Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell Recommends Alaskans Lay Up A Minimum One-Week Supply Of Food And Water In Case Of Disaster Or Civil Unrest

The Anchorage Daily News reports that during an August 24th, 2011 news conference in Anchorage, in which he was joined by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and state emergency management director John Madden, Governor Sean Parnell said that individual Alaskans are not adequately prepared for a disaster, and urged Alaskans to lay up at least a week's worth of food and purified water in case of disaster or other contingency.

Inspired by the East Coast earthquake, Governor Parnell wants Alaska to be prepared not only for natural disasters but also for unemployment and civil unrest in the Lower 48 that could lead to an influx here. While Parnell did not share additional details, he's undoubtedly noted the upsurge in flash mob violence in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, the labor union violence in Madison, WI, and the recent outbreak of riots in the United Kingdom, and fears that if federal spending is reduced, as Senator Lisa Murkowski has promised, many of those who lose entitlements as a result may turn to mobbing and pillaging to survive. We've also seen a dramatic surge in copper thefts in many Lower 48 cities by people who then take the copper to salvagers and recyclers in exchange for cash. American Renaissance identifies the 14 American cities "most ready to riot".

What is the state doing? Parnell believes the state is doing pretty well; he explained that the legislature this year appropriated money for generators and water purification. In addition, food caches are planned. KTVA Channel 11 also reports that authorities are working with local churches and schools to set up mass emergency shelters. It should also be noted that Alaska imports a disproportionately high amount of food from the Lower 48, so even if there is no breakdown of civil order up here, a breakdown of civil order in the Lower 48 could disrupt or curtail shipments of many foods into Alaska. The availability of wild fish and game in Alaska is seasonal. KTVA news video below:

How To Start. If you haven't done this, I recommend you start by assuming the worst -- no utilities. Lay in a supply of canned food that won't necessarily need cooking. For a week's supply, I recommend at least 10 cans of food per person per week -- ravioli, spaghetti, Spam, etc. MRE-type pouches of food are also useful, if more expensive. Assume canned food is good for at least a year after you buy it unless there's an expiration date to the contrary. You would need to eat freezer and refrigerated food first, except during winter, when your could grab snow from outside, stuff it in a plastic bag, and put it in your refrigerator to keep it cold longer.

Additional information about food and water storage from the following sources:

-- Food and Water in an Emergency from FEMA.

-- Emergency Supply Kit, Municipality of Anchorage.

-- Emergency Food Supply from the State of Washington (this is a particularly good reference; provides specific examples)

-- Short-Term Emergency Food Supply List from

-- Family Emergency Planning from the Provident Living website. Good information about longer-term storage.

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