored supplies. In a well-filled, well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their centers (meaning foods are safe to eat) for at least two days.

      Replace your stored food on a regular basis

      Within six months, use
      • Boxed potatoes.
      • Dried fruit.
      • Dry, crisp crackers.
      • Powdered milk.

      Within one year, use
      • Canned, condensed meat and vegetable soups.
      • Canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables.
      • Hard candy and canned nuts.
      • Jelly.
      • Peanut butter.
      • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals.
      • Vitamins.

      In proper containers and conditions, the following can be stored indefinitely
      • Baking powder
      • Bouillon products
      • Dried corn
      • Dry pasta
      • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa
      • Soft drinks
      • Vegetable oils
      • Salt
      • Soybeans
      • Wheat (for breadmaking)
      • White rice