Emergencies happen every day. We are faced with everything from a broken-down car on the freeway, medical emergencies, financial difficulties and natural disasters on a pretty consistent basis. Over the last 16 years, our country has been faced with some major events. We were attacked on 9/11 and many other terror attacks followed, we were faced with the devastating effects of Katrina, school shootings, our officers being shot, economic difficulties, and even rioting in our streets. All of these things are red flags that remind us to be prepared for just about anything.
Sometimes knowing what foods should be stored in case of a disaster can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Below is a list of foods that can help get your pantry stocked!
50 Food Items To Keep Stocked For Emergencies
Believe it or not, water is right where you should start. We can go three days without water before we die. It truly is the ultimate essential of life. You can have all the firearms and food in the world, but if you don’t have water, the rest is useless.
- The general rule is to store 1 gallon of water per day per person. A person with normal activity will drink about ½ a gallon a day. During times of high psychical, emotional and mental stress, you will need more than that.
- Depending on your storage situation, aiming to have 90 days’ worth of water on hand is a good goal to aim for. Keep in mind you will need water for drinking, cooking, and personal cleaning. This is just a starting point and expanding your goal to 6 months or a year is not being overly prepared.
- Purchasing bottled water can get very expensive, but there are free alternatives available. A great way to collect water is to set up a rain-water collection system. There has been a great debate about whether this is legal or not, so please check with your local authorities to make sure it doesn’t go against any of your local laws. You can also take water right from your own tap. There are many water storage containers on the market. You can check your local Sporting Goods store or on Amazon. Keep in mind, that water stored over a long period will breed bacteria, be sure to keep water purification tablets as part of your prepped items.
*Learning how to find and purify your own water should be part of your water storage system. Eventually, whatever water you have stored will run out and the average person just doesn’t have enough space to store much water. Keeping a few gallons on hand in case of a short term disaster is okay, but be prepared to find, collect and purify your own in the event of a longer term emergency that could last more than just a few weeks.*
FEMA has pretty much downplayed the fact that Americans need to be prepared. On their website, they instruct us to keep 2 weeks’ worth of food in our homes and they even go as far as to dismiss the possibility that we’d ever be cut off from our food supply for much longer than that. Truth be told, all we should do is look at Katrina to know that their statement just is not supported by facts. Grocery stores on average, hold approximately 3 days’ worth of food. In the event of a huge natural disaster, it’ll take much longer than just a few days for grocery stores to re-stock their shelves. Putting our food supply in the hands of the government and other agencies is much like playing Russian Roulette. We just can’t take that chance and we need to be responsible enough to be sure we have our own food supply covered.
- Canned Meat
- Dried Meat
- Frozen Meat – Have an alternative in case your power goes out.
- Canned Veggies
- Canned Fruit
- Dehydrated Fruit
- Sauces – Tomato, Spaghetti, Soy, Maple, Worcestershire
- Broth – Chicken, Beef, Veggie
- Bouillon Cubes
- Jams and Jellies
- Rice – Choose white rice, it has a much longer shelf-life than brown rice, which can go rancid quickly.
- Dry Mixes – drinks, coffee, teas, boxed potatoes, gravy mixes, powdered eggs, powdered milk, etc. (many of these items you can make yourself)
- Corn Starch
- Corn Meal
- Chocolate – Syrup and Cocoa
- Salt – If you home-can, include canning salt as well
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Bread Crumbs
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Dry Yeast – Although yeast has a very short shelf-life, it is good to have on hand.
- Cake, Brownie, Bread Mixes
- Tea Bags
- Energy Bars
- Granola Bars
- Oats and Oatmeal
- Pancake Mixes
- Baby Food and Formula
- Raisins, Dried Fruit and Dried Fruit Leathers
- Nuts and Seeds
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Chips, Popcorn, Pretzels And Other Goodies
- Crackers and Cookies
- Gum, Candy, Mints
- Ready To Eat Meals – Ravioli, Spaghetti O’s, are common, but creating your own is a much healthier option.
A good goal to aim for, is about a year’s worth of food preps, but starting out with just three months is an excellent way to start. In the event of a collapse, having three months of food stocked up, could mean getting through a very harsh winter, aiming for a year could mean that you have time to prepare for growing and raising your own food supply, if you aren’t doing that already.
Remember, my lists are just a starting point. I encourage you to add whatever you like or feel is beneficial to your family. A good rule of thumb is to not store any food your family will not eat. If your family doesn’t like Tuna, there is no reason to keep 30 cans of it with your food preps. Many of the items above can be made at home by home-canning, dehydrating or freezing, which is a much healthier and frugal option for you and your family than store-bought items.
Hopefully this list will help you and your family get started with your food preps and be more prepared for when emergencies arise.