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Emergency Management Organization
Emergency Preparedness: Food and Water Supply

Healthy people can survive for a considerable period of time on half their normal food intake, and for a few days with no food at all. Food, unlike water, can be safely rationed except where children and pregnant women are concerned. Water is even more necessary than food for your survival. Even if your supplies run low, you should never ration your water. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

Food Supply Recommendations

A three-day supply of food is recommended (keep more supplies if you live in a remote area). Pick foods the members of your household like and that do not require refrigeration, cooking or a lot of preparation. Replace these items once every year or when they reach their expiry dates.

In the event of a power failure, frozen food will keep for three days in an unopened freezer. Place sleeping bags, blankets or newspapers around the freezer for insulation. This will slow down heat loss and let the food stay frozen longer.

Examples of the kinds of food suitable for a survival kit include:

  • DRY FOODS (e.g., crackers, dried meat, fruit, juice crystals, powdered milk, smoked meat, soups)
  • CANNED FOODS (e.g., fruits, meats, pasta, soups, stews, vegetables)
  • HIGH ENERGY FOODS (e.g., granola, honey, nuts, peanut butter, trail mix)
  • STAPLES (e.g., instant coffee, pepper, salt, sugar, tea)
  • MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS such as aluminum foil, a mechanical can opener, disposable cups/plates/utensils, plastic bags, a cooking stove and fuel. You can also use barbeques, candle warmers, fondue pots and sternos.

Water Supply Recommendations

Store two litres of drinking water per day per person and one litre per day for your pet (a three-day supply should be adequate). Your water should be stored in a thoroughly washed and sealed plastic container.

In situations such as floods, you may have to purify water before drinking it. To purify, bring water to boil for 5 minutes and allow to cool before drinking.

In addition, you may consider purchasing the following:

  • A water purification device
  • Water purification tablets with 5.25% sodium hypochlorite

    Other sources of water include:

    • ice cubes
    • liquid from canned foods
    • toilet tank, purified
    • water heaters