Community Food Emergency and Resilience Template

This template will assist communities in planning for emergency events by 1) providing a framework for discussion and planning, 2) identifying duties of responsible individuals, 3) planning for getting help from potential supporting entities, 3) inventorying current food conditions around transit, storage, wild harvest potentials according to specific times of year, 4) providing a framework to design a community emergency food preparedness response plan and strategy.    We have attached a working version of the Alaska Food Policy Council’s Emergency Preparedness Template in MS Word format for you to download for immediate use.

We look forward to hearing from you to help you implement your plan and to help improve this template for all of Alaska’s communities.

Alaska Food Policy Council: Community Food Emergency and Resilience Template

Version: September 27, 2015

Community of: __________ , Alaska

Name of Plan Coordinator: __________________________________

Position: _________________________________________________

Phone ___________________________________________________

Email    __________________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________

Supporting Communities:   (Nearby Communities that may support in an emergency - Appendix A )

Supporting Agencies: (Check all that apply; individual contact names, information, and specific resources available need to be confirmed by Plan Coordinator)

___       Department of Military and Veterans Affairs/State Emergency Operations Center

___       Department of Health and Social Services

___       Alaska Department of Fish and Game

___       Alaska Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

___       Alaska Food Policy Council

___       Federal Emergency Management Agency

___       American Red Cross

___       Other (_____________)

___       Other (_____________)

I.   Purpose

The purpose of this template is to provide a user friendly format to outline procedures and resources available to _______________ (community name) in the event of a food emergency.  A food emergency can occur for many reasons, including natural disasters and interruption of transportation networks, weather emergency, or failure of local production.  The main intent is to identify transportation requirements, storage capability, food reserves, and the procedures to release, obtain and provide food for community residents.  In order to build community resilience, this plan includes local production, gathering, hunting and fishing.  The plan will also better prepare for normal seasonal fluctuation common in Alaska.  As a secondary benefit, this plan will potentially bolster local economies by promoting 1) continuity of operations for local businesses during and post-emergency events, 2) food-related entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. In recognition that this plan may only be partially implemented in most cases due to severity or duration of a community food emergency, it is designed intentionally for a community to scale response accordingly.

Note: a primary supplement to this tool, listed as Appendix G, is the Alaska Community Emergency Food Cache System (ACEFCS). This is the program by which a community can manage community-based food stocks of pre-determined quality, quantity and deployment readiness.  Further, it is expected that this plan is part of a broader community response, utilizing planning tools such as the Alaska Emergency Response Guide for Small Communities (State of Alaska Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Division of Homeland Security), as this plan addresses strictly food-related areas of concern.

Methodology: For the purpose of determining “days of food” in a community, a day of food is the total number of people to be fed multiplied by the standard individual consumption rate of one pound of food per day (approximately 1600 calories).

This template is a work in progress, which is being contributed to by partners of the Alaska Food Policy Council. Any assistance in the further development of this tool is appreciated. See end of document for further information.

Assessments are found in the following Sections II-IV. Plan Development can be found in Appendix B.

II.   Current Community Infrastructure and Emergency Food Response Capacity

In this section, community resources are primarily to be listed; quantification to be recorded in Section 4. If none, state “No current capacity”.

  1. Transportation Network (How does food reach the community?) 
    1. Shippers (companies, contacts)
    2. Where from/routes, timing
    3. Note reliability track record (seasonal, weather delays)
  2. Local Food Vendors (LFV) (List stores, schools, distributors and other institutions that provide food to the community.  Current number of days of supply kept and potential capacity to be recorded in Section 4.)
  3. Local Emergency Food Storage Sites (Currently designated emergency food storage sites such as LFV storage and others such as schools, National Guard Armories, local municipal buildings, etc.)
  4. Traditional Storage Sites (Local traditional cache, both above-ground and permafrost.)
  5. Emergency Mass Care and Feeding Facilities (If required, where will emergency food reserves be issued?  What transportation resources are available to deliver food to those unable to reach a feeding facility?)
  6. Security for Emergency Stocks (Who secures the emergency food reserves and how is emergency food secured?)

III.   Local Harvesting Resources

What are the means and quantities of local production and harvest? This section is meant to list what local foods are harvestable and seasonally available/abundant. How much of what is harvestable during which time of year?   In case of an officially declared emergency, 1) what is the system for community access (vs. individual) to the resources?; and 2) what are the pre-established agreements for use of vehicles, equipment, fuel, time of harvesters/ processors?

