Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Understanding More About Emergency Food Rations

By Linda Cantrell

Have you ever imagined what would happen if you were not allowed to buy food for a whole year? How would you survive? It is in the search of answers to these questions that you need some basic tips about emergency food rations. Natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, storms and disease outbreaks are common in the UK just like elsewhere in the world. You therefore need to be prepared for such emergencies so that your ration supply is not cut short.

One of the basic preparation tips is to have an emergency food-stock. Such foods must have long shelf life and must meet all your basic dietary needs. At least a three day supply of food and water at any given time is a good start. Consider the number of family members and the amount of water and food they can consume per day. With time you can build your stock to last a week, a month and so on.

You also require good storage equipment. Necessary hygiene requirements should also be met. The foods stored here should require no refrigeration and should have low salt content. Do not put your store very far as to avoid inconveniences when retrieving the items. Remember a prolonged search is inconvenient in an emergency situation. Humidity and pests are dangerous to stored food and should therefore be kept at bay.

When you go for shopping, you do not need to buy everything at once. You can start with those that are on stock or on offer. Consider the prizes also. Some are very expensive while others are cheap. Depending on your pocket, go for what fits you. However, it is advisable to purchase items from reputable and trusted manufacturers.

Use the stock for emergency only. Avoid reverting to it in tempting non emergency situations. Instead, daily ration supplies should be purchased as usual. Replenish the stock pile as soon as possible once you are forced to borrow from it. However, try not to use it at all unless for emergency.

Occasionally, you have to replenish and rotate your stock pile so that the old items appear at the bottom and the new ones at the top. Throw away the items that get expired before they are used. Rotating implies interchanging the items to take those recently purchased to the bottom. This way, the items that are about to expire are consumed first to avoid wastage.

There are many ways of testing the palatability of your stocked items. One way is to check their expiry dates. The nearer the expiry date the faster you should use the item to beat the deadline. For bottled water, you have to rotate the stock every six months even if the expiry date is not pinned on the bottle.

The maximum storage period for high acid canned foods such as fruits can be a year or eighteen months. Low acid canned foods like meat, fish and most vegetables can be stored for two to five years.

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