Do you keep extra food for emergencies?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by barkomatic, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #1
    I live in NYC, and since 9/11 the city has advised everyone to keep first aid kits, a radio and some extra food and water around just in case. Additionally, they recommend you keep a "go bag" stocked with these items at work in the event that whatever emergency occurs keeps you from going home--and instead you must immediately flee the city. Practically no one I know here in the city maintains either a stock of food or a "go bag".

    I couldn't imagine any disaster being so bad (in this region of the country) that could force me to rely on emergency supplies. I didn't have a problem going to the grocery store immediately after 9/11--as tragic as that event was. The grocery store was even open during the eastern power outage a few years back--ice cream was on sale! That was more of party than anything else. Oddly enough, a minor snow storm blanketed the city one winter -- and when I went to the grocery store it was packed with people hurriedly getting supplies as if it were the end of world. I went home and ordered pizza. No worries, I came the next day and the place was empty and fully stocked.

    I know the Haitian earthquake has highlighted the fragility of food and water supplies--but--its Haiti. I'm hearing a lot of people go on about not relying on the government in an emergency. Is it crazy to store a little food for an emergency in a big city? We don't have hurricanes, earthquakes or flooding here. I guess NYC could be hit with a terrorist nuke someday--but I'll probably be dead if that happens.
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    "Go" bag - no.

    Stock of food - only if you count what's in the fridge, freezer and cupboards, and there's plenty.
     
  3. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #3
    At home our freezer and pantry is pretty stocked up, so if we can't go anywhere for a week or so we should be good.

    For water, there is always the water heater tank with also enough water for a week with rationing (no showers though!).

    I always think about preparing a "go box", something that has the important papers to grab in case we have to leave, but I never got around to doing it.

    I used to keep water and some granola bars in the car, but they have been consumed along time ago. :p
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    Full pantry with about 2 weeks of food for 5 people. I live out in the country and can be snowed in for a few days so its vital to keep a stock of some food.
     
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #5
    I do not think your water heater counts as safe water. It is connected directly to the water supply and if the supply gets contaminated the water in your heater is also contaminated.

    Another time food and travel could be hampered is when for example the NYC blackout a few years ago. Kind of hard ot get home if all the power goes out for the area while you are at work.

    When I lived in my appartment food wise I general would have at least a week worth of food that I could eat. Now who knows what the food would be but last me a week. I would tend to keep some food always on hand as easy things to make but if I wanted to make anything I would have to go out and get it.
    Water wise I tend to have at least a 2 day supply normal kept in a case of water that I would use to grab and go when I left my apartment.

    As for times food supply can get hammer in the US is when Ike hit Houston it knock out power to Grocery stores and it was a few days before some of them open back up. Plus all food in the frigde and freeze would of gone bad by then. On top of that the things like stoves are all off line because no power. I do not know if the gas lines were shut down but those could of been out as well so no way to cook food.

    A huge earth quack can shut down a area for a while. yes the major fault line in CA but there are minor ones all over the country and can make a huge quake unexpectedly but they are very very rare and it can go threw multiple life times with out one happening.
     
  6. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Chicagoland
    #6
    I guess I wasn't thinking about the water supply being unsafe vs. shut down.

    Hmmm, I think I'm gonna get me some supplies this weekend! :eek:
     
  7. barkomatic thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #7
    I've been thinking about keep a little extra food and water on hand. Nothing tremendous, but just enough to get me through a minor disruption. I've been doing some reading, and some fairly credible sources have revealed that our food and water distribution systems are very fragile and could be disrupted by a variety of events.

    In the news I see people in Haiti begging for food and water after not having any for days on end. I wonder if the grocery store went empty due to some unforseen event and my tap ran dry--what would I do?

    It's a little crazy I guess. What would cause this I have no idea--but then again no one really guessed people would destroy the WTC with jets or that the power would go out on the eastern U.S. for a few days either.
     
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #8
    Fresh food is weekly really but if I had to I could live off tins for a few weeks.
     
  9. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Location:
    Kalifornia
    #9
    Water-Yes, Food-No. I do have enough cans in the cupboards to cover me a week at least, but I don't store food specifically for emergencies, only water.

