By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaWhen a storm is headed in their direction, shoppers always rushto stock up on milk and bread. University of Georgia experts sayhaving a supply of staple emergency food items is actually moreimportant.”In preparation for bad weather of any kind, every family shouldhave at least a three-day emergency food supply on hand,” saidElizabeth Andress, an Extension Service food safety specialistwith the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Pack enough for each family memberSupply enough fluids (milk, juice, water, etc.) so each familymember can have at least 2 quarts per day.Include staple foods such as sugar, salt and pepper, too, andhigh-energy foods like peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granolabars and trail mix.”Don’t forget to throw in some comfort foods, too, like cookies,hard candy, sweetened cereals and instant coffee and tea,”Andress said.If you usually use them, include vitamin and mineral supplementsto assure proper nutrition. Added peace of mindJust knowing you have an emergency food supply, she said, easesthe stress of emergencies and natural disasters.”Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado or snow storm, a naturaldisaster could prevent you from running to the grocery store topick up supplies for your family,” Andress said.The size of your emergency food supply depends on the size ofyour family and home storage area. Remember, stock onlynonperishable foods. You never know when you may lose electricalpower.”Select foods that require no refrigeration, little or no cookingand little or no water,” Andress said. “Chances are, if you’re inan emergency situation, you aren’t going to have the luxuries ofelectricity and running water.”Stock your food supply with ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits andvegetables. Remember to buy containers you can use up in one mealor snack. You most likely won’t be able to refrigerate leftovers.Add canned juices, soups and canned or powdered milk. Includebottled water for drinking and extra water to mix with thepowdered milk and dilute the soups. Remember pets, tooWhen stocking your emergency supply, keep in mind any specialneeds in your family. Have you included special foods for infantsor elderly family members?Don’t forget your family pets, either. Be sure to include Fido’sor Morris’ food, treats and enough water for them, too.Don’t forget to include a hand-operated can opener, scissors andknife for opening food cans and foil or plastic pouches. The lastitems in your supply should be disposable plates, cups andutensils.”Once you have your food supply together, make a list of dateswhen food items need to be inspected and possibly rotated out.Then replace them with newly bought items,” Andress said. “Cannedfoods can last two years. But for best quality, use them withinone year.”Powdered milk may be stored 12 to 24 months. Use most of theother foods in your emergency supply within one year, or rotatethem out. Over time, replace any rusty, leaky, dented or bulgingfood cans.Once your emergency food supply is intact, store it in a coolplace. Store dry supplies off the floor in a clean, dry, darkplace away from any sources of moisture.