Managing Food Supplies

In emergencies, it is important to preserve food supplies for as long as possible.  Food, unlike water, can be safely rationed for all but children and pregnant women without causing harm. Most people can remain relatively healthy with about half as much food as usual and can survive without any food for several days, if necessary. Follow these food tips in emergency situations:

  • If the water supply is limited, try to avoid foods high in fat and protein, as they will make you thirsty.  Try to eat salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and foods with high liquid content.
  • It is important to be sanitary when storing, handling, and eating food.  Keep food in covered containers.  Keep cooking and eating utensils clean.  Keep garbage in closed containers and dispose of it outside the house when it is safe to go outside.  Bury garbage, if necessary.  Avoid letting garbage accumulate inside the shelter, both for fire and sanitation reasons.
  • For emergency cooking, heat food with candle warmers, chafing dishes and fondue pots, or use a fireplace.  Charcoal grills and camp stoves are for outdoor use only.
  • Canned food can be eaten right out of the can without warming. Before heating food in a can, open the can and remove the label.
  • Do not eat food from cans that have swollen tops, even though the food may look okay to eat.  Conversely, do not eat any food that looks or smells abnormal, even if the can looks okay.

For more information on emergency procedures, please call the Florence County Emergency Preparedness Department at 843-665-7255.