Get these essentials ready

Published August 28, 2006



- Store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family.

- Set aside at least 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day. A normally active person needs to drink at least 2 quarts of liquid each day. Heat can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and sick people will need more.

- Commercially bottled water lasts essentially forever. If you fill your own empty bottles from the tap, they will be good for about two days at room temperature, two weeks if refrigerated.


- Have at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food on hand. Even after the storm passes, it may be several days before stores reopen and restock.

- Stock up on high-nutrition foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. Some suggestions:

- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, canned juices, milk, soup. But don't waste your money on food your family won't eat, no matter how convenient it is.

- High-energy foods, including peanut butter, jelly, granola bars.

- Staples, including salt, pepper and sugar, instant offee, tea. Individual packets of condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise).

- Food for infants, the elderly, or people on special diets.

- Comfort foods: cookies, fruit roll-ups, dried fruit, nuts. But go easy on salty foods such as pretzels and chips.

- Buy individual portions (fruit, pudding) and small sizes. They're easier to fit into an ice chest than the giant economy size, and you won't have to worry about storing leftovers.

- If you have a grill, choose items for which grilling is appropriate (hot dogs) rather than those that require an oven or range top (roasts or casseroles).

- Paper plates, napkins, and paper or plastic cups; plastic forks, knives and spoons; a couple of serving spoons, forks and knives for food preparation and serving.

- Plastic garbage bags and ties, paper towels, wipes, fuel (charcoal briquettes, lighter fluid, matches, or a full propane tank); hand sanitizer; plastic containers, plastic wrap, plastic bags and foil. Manual can opener.

- Two coolers: one for food, one for ice.