Emergency Food Supply

Dont Be Caught Without the Right Emergency Food Types Heres What You Need


When disaster hits, it's vital to have the proper emergency food types. Not only must you have enough food to feed yourself and your family, but you must also have the right kinds. In this article, we'll talk about what emergency food types to keep and which to avoid. Being prepared can help you get through anything!

Why it's important to have emergency food supplies

Emergency food is a must-have for any emergency plan. During an unexpected natural disaster, power outage, or pandemic, you may have to stay home for weeks or months. It is crucial to have long-lasting food to sustain you if grocery shopping is not possible.

High-carb and high-fat foods like white rice, oatmeal, and canned meats should be the first items on your list. These foods will give you energy to stay alert and focused. Also, get a variety of spices to make your storeroom food taste better.

Remember, shelf life depends on temperature and humidity. Inspect your emergency food regularly, and rotate items like groceries. Check expiration dates before buying new items to avoid wasting food.

Types of Emergency Food

In times of disaster or hardship, having the proper emergency food is key. Knowing which types to store is the most significant step. It will guarantee enough nutrition for you and your family. This article will explain the different kinds of food to stockpile for emergencies:

  • Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, and grains.
  • Freeze-dried and dehydrated food that can last for several years.
  • High-calorie and high-protein food such as peanut butter, granola bars, and beef jerky.
  • Ready-to-eat food such as MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and pre-packaged meal kits.
  • Vitamins and mineral supplements.

Non-Perishable Foods

Stock your emergency pantry with long-lasting, easy-to-store items. Canned goods are great: beans, veggies, fruit, and fish (like tuna). Plus canned meats, soups and hot dogs. Keep whole grains like rice, wheat, oats, barley, cornmeal, quinoa in buckets or Mylar bags. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are protein-packed and store well. Seeds like pumpkin and sunflower are nutrient-rich. Nuts, nut butters, dried fruits and veggies all make good snacks or meals. Nut butters contain essential nutrients – perfect for emergencies! Dried fruits and veggies add delicious depth to dishes. Enjoy them solo or in trail mix recipes.

Canned Foods

Canned foods are a great emergency food staple. They have nutrition, long shelf life, and are convenient. The higher acid content of canned fruits and veggies also stops bacteria growth. So, even if you lose power, you still get nutrition. Canned products are lightweight and don't need extra prep or cooking.

When stocking up on canned foods, think of the 5 categories:

  1. Vegetables: corn, green beans, carrots, peas
  2. Fruits: applesauce, pineapple slices
  3. Soups: beef stew, chicken noodle soup
  4. Legumes: lentils, black beans
  5. Meats/Seafoods: tuna in oil/water, salmon pouch packs.

Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-dried foods last for ages. You can store them inside or outside, depending on the temperature and moisture. They're light, making them easy to transport. When preparing, you need to rehydrate them with a liquid. Common types include pasta dishes, scrambled eggs mix and oatmeal. Some have shelf life of more than 10 years without spoilage. When choosing freeze-dried meals, make sure all components are included, in case you need to prepare over a fire.

In addition to freeze-dried foods, canned goods and dehydrated food staples should also be included in emergency food supplies. Canned goods such as vegetables, fruits, tuna and salmon have long shelf life. Check datemarks for freshness. Stock up on canned items with at least one year prior to their expiry date.

Other staples like flour, sugar, oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder should also be included. These basics will round out your preserved meal options during an emergency.

Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrated foods are great for emergency preparedness. They have low cost, long shelf life and are light weight. These are regular foods that had their water content removed to make them concentrated. Examples are carrots, green beans, apples, bananas, powdered milk, rice, wheat berries, beans, beef jerky, dried sausages, eggs, macaroni, cheese, stews, sauces.

Benefits of dehydrated food:

  • Long shelf life (5-15 years).
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to store.
  • Cost effective.
  • Versatile.

Check the goods before buying. Look for high proteins to avoid energy depletion.


MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, are designed for self-contained meals. They are non-perishable, nutritious and easy to transport. You can get MREs in boxes which contain multiple meals, or you can get individual servings. The meals may include heaters to warm the food without a stove or open flame.