  1. Individual and Family Gardens (What % of households have?)
  2. Community Gardens/Community Greenhouses
  3. Local Farms, Greenhouses and Products
  4. Local Hunting, Fishing and Gathering Resource

IV.   Current Stored Food Resources (Inventory, quantification)

Note: “Current” means “at time of inventory”; therefore, include the date inventory was taken.  This is a “snap shot” and should be done ideally on at least a monthly basis.

If there is any practice of intentionally maintaining Minimum Stock levels, then mention here and include in Appendix B (Action Plan) and Appendix G (ACEFCS). If none, state “No minimums kept”.

  1. Individuals and Families (Estimated number of days of storage of average household.)
  2. Local Municipal Resources (Current number of days of emergency food storage. Include local storage management and local security.)
  3. Local Food Producers (Current number of days of storage of locally produced food- includes food destined for export, i.e. frozen fish.)
  4. Local Food Vendors (Current number of days of food storage and current additional shelf or storage availability of stores, schools, distributor, restaurants and other institutions that provide food to the community.)
  5. Traditional Storage Sites (Local traditional cache, both above-ground and permafrost.)
  6. Emergency Fishing, Hunting and Gathering Options (see Local Harvesting Section 3, above.)

V.   Emergency Procedures           

  1. Local authority to release emergency stocks.
  2. Procedures to initiate an emergency hunt.
  3. Procedures to open mass care/feeding facility.
  4. Procedures to deliver food to those unable to reach a feeding facility.
  5. Implementation exercises/practice schedule.

VI.   Recovery Procedures (see Appendix E)

  1. Methods to replenish emergency food stocks following the food emergency.
  2. Financial recovery procedures.


This plan is designed to assist any Alaska community. For smaller and more remote communities, we hope it can be as compact and user friendly as possible.  Large communities, such as Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau and others, will result in necessarily large and complex plans. This is only a template, and additions and subtractions are expected.   Some sections are likely to refer to an existing plan or procedure.  It is important to make the individuals and families within a community as resilient as possible, and ensure that the members of the community have food stores within their homes, as well as know that the community has prepared for an emergency.  The State of Alaska can learn a great deal from the Alaska Native peoples and small villages about preparation for food emergencies, and this traditional knowledge should be used to better prepare larger communities and all Alaska residents.

For more information, to help with this project, or for help implementing the Template in your community, please contact Darren Snyder, Alaska Food Policy Council Emergency Preparedness Working Group Chair.

Darren Snyder
UAF Cooperative Extension Service Agent and Assistant Professor
Agriculture/Horticulture and 4-H Youth Development
712 W. 12th Street Suite 1
Juneau, AK 99802
Phone: 907-523-3280

Review for this product provided by:

Diane Peck, Alaska Department of Health and Human Services
Ron Klein, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (retired)

Major contributions provided by: Mark Arvidson, Edward Sarten, and David Fazzino

Appendix A: Local Communities That Can Assist

Community: ________________________

Contact Person: _____________________________

Contact Information: (Phone, HAM radio, Air comm, VHF, CB, etc.) ____________

Distance From and Means of Transport: __________________________________

Resources Available: __________________________________________________

Appendix B: Action Plan to Increase Community Resilience

GOAL:  Build a ____ Day Emergency Food Reserve.

Issues and Projects:  Appendix B is designed to discuss and implement a framework to build and maintain food reserves that increase community resilience ability to feed themselves.  It should contain specific goals, guidance and projects that will help the community.  As working projects or actions are completed, they would move to local resources/facilities and new resiliency projects would take their place in this section.

This framework should include what steps the local community has taken and what steps the community will initiate to improve food security.  In order to avoid a cumbersome plan, it should only outline the projects, and leave appropriate details to other documents (i.e. Alaska Community Emergency Food Cache System (ACEFCS) in Appendix G). It should have a review process that includes the primary stakeholders.

