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Checklists, Food Preparation Supplies, Food Storage

In the event of a disaster each family in Canada should have a three-day emergency supply of food available. Disasters happen unexpectedly and planning your storage system takes time. There is no time like the present. Having a good reserve of food and water facilitates survival and creates a feeling of psychological well-being.

What to store:

  • Store foods that: you are used to eating, and is familiar to users
  • Can be stored adequately
  • Will keep without refrigeration
  • Are easily prepared, are precooked, cook quickly or require no cooking
  • Are nutritious and easily digestible. Aim for a balanced diet by planning your menus ahead of time
  • Offer variety
  • Remember to store the equipment necessary for preparation, cooking and clean up.
  • Will meet individual needs (e.g. special diets)
  • Is according to size of family
  • Remember some items will require water or milk, and possible boiled water
  • Remember to also store an emergency food pack that is small in volume and light to carry.

If there is no electricity:

  • Start with the food in your refrigerator
  • Then use the food in your freezer
  • Then use your daily reserves of (packaged) food
  • Finally, use your emergency food supply

Choice of Menu Suggestions:

 1st Day2nd Day3rd Day

Melba Toast
Peanut Butter

Granola Bars
Apple Sauce
Instant Oatmeal
Dried Apricots
Melba Toast
Pork and Beans
Sliced Pineapple
Canned Stew
Green Peas
Fruit Salad
Tomato Juice
Melba Toast
Chili Con Carne
Canned Pears
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Canned Peaches
Vegetable Juice
Flaked Ham
Green Beans
Tapioca Pudding

Vegetable Soup
Liver Pate
Melba Toast
Rice Pudding


Dried Fruit

Granola Bars
Serve a beverage with every meal
If you can be assured of a water supply, you can plan a much larger variety of meals

Sample Shopping List

For Babies

  • Nursing Formula
  • Cereal (add 3-4 cans of evaporated milk)
  • Puree
  • Milk and Milk Products
    • Powered Milk
    • Canned Milk
    • U.H.T packed milk
    • Puddings (Ready to serve)

Meat and Meat Substitutes (Canned)

  • Flaked Ham, Turkey
  • Pate
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pork and Beans
  • Beef Jerky

Grain Products

  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Instant Rice
  • Instant Noodles


  • Fruit Juices
  • Vegetable Juices
    • Tomato juice
    • V8 juice
  • Bottled Water
  • Instant Coffee
  • Tea Bags
  • Hot Chocolate

Fruits (canned)

  • Apple sauce
  • Fruit salad
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Dried Fruits (Vacuum packed)
    • Apricots
    • Prunes
    • Raisins
    • Trail Mix

Vegetables (canned)

  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Creamed corn

Ready to Serve Meals (canned)

  • Chili con carne
  • Canned stew
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce


  • Vegetable soup (canned)
  • Instant soup mixes


  • Chocolate powder or instant hot chocolate
  • Instant Coffee
  • Tea Bags (individual packets)
  • Cookies
  • Jam
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Sugar

The quantity of foods should vary according to your needs.
Renew the cereal products every six months and other supplies yearly.
Store cereal products in metal containers, if possible.
Do not forget food for pets.

Equipment and Supplies Recommended:
  • aluminum foil
  • bottle opener
  • candles
  • can opener (manual)
  • chlorine bleach
  • cloths
  • containers
  • cups-glasses
  • dinner plates
  • dish detergent
  • dishpan
  • first aid kit
  • flashlight + batteries
  • fondue set or camp stove
  • frying pan
  • fuel
  • funnel
  • garbage can
  • hammer
  • handiwipes
  • matches (waterproof)
  • nails
  • oven mitts
  • plastic bags
  • plastic wrap
  • radio + batteries
  • saucepan
  • scissors
  • scouring pads
  • spoons, forks, variety of knives
  • survival book
  • washbasin

Storage Containers:


