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 Home>Family & Home>Hazards and Threats>Are You Ready?>

Your Three-day Emergency Food Supply

A three-day food supply should be non-perishable and require no refrigeration, minimal or no preparation or cooking, and little or no water. For ease in managing your supply, select food items that are compact and lightweight.

Sample menu for a three-day food supply

This will give you an idea of what a three-day supply of shelf-stable foods (for one person) may look like.

Grains (Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group)

Quantity

Item

Servings

3

single-serving packages ready-to-eat cereal

3

1

9-oz. box wheat crackers

9

1

4.2 oz bag mini rice cakes

6

1

1.5-oz. granola bar

1

Total # Servings (one person, three days)

19

Fruits

Quantity

Item

Servings

1

6-oz. can orange juice

1

2

4-oz. can mixed fruit

2

1

.75-oz. fruit roll

1

2

1.5-oz. box raisins

2

2

8.45-oz. box apple juice

2

2

4-oz. cups apple sauce

2

Total # Servings (one person, three days)

10

Vegetables

Quantity

Item

Servings

1

11.5-oz. can vegetable juice

2

1

8.5-oz. can peas & carrots

2

1

8.75-oz. can cream style corn

2

1

8-oz. can cut green beans

2

1

14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes

2

Total # Servings (one person, three days)

10

Protein  (Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts)

Quantity

Item

Servings

1

15-ounces canned beans

2

1

2-oz. can chicken (3-oz)

1

1

3.25-oz. can tuna

1

1

12-oz. jar peanut butter

6

Total # Servings (one person, three days)

10

Dairy (Milk, Yogurt & Cheese)

Quantity

Item

Servings

6

8-oz. boxes of shelf-stable milk or enriched soy milk

6

1

8.75-oz. box shelf-stable processed cheese

3

Total # Servings (one person, three days)

9

Other

Quantity

Item

Servings

3

gallons potable water (preferably commercially bottled)

Includes washing

1

Bag hard candy (optional)

varies

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re choosing these foods.

  • Choose nonperishable foods that require little or no cooking and no refrigeration.
  • Can or jar sizes should be appropriate for one meal with no leftovers. Once opened or prepared, many foods lose their shelf-stable character and will go bad.
  • Select food you like and normally eat. You may need to improve the packaging.
  • If you plan to heat food, also pack a grill, camping cook stove and fuel for use during power outage.
  • Don’t forget baby food, special dietary requirements and food for your pets.
  • Make sure you have a hand-crank can opener, scissors or knife for cutting open foil and plastic pouches, and disposable plates, cups and utensils. Pack all these items in plastic bags to keep them dry and as airtight as possible.
  • Keep a list of dates when food items need to be inspected and possibly rotated (used and then replaced with newly purchased items). As you assemble your food and other disaster supplies, keep them in a central location – above potential flood level.
  • Store food in the coolest cabinets or pantry away from appliances that produce heat.
  • Store food that comes in cardboard boxes, thin plastic or paper in metal, glass or rigid plastic containers to avoid insect and rodent damage. Remember to store the food supply in a central location – above potential flood level.
  • Plan to have on hand one gallon of water per day, per person and pet, for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.
  • Rotate and use food and water every six to 12 months or as recommended on the food labels.

Note: During an emergency you may also be able to cook and eat refrigerated and/or frozen food you have on hand. Discard leftovers and opened containers if you are unable to store them in a refrigerator or cooler that will maintain a temperature of 40 degrees or below. Don’t let leftovers stay out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, 1 hour if temperatures are 90 degrees or above.

Last Updated: 5/14/2012 2:58:31 PM

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