The following timelines provide general guidance to ensuring the products in your disaster survival kit are always up to date:
Three (3) months
Protein bars (refer to date on package)
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Stored catchment water in tightly sealed container, be sure to check to ensure the water is still clear and not cloudy
Six (6) months
Powdered milk (boxed)
Biscuits & Crackers
One year or before due date
Canned meats and soups
Canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables
Canned baby food
Peanut butter, jams and jelly
Commercially bottled water
Tea and coffee
Condensed milk (unopened)
Indefinitely (once stored in proper containers and conditions)
Noncarbonated soft drinks
Granulated (white) sugar
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot – a dark area if possible.
- Open food boxes and other re-sealable containers carefully so that you can close them tightly after each use.
- Wrap perishable foods, such as cookies and crackers, in plastic bags and keep them in sealed containers.
- Empty open packages of sugar, dried fruits and nuts into screw-top jars or air-tight canisters for protection from pests.
- Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use.
- Throw out canned goods that become swollen, dented or corroded.
- Use foods before they spoil and replace them with fresh supplies, dated with ink or marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front.
- Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
Managing Food Supplies
- Keep food in covered containers.
- Keep cooking and eating utensils clean.
- Keep garbage in closed containers and dispose outside, burying garbage if necessary.
- Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected.
- Use only pre-prepared canned baby formula for infants.
- Discard any food that has come into contact with contaminated flood water.
- Discard any food that has an unusual odour, colour or texture.
- Do not eat foods from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat.
- Do not use powdered formulas with treated water.
- Do not let garbage accumulate inside, both for fire and sanitation reasons.