Emergency Food Supply

Emergency Food Storage The Dos and Donts You Need to Know to Stay Prepared


Having emergency food is a must for any disaster. We can't take food for granted in an emergency and having it ready helps us stay safe. Knowing how to store it is just as important!

We need food to stay nourished through any crisis. This guide will provide storage tips to keep food fresh and secure. We'll look at which foods to store, temperature and humidity control, packaging matters, what to avoid, and tips for rotation and inspection. With this knowledge, you can be sure you have the food security needed no matter what!

  • Which foods to store
  • Temperature and humidity control
  • Packaging matters
  • What to avoid
  • Tips for rotation and inspection


Emergency food storage is a must-have! Have the sustenance you need in case of an emergency. Stock up your food pantry or create a survival garden. Get nutrition, flavor, and peace of mind. Here's what to do for emergency food storage:

  • Types of food? Check.
  • Methods of storage? Check!

We'll cover it all.

Choose the right food

When it comes to emergency food storage, selecting the right options is key. Get items that are nutritious, non-perishable and easy to prepare, such as:

  • Grains
  • Canned and jarred products
  • Dried/freeze-dried fruits and veggies
  • Protein sources
  • Shelf stable milk/juices
  • Soups and stews
  • Vitamins
  • Sugar, salt and spices

Don't forget camping stoves or solar ovens for cooking without electricity. Invest in a few extra items now in case of an emergency. Be well-prepared!

Store food in airtight containers

Store food in airtight containers. This helps preserve its freshness, taste and texture. Plus, it stops pests and bacteria from entering. Use containers for long-term storage. Steel, glass or #10 cans are great choices. Avoid roasting pans, aluminum foil and plastic bags.

Label the containers clearly with the expiration date and contents. Wrap lids with wax paper for extra airtightness. Vacuum sealing also works. Keep food in cool, dry spots away from sunlight and moisture. This prevents oxidation which can change the taste and texture.

Rotate food regularly

It is important to rotate emergency food stocks regularly. This is for two main reasons: freshness and feasibility. Freshness is critical for emergency food storage, because spoiled food can be dangerous. Feasibility matters too, as certain rations can become too heavy and bulky to store.

To make sure you have fresh items in case of an emergency, rotate your stocks at least twice a year. When rotating items out of storage, examine them for any signs of spoilage or damage. Discard any damaged or out-of-date items so they don't contaminate your supply.

Create a checklist of items, including expiry dates, so you can easily track when they need replacing or rotating out. A regular rotation schedule will keep your emergency supplies fresh and ready for unexpected events!

Store in a cool, dry place

Store emergency food in a cool and dry place. Most items have no preservatives, so look after them! Keep the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and humidity levels low. Keep food off the ground and away from heat sources.

Rotate out supplies regularly, particularly those with expiration dates. Use them up before they go bad!


Remember: emergency food storage isn't just about putting away a load of food for a rainy day. It's about having the right food ready when you need it. Here are some important things to avoid when it comes to emergency food storage. Be aware!

Don't buy more than you can store

When it comes to stocking up for emergencies, it's essential to only buy and store what you need. Overstocking can be costly and hard to manage. Plus, when food is stored for too long, it loses its nutrients and flavor. Calculate how much you'll need for your household – usually enough for three months or more – and find a way to store it. Think about the space you have and whether it makes sense to buy in bulk.

While it may be tempting to overstock on items like canned goods, think of the actual need versus want. Also, some canned food can last up to several years if stored properly!

Don't store food near chemicals

When it comes to emergency food storage, it's essential to avoid storing items near harsh chemicals or fumes. Heat sources, like a furnace or water heater, can cause radon gas to contaminate food, making it unsafe. Never use containers that once held toxic materials, such as paint cans or chemical containers.

Keep long-term food supplies in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This prevents spoilage. Make sure canned goods and airtight storage containers stay sealed tightly. That way, they won't be contaminated by bacteria or insects. Adhering to these tips will help keep your emergency food safe for consumption.

Don't store food in plastic bags

When it comes to food storage, make sure to use containers made from food-grade materials like glass, metal, or plastic. These containers should be airtight and moisture-proof.

Do not use plastic bags or wrap, as moisture can get trapped, leading to microbial growth and spoilage.

  • Avoid containers with rust or corrosion.
  • Don't use cardboard. It absorbs moisture and oils, causing contamination and spoilage.

Ensure all containers are sealed properly. Store them in an area away from smoke, dust, gasses, and pests. The environment should be cool, dry, and have a low relative humidity (50-70%). Direct sunlight can also damage the quality of stored items over time.

Don't forget to include a manual can opener

When it comes to emergency food storage, the right items are important. A manual can opener might not seem necessary if you have canned goods. However, if the power goes out, it's an essential item. Even if you don't need it soon, keep an extra one in your emergency supplies.

Manual can openers are simple and affordable. Even kids can use them safely and quickly. They come in different styles, so choose one that fits your needs. Include directions for use in your emergency supplies kit, just in case.


In the end, having a proper emergency food storage is essential for yourself and your family to get through any difficult situation or natural disaster. There are many tips and pieces of advice to help you make the most of your food storage while keeping it safe, such as:

  • Storing food at the correct temperature.
  • Hiding it.
  • Protecting it from bugs and bacteria.
  • Rotating your food regularly.
  • Keeping track of your food inventory.
  • Making records of expiration dates.

Plus, having an alternate source of power in case the electricity goes out can be useful for heating foods if needed. These small steps will not only prepare you for potential disasters, but also give you tastier and healthier meals when there's no time to shop!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the top dos and don'ts when it comes to emergency food storage?

A: The top dos when it comes to emergency food storage include: ensuring that food is stored in a cool, dry place; rotating food on a regular basis; packing foods in airtight containers; and using a food thermometer to check temperatures. The top don'ts when it comes to emergency food storage include: storing food near chemicals; storing food in open containers; leaving food out of the refrigerator for extended periods of time; and not following proper food safety cleaning and handling procedures.

Q: What foods are best for long-term emergency food storage?

A: The best foods for long-term emergency food storage are those that are high in calories, fat, and proteins, such as canned meats, peanut butter, dried fruits and nuts, and canned vegetables. Foods that are shelf-stable and require little to no preparation are also ideal for long-term emergency food storage.

Q: How long can I safely store food in my emergency food storage?

A: The length of time food can be safely stored in your emergency food storage depends on the type of food, the temperature at which it is stored, and the way it is packaged. Generally, most dry goods can be stored for up to 6 months and canned goods can be stored for up to 1 year. It is important to regularly inspect food in your emergency storage to ensure that it is still safe to eat.

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