Best Southwest  Regional C.E.R.T. Program

AN AFFILIATE OF BEST SOUTHWEST UNIFIED citizens corps council

HOW TO BE PREPARED

Text Box: Imagine your family has to survive for four to seven days on just what is in your pantry at this very moment.  If you have stocked the pantry with the possibility of disaster in mind, your family can survive and recover.  Imagine there is no electricity, no water, no working gas stations or ATMs.  What would you need to survive and emerge healthy from difficult times?
Water
Food
Medical Supplies
Communications Plan
Water
Water is essential to life. Each individual needs a gallon of water a day. Additional water for sanitation purposes will make difficult times more manageable. Plan on storing two gallons of water for each person in the family for the four to seven day event. So, that's between 8 to 14 gallons of water for just two people. Start small and work toward the water storage goals. Look for 5-7 water-storage containers on sale. Watch the grocery sales for the 2 1/2 gallon containers of bottled water.
How and Where to Store Water
Learn where the water intake valve to your home is. If you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, or if local officials recommend doing so, you would need to shut off water to your house at the incoming water valve to stop contaminated water from entering your home. 
 In a cool, dark place in your home, each vehicle, and your workplace.
 Preferably in store-bought, factory-sealed water containers. 
 In food-grade-quality containers made for storing water.
Safe Use of Water Containers
Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with water.
Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.
Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use.
Avoid Using
Store-bought water past the expiration or "use by" date on the container.
Containers that can't be sealed tightly.
Containers that can break, such as glass bottles.
Containers that have ever held any toxic substance.
Plastic milk bottles and cartons. They are difficult to clean and break down over time.
Do
Change stored water every six months.
Alternate Emergency Water Sources Inside Your Home
If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your:
hot-water tank
pipes and faucets
ice cubes
If your tap water is safe to drink, so is the water in your pipes and hot-water tank, even if the idea seems unappealing. If you don't drink tap water, the water in your pipes and hot-water tank may still be useful for sanitation. 
To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, then open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, only a professional can turn it back on.
To use the water in your pipes, identify and turn on the highest faucet in your home to let air into the plumbing. You then can get water from the lowest faucet.
Food
How frequently do you shop for groceries? In the imagined scenario of surviving on stored supplies, suppose the disaster arrives just before you plan to do your regular shopping. What remains in the pantry? Can your family survive for four days on a can of artichoke hearts, a jar of olives, a box of Cream of Wheat, and some wilted lettuce? Plan ahead and you can enjoy eating instead of trying to survive on Vienna sausages, pop tarts, and peanut butter sandwiches.
C.E.R.T. has found these two disaster survival cookbooks helpful in planning food supplies, shopping lists, and recipes for the supplies: 
Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out by Jon Robinson
The Storm Gourmet: A Guide to Creating Extraordinary Meals Without Electricity by Daphne Nikolopoulos
Both Robinson and Nikolopoulos offer menus for using pantry supplies and for cooking without a microwave (remember no electricity or refrigeration). Both books are exceptionally useful. 
Stock non-perishable food that your family actually likes: 
 cereal         ready to eat soup (not condensed)      canned pasta        trail mix
 canned vegetables    	   peanut butter        granola bars        canned juice	        
Comfort Foods: instant foods, lollipops, chocolate, cookies, whichever items make difficult days easier.
Remember to stock a manual can opener and matches. 


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