Stocking up on food is as simple as a trip to the grocery store, a veritable land of plenty for Americans.
"It's so easy when you have three grocery stores in your vicinity," said Becky Jones of Omaha, who stocks up once a week for her family of three. "You think: how could you possibly not get what you needed?"
But will fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, bread, milk and other household staples still be available if the U.S. is hit with an anticipated bird flu pandemic? If state and federal officials urge people to stay away from public places, like restaurants and fast-food establishments, will they be able to get the groceries they need to prepare food in their homes?
For Jones, the prospect of not having access to food is frightening. She said most people, herself included, only have food on hand for three or four days.
Unlike other critical infrastructure sectors like water, energy and health care, the food industry isn't getting much help from state and federal governments when it comes to disaster planning. That puts the burden on individual supermarket chains and wholesalers to deal with a potentially large number of sick workers that could affect store operations and disrupt the food supply.
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