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Q: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
Category: Health > Fitness and Nutrition
Asked by: dingell-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 04 May 2006 14:26 PDT
Expires: 03 Jun 2006 14:26 PDT
Question ID: 725537
What food should I have on hand for my family (2 adults, 1 infant and
1 toddler) for a 30-60 day supply of food in event of a quarentine?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 05 May 2006 08:06 PDT

From what I've read thus far, it seems there would be a fairly
adequate advanced notice of any large-scale bird flu outbreak, or
potential quarantines...enough time to lay in provisions, if needed.

Still, it makes sense to give the matter some thought.  One
possibility is the type of pre-packaged, long-term food kits designed
exactly for emergencies like a quarantine.  AlpineAire is one of the
better known suppliers, and here's what their one-person-for-one-month
kit contains:

Of course, you would need water as well, and plenty of it, though it's
hard to imagine a disease event so catastrophic that you would lose
running water for two months!

Does the above kit look like it would meet your needs?  If so, I'm
glad to post some additional information about what's available as an
answer to your question.  Let me know what you think.

And stay healthy!


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 05 May 2006 08:10 PDT
P.S.  I didn't see anything on the list that would be inappropriate
for a toddler, and infants are generally happy getting most of their
supply from mom, though they certainly could eat a fair number of the
kit items as well.
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 09 May 2006 19:26 PDT

The US government has begun widespread dissemination of information
about preparing for a pandemic, including a list of foods and other
emergency items to have on hand.

You can find the government resources at this site:

I believe the checklist of foods included here to be useful, as are
the other recommendations for items to have on hand, and a process for
preparing yourself and family in the event of a pandemic.

Along with the list of foods I provided earlier:

you should have adequate information for making any preparations you deem needed. 

However, if there's anything else I can do for you on this, please let
me know by posting a clarification request, and I'll be glad to help
you further.

Stay safe,


search strategy -- Google searches on:

bird flu planning 

bird flu planning site:gov

emergency food supplies month
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
From: frde-ga on 05 May 2006 07:05 PDT
Your primary need would be drinking water.

Your secondary need might be heat, depending on your location.

Your tertiary need would be a baseball bat

For food it is a combination of rudimentary nutritional value and
making sure that you and yours minimize discomfort.

Rice is good bulk, it keeps well and provides the illusion of satisfaction.

From USA combat ration bandoliers of the mid/early 1970's (hawked for
sale) I remember things like small tins of sardines and boiled sweets
(candy I guess).

I would go for a combination of high protein beef and fish cans, they
can be eaten cold, with a large selection of non perishable

Fresh stuff is out of the window, frozen stuff gets mushy when the
electricity goes off, so you are stuck with dry or canned sustenance.

You could get a few vitamin pills, but one is unlikely to get scurvy
in one month, but crunching ascorbic acid pills might be a diversion.

Drinking water first, rice, oats or dried maize (water efficient
padding) second, (you can soak them for days) after that it is tins of
beef or chicken or pilchards, spiced up with condiments.

Not joking, a crate of dog food would be a second month reserve, in
the UK, the manufacture of that stuff was/is encouraged because it is
'war time food technology'.

Water is more important, in a confined environment excretion becomes very important.
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
From: markvmd-ga on 05 May 2006 07:51 PDT
Beyond the fact that the government is using scare tactics to instill
fear in the population over a disease that doesn't actually exist
(why? Follow the money!), you should load up on supplies at your
neighborhood camping dealer. They'll have all sorts of stuff designed
to be compact and lightweight.
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
From: myoarin-ga on 05 May 2006 08:23 PDT
There are a few blogs on the subject:

and other sites:

I was looking for a Mormon food list, but gave up.
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
From: frde-ga on 06 May 2006 06:06 PDT

Last year I was talking to a UK Flu expert, an old friend of mine, the
thing they are scared about is that it is similar to the 1918 strain,
but they don't know which way it will jump (or even if it will)

An interesting link to whom it killed:

Normally Flu gets the young or the old, but one that gets the fit and
healthy is lethal
- because they are the ones that keep things running.

