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One of the most important things to remember when disaster strikes is to take care of yourself. Though the wait may be long and grueling, there are several ways to get through it.


The best food you can store for your family is dry cereal. Whole grain and fortified cereals provide the vitamins needed. Plus, the high carbohydrate content will provide your body with the fuel it needs for activities such as wood cutting, shoveling, sand-bag piling, or just playing. Some cereals are higher in fiber than others. Most are zinc and iron balanced. Read the labels carefully and choose what’s right for your family. Buy what you know the kids will eat.


Canned, evaporated and Ultra High Temperature (UHT) packaged milk also stores well. UHT packaged milk is real milk that stays fresh for months and is a good source of vitamin D.


Canned juices are also a good choice. Some are 100 percent juice and some are 100 percent Vitamin C fortified. However, avoid storing in glass containers in the winter because they tend to crack when frozen.


Canned soups are also great for hot, easy to heat meals. But they can also be eaten right out of the can, if necessary. Canned fruits and vegetables are good for storing. Apricots, mandarin oranges and pineapple are very high in Beta-Carotene and Vitamins A and C. When choosing canned soups for storage, pick the ones with lower sodium content. Also consider the ones with vegetables for vitamin and mineral content.


Canned albacore tuna is the healthiest of all canned tuna. It contains omegas and fatty acids other tunas don’t. Canned salmon and canned chicken are other good choices. All are low in fat and great on crackers, which can also be stored.


Canned beans (pinto, kidney, black-eyed peas, baked) can be eaten right out of the can. Beans are very filling and are a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Condiments can be stored, but only store the small containers that will be consumed right away. Once they are opened, they will perish. The most important thing to remember is to consume adequate calories - your body needs the fuel.


Supplies to have on hand:

Paper plates, paper towels, paper cups

Aluminum foil

Large quart-size freezer bags

Bottled water

Plastic eating utensils

Large, shallow pans

Large, plastic tarps

Hand-held can opener

Garbage bags

Charcoal, charcoal lighter

Kerosene, kerosene lamps & heaters


Foods that don’t need cooking:

Bread, bakery products (crackers, pastries, etc.)

Cereal and milk

Canned meat, tuna, Vienna sausages, etc.

Juices in boxes

Instant drink mixes

Fresh fruit

Peanut butter and jelly


To keep food from spoiling

• Do not open freezer. Food will usually stay safe as long as there are ice crystals in it.

• Put perishable items (milk, cheese, fresh meats, etc.) in large quart size freezer bags, or large shallow pans and put in the snow. Cover with large tarps.

• Add snow to coolers to keep perishables cold.

Instant drink mixes

Fresh fruit

Peanut butter and jelly