How to Store Food and Water
- Do I need special containers to store water?
You may store water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has held toxic substances because tiny amounts may remain in the container's pores. Sound plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, are best.
- Do I need to do anything special with the water before storing it?
Before storing water, treat it with a preservative such as chlorine bleach to prevent the growth of micro-organisms. Use liquid bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite and no soap. Add four drops of bleach per quart of water (or two scant teaspoons per 10 gallons) and stir. Seal water containers tightly, label them and store in a cool, dark place.
- What about buying bottled water?
Another method for storing water is to simply purchase bottled water and leave the seals intact. Remember to rotate stored water every six months or as date-stamped on the bottles.
- How much food do I need to store?
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.
- What do you suggest if water supply is limited?
If water supply is limited, try to avoid foods high in fat and protein. Don't stock salty foods since they will make you thirsty. Try to eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
- What kinds of food should I store?
You don't need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You may use the canned foods, dry mixes and other staples on your cupboard shelves. In fact, familiar foods are important. They can lift morale and give a feeling of security in time of stress. Also, canned foods won't require cooking, water or special preparation.
- What are some tips about storing food?
- Keep food in a dry, cool and dark spot in the house.
- Keep food covered at all times.
- Open food boxes or cans carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use.
- Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags, and keep them in tight containers.
- Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw-top jars or air-tight cans to protect them from pests.
- Inspect all food containers for signs of spoilage before use.