Rodent proof
Damp proof
Stack easily

May require can opener
Damage resistant
No seams
Do not rust

Crack with time
Affected by heat
Not rodent proof

GlassCan be sterilized
Do not rust
Rodent proof
Not easily stacked
Let light through (*light may spoil food)
  • Packaging is as important as the food itself. It should be sealed in such a way that it is protected against rodents, insects, bacteria, humidity and variations in temperature.
  • Destroy containers and contents of bulging tins or those whose contents spurt out when opened

Water Supply Storage:

  • Store the water you usually drink
  • Use water from a safe source
    • Covered wells
    • Protected springs
    • Hot water tanks
    • Family stockpile of canned or bottled water
    • canned fruit juices
  • Use small-necked plastic bottles that have been washed, disinfected and are easily carried. Heavier plastic preferred as the thin varieties tend to leach more plastic into the water.
  • Handle water in the most hygienic manner possible
  • Store water in a cook, dark place
  • Record the date on which the water was bottled on each container
  • Replace your stored water yearly
  • You can use the water in your hot water tank for cleaning purposes only.
  • Keep a supply of water-purifying agents (e.g. chlorine bleach).
  • Never store water in containers that have been used for fuel, poison, or any other toxic product.

Quantity of Water to Store per person, per day (including children)

  • 1.5 liter of water per day is essential for survival
  • 3 liters of water are essential for maintenance (drinking, cooking)
  • 6 liters or more of water are essential for comfort (drinking, eating, washing).
  • Do not forget animals (30 ml of water per kilogram of weight)
Method for (4.5 liters, 1 gal)Clear WaterCloudy Water
Boil water10 minutes10 minutes
Chlorine bleach

4 drops
1 drop per liter of water

12 drops
3 drops per liter of water

Tincture of Iodine20 drops40 drops
Add water purification tablesas indicated on labelas indicated on label
  • Our hands are the most common source of contamination. Add just a few drops of chlorine bleach in water before washing your hands.
  • Always follow instructions from your Public Health Department in regard to filtering and emergency chlorination.
  • Remember, purification compounds must be in contact with the water for at least 30 minutes to kill the bacteria. The water must be well mixed. The treated water should have a slight chlorine or iodine tastes
  • If you suspect that water is contaminated, either boil it or chlorinate it.

Choice of Fuels:


Even heat
Easy to transport

Can of 227 grams (8 oz) not refillable
Fuel AlcoholEasily accessible
Extinguish with water
Not very volatile
Low heat production
NaphthaHigh heat
Burns cleanly
Evaporates fast
PropaneHigh heat outputMay explode
Produces characteristic odor
Extinguish with water
Low heat production
Irritating fumes
  • All products should be used in a safe and well-ventilated area
  • All products except alcohol and sterno should be stored outside
  • Once a year, check all products, including fuels, to ensure condition is satisfactory
  • All these products must be utilized according to manufacturers' specifications.
  • Remember, never use a barbeque indoors.

Quantity of Fuel Needed:

Type of EquipmentPurchase UnitDuration per Unit
Butane stoveCan, 227 g (8 oz) each1 hour 40 min. per can
Gas stove 2 burnersCartridge of 90 g1 hour 30 min.
Propane stove/barbeque2.25 kg (5 lb) cartridge40 hours
Sterno stove (canned)1 can (large format)40 minutes (approx.)
Kerosene lamp (wick 2.4 cm or 1 inch)1 liter (for lighting)4 hours (approx.)
Gas lamp two mantles

1 liter (for lighting)
4 liters

8 hours (approx.)
32 hours (approx.)

Quantities are established assuming three hours of daily use for cooking.

Where to Store:

  • In a clean, readily accessible and safe area
  • Away from heat sources: fans, hot pipes, furnaces
  • Away from strong odors: solvents, combustibles
  • Protect from rodent and insects
  • On shelves, racks, in boxes or bins not more than 15 cm (6") from concrete floor.
  • Suggested Storing Areas:
    • pantry
    • cellar
    • chests
    • cupboards
    • shed
    • shelves
    • space under stairs