September is disaster preparedness month. Are you prepared? The truth is most people haven’t done anything. So you are off the hook this time, but the reality is you need to do something! No one will be there to bail you out with food if there is a disaster. The first responders will be busy with much bigger issues auch as roads, bridges, office buildings, and airports.
I’ve put together an emergency kit with food, medical supplies, a first aid kit, juices, and water. I have everything we might need (I hope) if there’s ever an emergency. I’ve even got food and medications for our dog.
I put my emergency kit together last year and plan to change out the food each year. Thankfully, there are basics in a kit that never need updating like first aid kits, windup radios, plastic utensils, toilet paper, etc. I know it’s hard enough to create a kit, never mind updating the food every year. It’s important, though, to keep food that’s edible in the kit. Can you imagine if there was a disaster and you opened up your kit and everything had an expired shelf life? That would not be a good time thing.
If you update your food supply on a yearly basis, you can kill two birds with one stone. I bought most of the food in bulk at Costco. Food like peanut butter, tuna fish, canned vegetables, canned soup, canned juice, and pudding cups which all have a long shelf life. Since I only want to update my emergency supply once a year, I bought new food to replenish the older food. I then donated the food I had on hand from the first food supply. The expiration date for most of the food was not until spring of next year. Since there were a variety of expiration dates, it would be too hard to keep the food fresh in the emergency kit unless it’s changed out all at once. It makes more sense to replace it on an annual basis and donate the previous year’s supply, since it’s well before the expiration date.
So now you can do three good things: Create an emergency kit, update foods and medications each year, and donate the previous year’s food before its out of date.
For tips on putting a disaster kit together, check the Red Cross and 3Days3Ways. Need a great place to donate? The Eastside Month of Concern for the Hungry starts this weekend. You can donate and many supermarkets on the eastside on Saturday, the 24th and all through this month.