Welcome to week 2 of “Emergency Preparedness” 8 week series here at A Bowl Full of Lemons. This week I will show you how to store food and water in your Emergency Survival Station. To see the introduction to the series, visit my blog post (here). To re-visit week 1 storage, click here.
The second step to creating an Emergency Survival Station for your home – Food & Water. The purpose for this station is to have the means to survive an emergency for at least 72 hours, all in one place. In other words, you need enough food and water to last you at least 72 hours. Water is essential to life. Without it, you will not survive. So you need to know how much to store and how to purify it if you run out of “clean” water. You also need to store at least 3 days worth of “easy to prepare” food (with a long shelf life). Once you gather up your food and water supply, you are ready to move on to week 3.
WEEK 2 – “FOOD & WATER”
This week your goal is:
1. Stockpile water – 1 gallon/person/day (3 days minimum). FEMA suggests storing at least a 2 week supply.
2. Store regular bleach, medicine dropper or medicine cup in the ESS. Add bleach to a small bottle. (Keep in adult backpacks for water purification).
3. Add water purification tablets to each backpack.
4. Add coffee filters to each backpack.
5. Place one can opener in each backpack.
6. Store 3 days of shelf stable food in each backpack.
#1 – WATER
The most important item to store in your Emergency Survival Station is water. You cannot survive without clean drinking water. You need to store 1 gallon/person/day (3 days minimum). FEMA suggests storing at least a 2 week supply. The more water you stockpile, the better off you are. Make sure you rotate your water supply often. I keep a 24 pack of water bottles per person & 1 for pets. I also have 3 aqua containers filled, as well as a container that I can use to fill 100 gallons of water in my bathtub (here). We use this if there is a threat of a hurricane or bad weather. You never know when you will need extra water. Its always best to be prepared.
You can find the Aqua-Tainer (here).
#2 – WATER PURIFICATION
In an emergency, access to safe drinking water may become compromised. If the public water system becomes contaminated for any amount of time & you don’t have an emergency supply of water, you will need to know how to effectively treat water in order to remove pathogens for safe drinking. There are a few ways to treat it, but the two easiest purification methods are by boiling or chlorination. (My E-Book contains a water purification printable that you can place in each backpack for directions on how to purify water in an emergency).
Boiling – According to FEMA, boiling is the safest way to treat water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute. Cool before drinking. Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it. You can do this by pouring it back an forth between to containers before drinking.
Chlorination – Use only regular household liquid bleach with 5.25 – 6.0 sodium hypochlorite. Add 16 drops (1/8 tsp) of bleach per gallon of water or 4 drops to 1 quart of water. By adding ascorbic acid (lemonade or kool-aid) to the treated water, it will convert the chlorine into tasteless chlorine.
#3 – CAN OPENER
If you include canned food in your 72 hour food kit, you need to have a can opener! Include 1 in each backpack, just in case you get separated.
#4 – 72 HOUR FOOD KIT
When packing food into your 72 hour kit, remember to use shelf stable, non perishable foods that will last a while. Fill out the 72 hour kit printable (in E-Book) and replace expired food as needed. A good rule of thumb is to check your kit every 6 months (the week of daylight savings times).
*Cooking methods will be discussed during week 5 (Supplies).
#5 – PLACE A 72 HOUR FOOD KIT IN EACH BACKPACK
I cannot stress enough about the importance of food and water in your Emergency Survival Station. If you have forgotten about the events (after Hurricane Katrina) made landfall in 2005, let me remind you. THOUSANDS were without food and water for days. Sanitation was gone. Help was no where to be found (for days). Natural disasters can happen anywhere, even in America. Be prepared.
MONEY SAVING TIPS:
Instead of buying individual water bottles, you can purchase gallon water for less than a dollar each. Every time you go grocery shopping, add 2-3 gallons to your list. (Make sure to rotate your water often). When purchasing food for your 72 hour kit, buy store brands instead of name brands. Lastly, purchase your can opener at the Dollar Store! These tips will save a lot of money this week.
“EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS” E-BOOK
E-book for week 2 includes:
GRAB A BUTTON IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE CHALLENGE
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WEEK 2 SPONSOR – Heather Lorimer from “Shelf Reliance”
If you dont have time to put together your own emergency kit, you can purchase a preassembled kit at Shelf Reliance. Visit Heathers website to shop for Emergency Kits & Supplies, food storage & shelving. homeparties.shelfreliance.com