Best Food For Emergency Supplies
When constructing an emergency food supply, it's vital to opt for foods that boast a long shelf life, simple preparation, and good nutrition. Here are some top food items to consider:
- Canned fruits, veggies, and meats: These foods are budget-friendly, have a lengthy shelf life, and are easy to store. Opt for low-sodium varieties and rotate regularly.
- Dried fruits and nuts: Packed with nutrients, these items can be stored for up to one year. They make for convenient, low-mess snacks and can be added to oatmeal or trail mix.
- Rice and pasta: These staples have a long shelf life and can be stored in sealed containers. Go for whole grain varieties for extra nutrition.
- Canned soups and broths: Simple to prepare, these items can provide hydration and nourishment in a comforting way. Again, choose low-sodium options.
Pro tip: Don't forget to include a can opener, cooking utensils, and a portable stove or heating source in your emergency supply kit.
Non-perishable Food Items
Non-perishables are must-haves in an emergency. These food items can keep for months or even years! They don't need to be refrigerated or frozen, and are easy to make. Let's look at the best non-perishables for emergency supplies. No cooking or special tools required.
Canned Vegetables and Fruits
Canned veggies and fruits are ideal non-perishable items for your food-emergency kit. Here's why:
- Long Shelf Life: Up to 5 yrs or more with proper storage.
- Nutrient-rich: Retain their vitamins and nutrients.
- Easy Storage & Transport: Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Versatile: Can be used in everyday meals or alone if needed.
By adding these to your emergency list, you'll have healthy and nutritious food during tough times. Pro tip: Check expiry dates and rotate stock regularly.
Canned Meats and Fish
Canned meats and fish are a must-have in your emergency supplies. They have protein, which helps repair body tissue and build new ones.
Benefits of canned food: easy storage, long shelf life, and versatile. Good for stews, sandwiches, and casseroles.
Choose low-sodium options to prevent high blood pressure. Pick reliable brands and the type you like.
Remember: check expiration dates and use oldest cans first to reduce food waste.
Canned Soups and Stews
Canned soups and stews are a convenient and nutrient-rich non-perishable food option to store in your emergency food supplies. Here are some of the benefits:
- Long Shelf Life – 2-5 years, depending on the brand and storage conditions.
- Nutrient-Dense – providing protein, fiber, and Vitamins A and C.
- Convenient – easy to prepare, no cooking needed.
- Versatile – use as a meal or base for other dishes.
- Affordable – good for those on a budget.
Pro Tip – look for low-sodium options and read ingredient labels for the healthiest option.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
Dried fruits and nuts are amazing non-perishable food items. They should be part of every emergency food supply kit! Here's why:
- Longer Shelf-life: Up to several years if stored properly. So they are reliable choices in an emergency.
- Nutritional Value: Rich in essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Providing energy and nourishment.
- Versatility: Eaten as snacks, added to trail mix, granola or oatmeal. Or used in baking and cooking.
- Lightweight and Compact: Easy to store and transport. Taking up minimal space and weight.
Pro tip: Store in airtight containers and keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Energy Bars and Granola Bars
Energy and granola bars are perfect for emergency supplies. They're nutrient-rich, long-lasting and there's no prep needed.
When selecting these bars, consider calories, nutrients, shelf-life and your taste preferences.
CLIF Bars, KIND Bars, RXBars and Larabars are popular choices.
Tip: Rotate your bars every few months to make sure they're fresh when you need them.
Durable Food Supplies
Stockpiling food is a must for any emergency plan. Durable foods can last long, and give nutrition when needed. Get to know the different durable food types, to make wise decisions when stocking supplies. Let's check them out!
Dried Pasta and Rice
Dried Pasta & Rice: Two excellent food options to consider for your emergency supply kit. They have long shelf life and nutritional value. Plus, they are easy to prepare.
Dried Pasta: Can store for up to two years. High in carbohydrates, low in fat. Easy to cook and ideal for emergency situations.
Rice: Has lengthy shelf life when stored properly. Great source of carbs. Brown rice has more nutrition than white rice. Different kinds of rice, like jasmine, basmati, long-grain, have unique flavors.
Pro Tip: Store them correctly in airtight containers. Also, keep them on open shelves and away from sunlight, to maintain quality.
Cereals, Oats, and Grits
Cereals, oats, and grits are great food supplies that are perfect for emergencies!
Cereals: Oats, wheat, and cornmeal can be stored long-term. They provide carbs, fiber, and protein. You can cook cereals in many ways – boil, bake, or fry.
