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Emergency Preparedness: Food Storage, Water Storage & First Aid Kits

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Emergency Preparedness: Food Storage, Water Storage & First Aid KitsMany people have never thought about accumulating food storage, water storage, and other emergency preparedness essentials as part of their personal financial plan.

However, disaster can strike unannounced at any moment.  A natural disaster could hit, the economy could slump into another recession, we could become unemployed, or we could develop health problems.

Well known ways to prepare for such events include:

  • Create an emergency fund
  • Insure against events that are unlikely to occur, yet devastating when they do.
  • Gain a good education and learn a marketable trade.
  • Budget and live within your means.
  • Get out of debt.

Four less common but equally important ways to prepare for disaster are the following:

  • Food Storage
  • Water Storage
  • Emergency Preparedness Kits
  • First Aid Kits

Food Storage

I firmly believe that we should all acquire and store a reserve of food, water, and other necessary supplies that can sustain us over long periods of time in the event of an emergency.

Food storage is generally very affordable and the food is healthy.  If you were to become unemployed for an extended period of time or if a disaster struck and food was unavailable, having an extensive supply of food could be a great blessing.

Three Month Supply of Food

Each time you go to the grocery store, purchase a few extra items that are part of your normal diet.  Gradually build up to a one week supply of food, then to a one month supply, and then eventually to a three month supply of food.  Rotate these items on a regular basis to prevent spoilage.

Longer-Term Food Storage

Establish a longer term food supply in addition to your 3 month supply.  These should be food items with a low moisture content that will last at least 20 -25 years if properly packaged and stored in a dry, cool place.

This might include white rice, oats, wheat, pasta, corn, beans, and other low-moisture foods that will remain edible and nutritious over long periods of time.

Also stock up on a few food items that don’t have as long a shelf life, but that are equally important, such as sugar, baking soda, salt, dry milk, and cooking oil, as well as foods containing essential nutrients such as vitamin C.

Slowly rotate these items into your three month supply of food to prevent long term spoilage.

Food Storage Containers

Proper containers, used with oxygen absorber packets, help preserve taste and nutritional quality, in addition to eliminating food-borne insects.

Improper food storage can lead to botulism poisoning, spoilage, and even insect problems.  The last thing you want is to run into any of these problems when you actually need your food storage.

Where to Obtain Long Term Food Storage Products

Starting your food storage, water storage, emergency preparedness kits or first aid kits can seem like a daunting task.  Fortunately there are a number of companies that provide helpful information and quality products at reasonable prices.

Some of the more popular providers include:

Water Storage

During a natural disaster or other emergency, your normal supply of water could become disrupted or polluted.  Store a supply of water to prepare for such a scenario.

Water that doesn’t come from a quality, pre-treated source should be purified before using.

Water Purification

Purification involves clarifying the water (passing it through some type of cloth or filter) and then disinfecting it.

There are several methods to disinfect water:

  1. Commercial water filter – This method can successfully filter and purify water that has become contaminated with microorganisms, heavy metals, and even toxic chemicals.
  2. Bleach – Bleach can successfully kill most microorganisms, but won’t be able to deal with toxic contamination.
  3. Boiling Method – Properly boiling water will be able to kill most microorganisms that are water-borne.  However, boiling water could also concentrate toxic contaminants if there are any.

Water Storage Containers

Water should be stored in a secure container that won’t break or leak.  The water should not be allowed to freeze and should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat.  Rotate the water regularly.

Store your water in a place that would not damage your home or property if the containers were to leak.

Emergency Preparedness Kit

Each family should also have an emergency preparedness kit.  An emergency preparedness kit would generally include items such as the following:

You can assemble your own kit, purchasing items separately at your local grocery store or online, at sites such as Amazon.  Alternatively, you can purchase ready-made kits at the websites listed above or on Amazon

First Aid

A first aid kit is also important to have for certain types of injuries, scrapes, and illnesses.    You can probably purchase a ready-made kit at your grocery store or on Amazon.

In addition to having a first aid kit, I also recommend that people learn basic first aid and CPR.

Getting Started

Get started now.  Even if you can’t buy everything right now, start with what you can and continue to add to it each month.  However, don’t go into debt to do it.

Finding ways to increase your income and cut expenses may enable you to build your emergency preparedness resources quicker.  Being prepared will bring you greater security and peace of mind.  There is no reason to fear when you are prepared.

Additional Reading

For additional insights, consider reading the following books:

What are your thoughts on emergency preparedness?  Do you have food storage, water storage, an emergency preparedness kit, or a first aid kit?  Am I missing anything?  Leave a comment below!

Image: sumnersgraphicsinc/Bigstock


{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Kate November 4, 2012, 6:56 pm

    Good article. I never really considered food and water storage as a part of personal finance, but I think it makes a lot of sense. I’m sure such preparation could have helped a lot of victims of Sandy.

  • Patrick March 18, 2013, 10:01 am

    Another quick and cheap way to get some of the long-term food storage items is to buy them on the secondary market. Often when people move they don’t want to haul a bunch of wheat and beans. We picked up a lot of dry goods that still had around 20 years left on their shelf life for a tenth of what they cost retail – you just have to be careful to check that they’ve been stored properly.

    • LD March 18, 2013, 2:06 pm

      That’s a really great idea Patrick. I’ve never thought of doing that. Thanks for sharing.


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