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In an emergency, your body will undergo a huge amount of physical stress. You will need the proper fuel to keep going during your response time, especially after the adrenaline has worn off.

I remember numerous earthquakes hitting when I lived in Southern California – obviously quite common for the area. All children in my school district were required to have a small “earthquake kit” available for them in their classroom. What were the required items for the kit?

1. A snack and drink

2. A Picture of that child’s guardian(s).

If you look at these 2 items it speaks volumes. They are the bare minimum that will get you through.  It may not be comfortable, or easy, but you will survive.  In this post we’re going to discuss the first need – fuel for your body.

Fuel: What snack did my mom include in my earthquake kit? A serving of 100% juice and 2 granola bars. She’s a smart lady. These items are lightweight, and have sustenance. Carbohydrates, fat, protein, etc. Would I be hungry if that’s all I had for the day? Sure. Will it give me energy and keep my body going? Yes.

How much? Its not a matter of bulk, it’s a matter of calories. Shoot for 2500 per day for an adult male, and 2000 a day for an adult female. (So, 7,500 total for dudes, and 6,000 total for the ladies).

What kinds of Foods? When it comes to choosing food for your disaster kit, one of the main criteria is weight. Your food and drink items must be lightweight. In many emergency/disaster scenarios, you will need to get out in a hurry, and schlepping large containers of food and drink is not the way to go.

My favorite emergency food item is based off of the original MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat). This handy idea is brought to you by the US Department of Defense. It’s a lightweight, self contained, individually packaged, pre determined caloric intake meal. No water or heating necessary for prep.  There are various reviews on the “tastiness factor”, but food is food, and in an emergency you can’t afford to be picky. There are literally hundreds of varieties, including vegetarian – so pick what you think you’d enjoy the most.

If MREs are not easily accessible for you – there are many other small, lightweight food options for your kit. When you’re picking your items think about including food that will provide you with not just calories, but a balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Emergency kits are not the time to worry about your figure. You will need every calorie in the food you pack, so make sure those calories are nutrient rich, and not just empty calories.

Definitely look into meal replacement bars (not diet bars – there is a difference) and energy gels. Basically any product designed for distance racers (runners, bikers, tri-athletes etc) is an ideal option. These products are designed to pack in a meal’s worth of carbs, fat and protein in a small convenient dose.

Other options include: granola, granola bars, energy bars, trail mix, beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit and fruit roll ups (the 100% fruit kind) just to name a few.

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