    I also have a portable water filter and water purification supplies.

    I do have "go bag" with emergency supplies. I've lived through a few earthquakes and a Haiti type disaster is going to hit us in CA eventually. Hopefully our country's emergency services will work better than they did after Katrina. Hopefully.
     
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #10

    You do not have to look very much to find out what happens in the US when things like that happen. Go look when a major hurricane strikes somewhere. After Katrina they had water trucks bring in water for people giving them gallons of water and they brought in a lot of food. Now news only goes over that quickly but it is there. They did the same thing for Rita just Katrina over shadowed it.
    People in those areas have to work hard to find any food because well the stores are shut down. The US runs on a very limited backstock of anything. Grocery stores have shipments come in every other day and the shelves would be clean out in 3 days at normal business levels. After a disaster only takes hours to clean out a store.
     
  11. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #11
    I keep a 5 gallon supply of water, since my area was one of the last to have power restored after the blackout -- just finding room for that in an apartment this size was not easy. And I always have enough random food in the cupboards to last about a week. But I think Americans are really paranoid about attacks and disasters these days.
     
  12. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #12
    I wouldn't want to alarm people and I think this is pretty alarmist but nevertheless a possibility:

    However, the destruction in the United Kingdom will be as nothing compared to the devastation reeked on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Dr. Day claims that the Mega Tsunami will generate a wave that will be inconceivably catastrophic. He says: "It will surge across the Atlantic at 500 miles per hour in less than seven hours, engulfing the whole US east coast with a wave almost two hundred feet high " higher than Nelson,s Column " sweeping away everything in its path up to 20 miles inland. Boston would be hit first, followed by New York, then all the way down the coast to Miami, the Caribbean and Brazil." Millions would be killed, and as Dr. Day explains: "It's not a question of "if" Cumbre Vieja collapses, it's simply a question of "when".
    http://www.rense.com/general56/tsu.htm

    It's probably as well to keep in mind a lot of the scientific community thinks this is complete bollocks.
     
  13. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #13
    Lived through having Ike's eye right overhead. Not only could we still cook on the stove (and on our Propane Grill btw) but we still had hot water from our nat gas water heater....not sure how it operates without electricity? I mean doesn't something have to trigger it to heat more water when it cools down?

    We were without electricty for almost a solid two weeks. You are correct about not being able to buy anything for the first few days due to power. That's why we bugged out to our relatives in Austin. :)

    I also agree that having an unwieldy supply of food is probably unnecessary. Maybe in a safe room in your home having a day or two of food and water in case your neighborhood is levelled by a tornado or other disaster and it takes a while for rescuers to free you. But most of us probably have a solid week or two of food in the pantry.

    Just take a look. ;)
     
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #14
    I think everyone learned a lot from Katrina. I can not think of any time that country system was tested as badly as it was during Katrina. It was a huge metroplex that was hit and top it off it was a very poor area. Big storm plus poor area never a good combination. So you have people with a lot more need, in a state that does not have the resources to handle it so it has to come from the outside. There are not any big bussiness that are really based there so that is not going to help turn it around. Things were learned and things needed to changed.

    Rita caused Houston to learn a lot and it help prepare them for Ike. For example during Rita they had everyone on the south side of Houston leave and traffic was a nightmare because the system had never been tested before. Cars ran out of gas on the road. Stations near the route ran dry. The things that changed are now station on the route during hurrican season are required to keep their tanks above a certain level. During an evacuation fuel trucks will be stations on the route every so often to keep motorist cars up and running and then they will turn the inbound lanes into Houston to outbound effectually doubling the size of the high way. All that was only learned after the original plan had many many problems because it was never tested. Big disaster test the system and show what needs to be changed for the next time but no real way to test it and you never want it to have to be tested.
     
  15. iWoz macrumors 6502a

    iWoz

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    East Midlands, U.K
    #15
    Only the stuff with a pretty high calorie count :D
     
  16. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2009
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    Among the starlings
    #16
    If and when this happens, having emergency food and water supplies probably won't matter to anyone living in NYC or Boston or any other coastal city.
     
