It is important that you keep the special needs of the oldest and the youngest family members in mind when planning for long-term storage. A well-planned food storage program should allow for the feeding of babies and young children, as well as other family members. Care should be taken that a mother’s diet is sufficient to permit her to nurse an infant as long as possible, which provides the best source of nutrients for the baby.
Animals Need Food and Water, Too
Most people’s animals are like children, totally dependent on them. We tend to become very upset when our animals are hurt, lost, or hungry, and would hate to see them starve. The simple solution is to store enough dry food for your animals for at least a three-month period of time.
Figure how much your dogs and cats eat in a week and multiply that amount by 12 to calculate a three-month supply. Or simply estimate how long a bag of food lasts and figure how many bags you’d need to feed each animal for the length of time you want your storage to last. For example, if it takes your dog approximately three weeks to eat a 50-pound bag of food, four bags should keep him fed for three months. I’ve read books that include recipes for making dog food. My opinion is this: If I am in a crisis situation, I’m not going to have time to make dog food.
Animals need good water also. Store a little extra for them, probably a pint a day per small dog or cat. Large dogs require about half a gallon per day. Even small animals such as hamsters, snakes, fish, and other pets that live indoors should be considered when planning food and water storage.
Birds become frightened during natural disasters. Your pet birds may fly away and get lost or hurt. Plan ahead of time what you would do with your birds in an emergency, and store enough bird food to last several months.
Outdoor Animals and Livestock
Animals such as horses, cows, chickens, goats, and other outdoor animals can also become frightened during a disaster. Be sure they have adequate shelter. Most people keep enough hay, alfalfa, and grain in storage during the winter months.