Food & Water


When a disaster occurs, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for days, or even weeks. Store enough emergency food to provide for your family for at least three days.

  • Store food items that are familiar, rather than buying special emergency food. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have. 
  • Ideal foods are: Shelf-stable (no refrigeration required), low in salt, and do not require cooking (e.g. canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, nuts, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices and non-fat dry milk). 
  • Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package. 
  • Include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors. 
  • Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place. 
  • Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least two years. Use dry products, like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk or dried fruit within six months. 
  • After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within four hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for two days.


Store at least four litres of water per person per day — for drinking, food preparation, hygiene and dish washing. Store water in a cool dark place. If you store tap water, use plastic bottles that have been washed, disinfected and are easy to carry. Record the date that you bottled the water on the label. Replace stored tap water every six months.

If you have pets, don’t forget to store approximately 30 millilitres of water per kilogram of the animal’s weight per day. For example an average cat or small dog would require at least 1/5 of a litre (or half a cup) of water per day.

Keep a supply of water-purifying tablets and non-perfumed chlorine bleach in your emergency preparedness kit.

Three ways to purify water: 

  1. Boil it for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Add water-purification tablets.
  3. Add one drop liquid chlorine bleach per litre of water (or three drops for cloudy water). Stir and let sit for 30 minutes before drinking. The water should have a slight chlorine smell.