Editor's note: This article is part of a series on earthquake preparation. Read the rest of the articles here.

You’ve heard about it for years, put it off just as long. It seems so daunting, so impossible.

But it’s such an important part of emergency preparedness that it’s time to start. Come on! You can do it! Storing extra food for yourself and your family will make a difference in the event of an extended power outage, a job loss, an interruption to the food supply, a major earthquake or other potential disasters.

It could take a week or longer for emergency supplies to arrive in Utah after an earthquake. That doesn’t count the distribution of those supplies. And even if you don’t have to live on your food supply for an entire year, you may be able to help family or neighbors survive.

A major earthquake could strike at any time. To prepare, the entire state of Utah is participating in an earthquake drill, called the Great Utah ShakeOut, on April 17 at 10:15 a.m.

Now with more than 650,000 participants (up 20,000 from a week ago), the drill is designed to help Utahns from all walks of life prepare for a major earthquake. Each week, Be Ready Utah, Emergency Essentials and the Deseret News are bringing you emergency preparedness tips to help you get ready for the ShakeOut and a major earthquake.

Remember, emergency preparedness isn’t a single step. It’s step after step of creating good and wise habits.

To get started on your food storage, you need to figure out how much food you regularly have on hand. Then, begin purchasing a little extra nonperishable food each time you go shopping. Make sure to buy food your family will eat. Pick up an extra manual can opener, too, because you may not have electricity. Also, begin rotating your food storage into your regular meal plans. Share your success stories with those around you and on social media.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • If you have the means, you can buy a year’s supply of food in one shot. Companies like Emergency Essentials sells various food supply options.
  • Be creative. It may be difficult to find space for your food storage. Those spaces may present themselves unexpectedly.
  • FoodStorageMadeEasy.net has a list of 10 baby steps to help you get started.
  • Start with an initial goal of three months worth of food and move up from there.
  • See the U.S. Department of Agriculture document in the food storage section of BeReadyUtah.gov about keeping food safe in an emergency.
The only real trick, though, is to get started.

Joe Dougherty is a preparedness expert and spokesman for the Utah Division of Emergency Management and Be Ready Utah. Email your preparedness tips to [email protected]. Preparedness updates at Twitter.com/bereadyutah.