Oats: Oats are full of dietary fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Keep them correctly, and they can last 30 years! Porridge, overnight oats, and oatmeal bars are all yummy options.
Grits: Grits are ground corn, and a great source of carbs and iron. Store 'em in airtight containers and they'll last for years. Have grits for breakfast, casseroles, or savory dishes!
Pro Tip: Store cereals, oats, and grits in airtight containers in cool and dry places for maximum shelf life.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Peanut butter and jelly? A reliable option for emergency food supplies! Protein, carbs, and healthy fats – all essential nutrients for survival. Plus, you can store it for a long time without spoiling.
Peanut butter gives you energy – it's full of calories, healthy fats, and protein. Jelly? Carbs and sugar – perfect for quick energy. When storing, choose brands with preservatives and a long shelf life.
But PB&J should not be your only source of nutrition – you need vitamins and minerals from fresh produce too. Pro tip: Store other non-perishable items, like canned goods and dried fruits, for an awesome emergency food supply!
Powdered or UHT Milk
Durability and emergency food storage? Powdered and UHT milk are two of the best options.
Powdered milk is dehydrated and stores well, even when substituting in recipes.
UHT milk has been pasteurized at an ultra-high temperature, killing bacteria and microorganisms and lasting longer without refrigeration.
These milks are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and protein – great for an emergency food pantry. Taste and texture may differ from regular milk, but powdered and UHT are reliable and convenient for long-term storage in emergencies.
Bouillon Cubes or Powder
Durability and long shelf life make bouillon cubes or powder an excellent option for emergency food supplies. Here are the benefits:
- Long Shelf Life: Can last up to 2 years if stored properly.
- Versatility: Add flavor to soups, stews, rice dishes, etc.
- Nutritious: Rich in essential minerals like calcium, iron and potassium.
- Lightweight: Easier to carry than canned food.
- Cost-effective: Single cube or spoonful can flavor an entire pot of food. Stocking up on these can nourish you during an emergency.
Special Dietary Needs
Emergency supplies? Consider special diets!
Allergies or medical conditions? Got it covered. Different types of food can provide nutrition for these needs. Let's see the best food to have on hand for an emergency.
Gluten-free or Lactose Intolerant Options
Emergency supplies? Dietary restrictions & food allergies? No problem! Here are some gluten-free & lactose-free options:
- Canned fruits & veggies
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Almond/coconut milk
- Gluten-free granola bars
- Lactose-free milk
- Non-dairy milk alternatives
- Nuts & seeds
- GF/LF granola bars.
Pro tip: Check expiration dates often & replace any expired items for safety & quality.
Baby Food and Formula
When it comes to feeding babies, prioritize their special dietary needs. Choose appropriate baby food and formula, especially when buying emergency supplies. Breast milk or formula is the ideal source of nutrition for infants. Select baby food that matches your child's developmental stage and nutritional needs.
Start with pureed fruits and vegetables for 4-6 month olds. Gradually introduce soft foods like mashed bananas and peeled apple slices. For 7-8 month olds, consider pureed meats and poultry. After 8 months, small amounts of soft cheese and yogurt may be included.
For emergency supplies, ready-to-feed infant formula is better than powdered formula. This reduces the risk of bacterial contamination. Pro Tip- Always speak to a pediatrician or nutritionist to know what foods and formula are best for your child.
Picking the right food for your furry friend can be hard. Especially if they have dietary needs. It's even more important to have the top food supplies when in an emergency. Here are some tips to help:
- Look for protein sources without fillers like wheat, corn or soy.
- Choose food labelled “complete and balanced” so your pet gets all nutrients.
- Check if your pet needs a special diet due to age or medical conditions, and buy the food that fits.
- Store food in a cool, dark and dry place to prolong its shelf life.
- Rotate emergency pet food every 6 months to make sure it's not expired or spoiled.
By following these, you make sure your pet has the best nutrition in an emergency.
Pro Tip: Have extra canned or wet food on hand as they last longer than dry.
Food Preparation Supplies
Stock up for emergencies! Plan and prioritize what you need. Food Prep Supplies are essential for survival. They can keep you safe and fed in an emergency. This section will discuss different types of food for your emergency supplies kit. We'll explain why they work well for emergency prep.
Manual Can Opener
A manual can opener is a must-have for any emergency food supply kit. Look for one with sturdy, sharp blades and comfortable handles. Here are some great options:
- The OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener has stainless steel blades that cut cans smoothly. Plus, the ergonomic handles offer a good grip.
- The EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe Can Opener has a heavy-duty construction. And its carbon steel blade is long-lasting.
