Emergency Food and Water

Access to safe food and water after a disaster is a must. The resources below can help you learn safe handling practices and how to get assistance. And much of the information is also available in PDF form. (See websites for details.)

If you need to find an emergency facility near you, be sure to tune in to your local radio or TV stations. They may be able to provide location or contact information.

Food Assistance for Disaster Relief
Learn how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) coordinates with state, local, and voluntary organizations to: 

  • Provide food for shelters and other mass feeding sites.
  • Distribute food packages directly to households in need in limited situations.
  • Issue Disaster Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits. (USDA)

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) (PDF, 143 KB)
Get a fact sheet to learn about D-SNAP. The program offers short-term food assistance to families affected by a disaster. Contact your local SNAP state information hotline number for details. (USDA)

Need Food, Housing, or Other Assistance?
Local agencies can provide a range of services, including food, housing, health, job, and veteran. Use this page to find hotlines you can call or locate other resources near you. You can also use our HUD Resource Locator. (HUD)

Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water
Learn the steps to properly disinfect drinking water in an emergency. There are different ways you can do it depending on your situation. (Environmental Protection Agency)

What Consumers Need to Know About Food and Water Safety
Get food and water safety facts you can use in an emergency. Learn what to do during and after a power outage or flood. You can even watch a short video on food safety during power outages. (Food and Drug Administration)

A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety
This guide is full of tips on how to keep food safe, reduce the potential for food loss, and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. The guide offers information on:

  • Power Outages
  • Safety of Food in Containers Exposed to Flood Waters
  • Removing Odors from Refrigerators and Freezers
  • Refrigerator and Freezer Foods (with charts)
  • Food Safety Contacts for Areas Affected by Severe Storms and Hurricanes (USDA)

Tips for Handling Food Following a Disaster
This portal can guide you to useful information you can use to be prepared in an emergency. Find links for food safety, water safety, hurricanes and floods, and fire. (USDA)

Last Updated: 05/29/2018