  1. Individuals and Families(This section should list outreach and education of local individuals and families and provide guidance to the community on personal resilience. What aid or guidance do the people of the community need to help build their own resilience? Do individuals and families have a pantry or have the means to maintain a pantry? Are they likely to use a mass feeding facility, will they only pick up needed food, or do they need food delivered to their homes?)
  2. Local Municipal Managers(Include local storage management and local security. What aid will be required from the State of Alaska and FEMA to help build and maintain emergency stockpiles? Increased local storage, suitable food for the community, funding for projects, etc.)
  3. Local Food Producers(Many Alaska communities have local food producers, and animals and crops are available in these areas. What do local producers need? Gardens and space, greenhouses, compost facilities, additional power, tools, equipment, storage, etc.)
  4. Local Food Vendors(What do LFV need? Storage space for increased inventory, funds to manage increased inventory, etc.)
  5. Local Fisherman(What do local fishermen need? What food preparation and storage requirements need to be addressed, catch requirements and management, by catch use and distribution issues, bounty/insufficient catch management, etc.)
  6. Local Hunters(What do local hunters need to support community feeding during response and recovery stages?)
  7. Local Gatherers(What access do local gatherers need?  Are there local education programs and native knowledge designed to educate the community in the use of local gathered resources?  Is there sufficient access to private, State and Federal Lands to gather native foods?)
  8. Implement a local Alaska Community Emergency Food Cache System (ACEFCS) (See Appendix G.)

Appendix C: Emergency Reserve Stockpile Inventory Spreadsheet

Local Food Vendors will likely have their own version, so intent here is for municipal stocks.  A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet may help maintain an emergency inventory.  It could be used at the individual and facility level. Use of a web-based, shared document would provide most up to date stock levels and would have to be downloaded and printed regularly if the intention is to have access during loss of electricity.

Appendix D: Guidelines for Individual/Family Pantry. 

Resources for building a pantry and maintaining emergency food stocks are available from the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, listed under “Publications” at

Appendix E:  Federal Resources

  1. Request Forms for Emergency Stocks (Federal, State).  These are forms the municipality would use to request emergency food stockpiles.
  2. Food Vendor Reimbursement Forms. To be completed and on file so reimbursements are accurate and timely.

Appendix F:  Definitions Section

  1. ACEFCS- Alaska Community Emergency Food Cache System (see above for explanation)
  2. LFV- Local Food Vendor - institutional food service providers, distributors, non-profits, agencies, schools, stores, restaurants, who provide food in a community.
  3. ERP- Employee Readiness Protocol – an established level of training and preparedness provided to employees which enables them to perform as an EFR.
  4. EFR- Emergency Food Responder – Employee of LFV trained and certified in the ERP for that LFV.
  5. EFC- Emergency Food Cache- an agreed upon quantity (calculated to # of meals), quality (specific items which constitute healthy and balanced nutritional value and are culturally appropriate), and types (ie specific preparation requirement parameters- consider the difference between canned beans vs. dry beans) of foods managed by a LFV.
  6. PPP (P3)- public-private partnerships – an agreement for collaboration between private and public entities
  7. TBL (3BL) Triple bottom line – the goal of sustainable activities which promote successful social, environmental and economic outcomes. Also stated as “people, planet and profit” and the "three pillars of sustainability"
  8. FSDP- Food Security and Distribution Protocols - actions taken by a LFV have their trained EFR’s to a) secure the food reserve and, b) distribute it in a pre-planned manner (or as directed by Emergency Response Command Center/System) to either the public or contracted service agencies such as the Red Cross.
  9. ESFP- Employee Self and Family Plans - enables employees to successfully and reliably carry out the FSDP without concern for their own family’s safety and wellbeing.
  10. GSB – Good Samaritan Business – distinguishes itself by providing a service beyond its own benefit to serve the greater community needs.

Appendix G: Alaska Community Emergency Food Cache System (ACEFCS)

Purpose: To increase the ability of Alaska communities to feed themselves in the case that typical food supply routes and schedules are disrupted for a period of time ranging from days to weeks.

Synopsis: The ACEFCS accomplishes our purpose by teaming with current private and public food consumption and commercial distribution outlets by training and contracting with them to keep a cache of food which is reserved for emergency use only and is otherwise rotated as part of their regular stock management.

The ACEFCS will provide a true, real time inventory of available foods which in the event of a qualified emergency, will be distributed by trained and practiced employees and prepared (as necessary) by pre-designated or traditional emergency responders (i.e. Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.).

The full ACEFCS document can be found on the UAF Cooperative Extension Service website,

University of Alaska Fairbanks is reviewing the above ACEFCS document in an updated version as “Community Food Storage and Management in Alaska”.  Publication date is to be determined.