What If?

If disaster or a crisis struck you right this moment and you had to evacuate your home could you grab an “Emergency Kit” that would keep you fed for the next 72 hours or maybe longer? Do you have a Coeliac spouse or children to consider – would you be able to cater for their needs?

Living on the island of Ireland we are not usually subject to devastating natural disasters such as Earthquakes or Tsunamis like the one that destroyed parts of Japan in March 2011.

We don’t suffer from the huge Tornados that annually threaten the American Mid-West or Hurricanes like Sandy that did so much damage to New York in 2012.

But, and it’s a big “but”, we don’t escape Mother Nature completely!

In late March, 2013 Spring had supposedly started yet parts of Great Britain and both parts of Ireland had a serious fall of snow which left roads blocked, power lines down, the Internet off and many homes isolated from normal civilisation by snow drifts 10 – 20 feet deep.

Motor cars were abandoned and completely buried by the snow, animals died from the cold and hunger because farmers simply couldn’t reach them in their fields. Conditions were so bad the Emergency Services had to use helicopters to try and get food to families cut off in areas not normally classed as “remote”!

We all knew the snow was coming but it was only expected to last a short time and then be washed away by the usual Irish commodity – rain. Nature had a different plan and it led to a disaster. And what often follows a thaw when the snow melts – yes – the likelihood of floods.

2014 is reckoned to be one of the warmest on record yet parts of southern England suffered terrible flooding at the start of the year and it persisted for quite some time!

Consider also the possibility of evacuation from your home because of a fire or Civil Emergency, a sudden visit to hospital or a sick relative, a flight delay at an Airport, Seaport or Railway Station and you begin to realise that it doesn’t take a Meteor strike to create a difficult situation where you may be left with little or nothing Gluten Free to eat!

The Emergency Services all do a tremendous job when disaster strikes but, if you need to cater for the Coeliac condition, you must make your own plans and, like the Scouts, “Be Prepared”.

Let’s consider a simple scenario where you were forced to leave your own home and take shelter in the local Church Hall or School. Could you survive as a Coeliac, even for 24 hours?

Some kinds of food and water would be available but what GF food would you need to have with you and how could you avoid cross contamination?

Here are some thoughts.

What to pack?

Backpack, Duffle Bag or whatever you feel is most appropriate to carry your items.

Cutlery  – 3 in 1 camping type?

Cutting Board

Plate or Bowl


Protein Bars

GF Breakfast Cereal

GF Porridge

Packets of GF Rice

Nuts / Raisins / dried Fruit

Rice Cakes / Corn Cakes

GF Crackers

GF Chocolate

Include items from your store cupboard packets or tinned food that you normally use

Medication & Vitamins

Manual Tin Opener

These are just some ideas to get you thinking – what else would you want to put into an Emergency Kit that would fit into a backpack or duffle bag that you could “grab” at a moment’s notice if your home was threatened?

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