Main dishes can be beef tips and gravy, ham slices, omelets, spaghetti with sauce or chili macaroni. Sides like cornbread stuffing or tomato basil soup, desserts such as fruit cobbler, drink mixes like instant coffee and lemonade, and condiments like hot sauce come pre-packaged, so no refrigeration or cooking implements are needed.

Essential Supplies

When restocking food for emergencies, it is significant to have the proper types. Specific items are necessary to make it without fresh food. To be prepared in a tough circumstance, the right emergency food supplies are a must. This article will explain the essential items to have in an emergency food supply.

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned meats and fish
  • Dried and packaged foods
  • Nuts, seeds, and grains
  • Powdered milk
  • High-energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, and granola bars
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Salt and pepper
  • Food for infants
  • Pet food


Having enough clean water is essential in an emergency. Stored water is recommended, to last two weeks. Sources could include tap water, creeks/rivers, rainwater or buying bottled water. It is possible to purify non-potable water. However, practice this before an emergency.

If no safe water is available, food with high moisture content can help keep you hydrated. Examples are soup mixes, rehydratable meals, and canned fruits/vegetables. Make sure they are from reliable sources, and stored safely before consumption.

Cooking Supplies

To cook when a disaster strikes, you need the right supplies. Get them now! Here are some items you may need:

  • Cooking stove and fuel
  • Matches/fire starters
  • Portable oven
  • Grill
  • Pots, pans, kettles
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, etc.)
  • Can opener
  • Dutch ovens
  • Ground cloth/fire reflector plate

These items will make cooking easier. Before the emergency, practice cooking with a camp stove or grill. Get to know the process at different temps and times. This way, you can get your meals just right.


Utensils are essential for any emergency food supply. For a successful survival food system, you need the right tools and utensils. Here are the must-haves for your emergency food storage setup:

  • Knives: Get quality knives with easy sharpening abilities. Make sure the handles are comfortable and secure.
  • Cutting Board: Get a durable cutting board made from thick plastic or wood. It should be large enough for all types of food, but compact for easy storage.
  • Spoons and Spatulas: Choose quality pieces that can handle heat. Stainless steel options are ideal. These pieces may also come in handy for stirring ingredients over an open fire or camp stove.
  • Meal Prep Tools: Can openers (manual and electric), cheese graters, salad spinners, sieves/strainers, choppers/slicers – manual or electric – are important for post disaster meal delivery needs.

Can Openers

Can openers are a must-have for emergency food supplies. Modern cans come with removable lids, but you never know what you'll need in an emergency. Can openers are compact, lightweight tools. They're great for both short-term and long-term solutions.

Manual can openers are a cheap option. They last for years and require little care. To open a can, you turn the crank into the side of the lid. Then, press the release bar and lift away the cut side. Manual can openers are not fast, but they're reliable when there's no electricity.

Electric can openers are convenient. They cut away some or all of the can lid without manual effort. People with limited mobility, or who don't want to use strength, prefer electric models. But they need power, which may not be available during a disaster.

Think about your needs when shopping. Manual devices may not offer all the conveniences, but they're usually smaller, more durable, and much cheaper than electric models. Make sure to have one or two can openers in your stockpile – manual or electric. This way, you'll always have canned food when there's an emergency.


Emergency food storage is key. You must select the right food and the right storage. Here's how:

  • For food safety, choose containers that will protect the items from damage and spoilage.
  • Then, be sure to store the food properly. This way, you'll be prepared in case of a crisis.


It's important to store your emergency food at the right temperature. That's between 40°F (4°C) and 70°F (21°C). Hotter or colder temperatures can make food spoil faster, reduce its nutrition or be unsafe to eat.

Aim for cool and dry conditions. Pick 55–60°F (13–16°C) with humidity below 50%. Keep food away from cold walls or floors, at least 6 inches. Also, keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid extreme temperature changes.

If you live in a hot area, invest in a passive cooling system, like burlap sacks filled with water. If you have frequent power outages, have thermometers around your house. Check them regularly to see if food is safe to consume.


Humidity can cause food to spoil faster. Summer months with high humidity can be bad for food storage. To prevent spoilage, keep food away from concrete floors or walls. A cool, dry area like a pantry closet or basement is best. Cans should be stored between 45-70°F (7-21°C). Higher temperatures and longer storage time reduce shelf life.