The 'Old man's friend' is Ok 
- but shafting the working cogs is likely to lead to no water pressure.

It takes an age to make a vaccine, bred in eggs, and for that you need
to know the strain you are working against.

The Tamiflu stuff is pretty untested, you can't test against something
that does not yet exist. Just as you can't make a vaccine.

My understanding is that they know that there will be a pandemic, but
they don't know when
- but H5N1 looks like the same beast they got out of the 1918 lead
coffins (and IIRC the milder one from 1956).

The other trouble with these things is the gestation period, if it
takes a week to show symptons, then in these days it would be
everywhere before anyone knew it existed.

My understanding is that virologists know that we are going to get hit
with a side-winder, but they are just guessing at the source.

My take is that Tamiflu and incomplete 'generic' vaccines are just a
public relations exercize, to counteract real fears that have leaked

Don't worry me that much


If you are urban then stock up with:
 Blackout blinds
 Calor Gas
 Weopons - ones you know how to use at short range
 Dried rice or lentils
 Dog food

If you are alive after day five then you are immune to the virus, but
not immune to the madness that will follow.
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
From: onenonblonde-ga on 06 May 2006 21:47 PDT
You know your family better than anyone else, so a little organization
should help you figure this out. A flu quarantine will confine you to
your home, not survivor island, so most of your regular diet can be
adapted to utilize canned or frozen ingredients.  Plan meals for about
8 weeks.

Because you have young children, I am assuming that you are
considering stocking up over time so as not to be caught at the last
minute needing 2 months worth of groceries.  Here is a reasonable

Pick 10 Dinners that work for you, at least 4 of them should make "leftovers." 
list the ingredients required and multiply the ingredients by 4 and
that covers 56 or so dinners.  If your freezer space is limited,
experiment now with canned meats.

Lunches are probably easier cause you can do soups and sandwiches a
lot.(pb&j keep forever, tuna or chicken salad etc pita bread freezes
well and takes less space)
Breakfasts, consider "just add water" muffin mixes, pancakes, oatmeal
instead of cereals that require milk.

Don't forget when planning for the kids, that their appetites increase
quickly and their diets advance.

Seperate your list of ingredients into 3 seperate "purchase lists":
non-parishable (canned goods), long shelf life (grains, legumes,
frozen meat and veggies), quickly parishable (eggs, milk, cheese,
fresh fruit and vegetables).

Start overstocking your cupboards with the non-parishable foods on
your list.  When you reach the desired level, rotate the oldest out
and replace with regular shopping.(date your cans with a sharpie when
you bring them home) When you have those well stocked, then move to
the next list.  When you sense the warning is about to be given, make
your last trip to the grocery for the parishables.

You might want to consider investing in a vacuum sealer (if you want
to overstock a lot of grains, legumes, pastas, cheeses, meats etc) and
a bread maker (bread will freeze, if you have the space but it's not
as tasty)

Begin your quarantine time using up fresh fruit and vegetables, to
help avoid palate fatigue from the canned goods later on.  Make a few
quiches the first days of quarantine (they freeze well) if you want to
have eggs the entire time.

You will run out of milk, so stock powdered milk for cooking even if
you don't drink it.  You probably aren't going to be without water,
but a few gallons stuck back wouldn't hurt.

Don't forget snacks - popcorn, nuts and chips in a can will keep quite
a while, unopened, canned fruits. Sodas, powdered drinks, canned or
bottled juices.

Best case scenario, we don't have a quarantine and you have a very
well stocked pantry!!

Good Luck
Subject: Re: Food needed to prepare for potential avian flu outbreak
From: frde-ga on 12 May 2006 01:19 PDT
I would plan for electricity and water not being availlable.

The Avian mutation that virologists are scared of, is one that hits
the healthy and active members of society
- eg: doctors, nurses, power workers, water workers, delivery drivers etc.

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