  17. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #17
    Rodimus, I think we are neighbors....Kingwood, TX here!

    Also, I liked that as major hurricanes/storms were forming in the Gulf, TXDOT put up "fill your gas tank" messages on the local highways. Just to help people be prepared. Also setting up all major highways to allow contraflow (which was not used in Ike btw as there was no widespread evac) would have made the Rita evac much smoother. Contraflow changes ALL lanes of a highway to outbound to allow for twice as many lanes of egress. Now, should Houston have to do a complete evacuation, it would go much, much smoother than the Rita one.

    I agree that preparation is key, but there are just some things that will pop-up that you won't ever account for.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    I read somewhere that people tend only have enough food in their house for 3 days. Also supermarkets generally need to get restocked on a daily basis themselves.

    So if we had a natural disaster that impacted the trucking industry, the supermarkets will be empty in no time, this it excluding the panic and people hoarding that would also ensue which would shorten the time that food is on the shelves. The food in the freezer and refrigerator will only last a couple of days. Water will only be available provided the municipal pumps stay online to keep pushing the water and the supply isn't contaminated.

    My point is that it would not be difficult for someone in a city to be out of food and water in a matter of days. I try to keep my pantry stocked for a week+ worth of food and 3 of those large poland spring water jugs (the kind that goes into the cooler) Even then I want to be better prepare for any sort of disaster.
     
  19. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #19
    Same here. Been through more hurricanes than I can remember. The year I moved to Florida, 4 hurricanes hit:eek:. I got outta Dodge pdq and moved to the Republic of Texas;). The 'canes followed me here too.:mad: Been through a couple of Cat 5 and sang the chorus of "we all gonna die, we all gonna die" once or twice.:p Canned food is the only real option. Flood water ruins pretty much every other kind.
    Fresh water is essential. I've usually got about 5 gallons stock up for daily use, but will bump it up to 15 for the next hurricane.

    Yes, candy bars. Nutrition isn't high on my list during an emergency. I've got about 4lbs of snickers stashed away. I tell the wife it's for emergencies, but I've been whittling away at it weekly.:p
     
  20. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    Chris and I are working on coming up with an emergency plan and an emergency kit. The reason we are doing so is because we live in Southern California, a major earthquake zone. We've been through many many earthquakes in our short time here, and have been talking for a while about coming up with a plan and some emergency supplies. Now that we are both living out here full-time we've become a little more serious about it.

    We are settling on a plan for what would happen if we are both at work, both at home, one of us is home, both are together away from work/home, and both away from work/home but separated. We are also buying up water bottles, canned food, a first aid kit, flashlights, batteries and a radio.

    I probably would be like a lot of people, just kind of brushing it off, but I've been through my share of situations where I needed emergency supplies. The most recent being the so-called 'May 8th Derecho' in Southern Illinois. We were without power for about 5 days and couldn't drink the tap water for most of them (it was brown and smelled like fish, it would have been a solution, but luckily we had bottled water). Not only this, but we were also subjected to curfews and weren't allowed in or out of our town (looting and personal safety the reasons). The fire department in town had free meals every night for those who needed them, but that was more luck than anything else.

    Anyways, I guess the short answer is: yes.
     
  21. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #21
    Don't keep things around for emergency, but we have stuff we have bought and not eaten, like the odd can of lima beans or chili. It wouldn't be the best tasting food, but it would do.

    I really fail to see where I would need more than a week or two of food on hand for emergencies. I mean I know some catastrophic things have happened before, but has help really taken weeks to arrive?

    I would be more worried about losing the internet and power than food!
     
  22. macfem macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    #22
    We do, we have a 120 supply of dried food that will last something like 20 years. Plenty of dried goods too...just because we cook at home a lot. [​IMG]
     
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23
    I usually keep a little more food on hand during the winter just in case we get a bad storm.
     
  24. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #24
    As a Mormon, I am taught to have 1 year supply of food and a 72-hour 'go' pack for emergencies. I have both.

    P-Worm
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #25
    I always try to keep a fortnight's supply of champagne and whiskey. Anything else is unnecessary luxury.
     

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