Monitor humidity with an inexpensive hygrometer. Below 50% is generally acceptable. If humidity is above 50%, buy dehumidifier packs or desiccant dishes filled with salt and spices. Remember, warm air holds more moisture than cold air. To protect food, use airtight containers. This reduces exposure to light, insects, and other contaminants.

Pest Control

Pest control is an important part of emergency food storage. Inspecting for pests is necessary to guarantee the food is safe to eat. Insects and rodents can cause serious damage to containers, so precautions must be taken.

For dry goods like grains and beans, use plastic bags with tight-sealing lids. Additionally, keep food in air-tight containers away from ingredients that attract pests. Sugar, flour, crackers, and grains should be stored separately from human edibles to avoid contamination.

Chemicals like boric acid help deter rats and mice. Peppermint oil also works as a deterrent since pests dislike its scent and flavor. Be proactive when it comes to pest control to ensure the safety of your emergency food!


When it comes to emergency food storage, containers are key. You need containers that protect your food from air, moisture, light, and pests. The type of containers you use depends on the location, how long you expect it to last, and other factors.

For short-term, local needs like seasonal disasters, plastic buckets, oxygen absorber packs, and sealing bags are good options. People may choose Mylar bags with zip locks for more security against moisture and critters. Store Mylar bags in plastic buckets for best results. This protects them from elements and rodents.

For long-term storage needs (longer than one year), special airtight cargo cases or water-resistant boxes made of aluminum or other materials are good. These cases can be taken camping or on road trips for easy access to food in case of evacuation.

When storing containers away from direct sunlight, make sure there is adequate air flow. This will help keep things fresh and limit mold and bacteria growth, preserving the quality of your emergency food supply.


Having emergency food is key. But it's even more essential to have the right types of food. A selection of different foods will give you nutritional balance and access to items that may be necessary during an emergency. This article discussed some basics and specialty items that could be useful.

So, before the next storm or emergency, make sure you have the correct emergency food types on hand!

Summary of Essential Emergency Food Types

In an emergency or disaster, it's essential to have food supplies for you, your family, and pets. Having a selection of easily stored food is important. Grains and legumes, non-perishable veggies, protein sources like canned meats and eggs, and shelf-stable treats are key. Special dietary requirements must also be considered.

Grains are great for meals as they're energy-dense carbs. Pasta, oats, quinoa and rice are lightweight and long lasting. Beans can be eaten alone or added to soups. Canned goods are cost effective but there are other forms of preserved items like dried fruits/veggies and dehydrated foods.

When buying canned meats, look for higher fat content. This provides longer storage life than lean cuts. Salt cured items like jerky can last longer depending on packaging. Consider powdered eggs for perishable foods, which can last eight years.

Jerky snacks are a great way to add flavor and are lightweight for transportability. Some come in vacuum sealed packets that last more than a year without needing refrigeration, saving space.

When prepping for an emergency, make sure you plan for all types of dietary needs – from young toddlers to elderly people:

  • Grains and legumes
  • Non-perishable veggies
  • Protein sources like canned meats and eggs
  • Shelf-stable treats
  • Dried fruits/veggies and dehydrated foods
  • Salt cured items like jerky
  • Powdered eggs
  • Jerky snacks

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of emergency food should I have on hand?

A: It is recommended that you have a variety of non-perishable foods on hand in case of an emergency. This should include items such as canned goods, dried beans and legumes, rice, powdered milk, peanut butter, and canned juices. Additionally, you should also consider having protein bars, granola bars, trail mix, nuts, and crackers.

Q: What are the best foods for emergency situations?

A: The best foods for emergency situations are those that are high in calories, protein, and carbohydrates. This includes items such as granola bars, peanut butter, canned goods, dried beans and legumes, nuts, and crackers. Additionally, you should also have items such as protein bars, trail mix, and powdered milk.

Q: How long can emergency food last?

A: Depending on the type of food, it can last anywhere from a few months to up to a year. Non-perishable foods such as canned goods, dried beans and legumes, and powdered milk can last up to a year. Protein bars, granola bars, trail mix, nuts, and crackers can last up to a few months.

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