- The Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master Can Opener is unique. It cuts cans from the side, avoiding sharp edges. It's also compact for easy storage.
Keep your can opener handy with your emergency food supply. You'll need it in times of need.
Portable Stove or Grill
Portable stove or grill? An essential for any emergency supplies kit! From camping to power outages, these tools will keep you well-fed. Here are the best options:
- Portable propane stove. Versatile, easy and efficient. Uses small propane canisters.
- Charcoal grill. Great for outdoor cooking during outages. High heat and smoky flavor.
- Alcohol stove. Lightweight and compact. Uses denatured alcohol as fuel.
- Solar oven. Uses solar energy. Baking, roasting, slow-cooking.
Choose an option that suits your needs. Don't forget fuel and other supplies. Safety first! Practice ahead of time to avoid any mishaps during an emergency.
Fuel and Lighter
Fuel & lighters are essential for emergency food prep. Here are some options to consider:
- Sterno cans – filled with a clean burning gel fuel. Great for heating small containers.
- Propane tank – versatile and can be used for cooking, heating & lighting. Make sure you have the right attachments & know how to use safely.
- Waterproof matches – great backup for starting fires in wet conditions.
- Lighter with lanyard – easy to carry & access. Good for outdoor activities & emergencies.
It's important to have these items & know how to use them properly for emergency food prep.
Disposable Bowls, Cups, and Utensils
Disposable bowls, cups, and utensils are perfect for emergency situations or when you need an inexpensive solution for serving food. Here are their benefits:
- Convenience: No cleaning or maintenance is needed. Just use them once and throw away.
- Affordable: Generally cheaper than traditional dishes. Great for large gatherings or emergencies.
- Hygienic: No cross-contamination or germs spreading between dishes. Ideal for public events, camping trips, or emergencies.
- Eco-friendly: Brands now offer eco-friendly alternatives, like bamboo or other sustainable materials.
Using disposable food preparation supplies is an awesome way to make food prep simpler, save time, and reduce cleanup!
Water Filtration or Purification Tablets
Water filtration or purification tablets are must-haves for emergency situations. They help sanitize and filter water when there's no clean drinking water. These tablets contain iodine or chlorine, which kills bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
Remember these tips when using them:
- Follow the instructions on the package.
- Wait the required time for them to dissolve.
- Shake the container to mix the treated water.
- Check the expiration date – expired tablets won't purify water.
Having water filtration or purification tablets part of your emergency food supplies means you have access to clean drinking water in an emergency.
Food Storage Tips
Emergency readiness is key. Keep food that is high in calories, nutrients, and proteins. It's best to store non-perishable food. Here's a list of food choices for your emergency supplies. Plus, guidelines on how to store them!
- Granola and cereal bars
- Canned fruits, veggies, and meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Crackers and rice cakes
- Dried fruits and nuts
Guidelines on how to store your emergency supplies:
- Keep in a cool, dry place
- Store in airtight containers or cans
- Rotate food every six months
Store food in cool, dry, and dark places
Storing food in cool, dry, and dark places is one of the best food storage practices. Especially when it comes to emergency supplies.
Here are some food items perfect for long-term storage:
- Dried and canned fruits and vegetables. These can last several months or even years.
- Rice, pasta, and grains. Low levels of moisture make them last years. Store in airtight containers.
- Nuts and seeds. High in protein and healthy fats. Can last up to a year.
- Powdered milk. Lasts several years. An excellent source of calcium and vitamins.
Remember to check the expiration date, rotate stock regularly. Avoid humid and warm places. Pro Tip: Keep emergency food supplies in an accessible area for quick access.
Keep at least a 3-day supply of food
Having 3 days of non-perishable food items is essential in an emergency. Here are great food options:
- Canned fruits and veggies. These are full of nutrients and last years if stored properly.
- Dried fruits and nuts. These provide energy and protein, ideal for an emergency.
- Canned meat and fish. These have protein and can be used to make fast meals.
- Pasta and rice. These are cheap, easy to store, and can last for a long time in air-tight containers.
- Peanut butter. High in protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients to keep you going in an emergency.
Remember to rotate your emergency food supplies every 6-12 months. Pro tip: Don't forget to include a manual can opener in your kit!
Store food in airtight containers
Store food in airtight containers for the best results! This helps keep dust, moisture and bugs away. It's especially important if you're building an emergency food supply. Here are some items that are great to store in airtight containers:
- Rice. Versatile and affordable, it can last for years with proper storage.
- Cereals. Keep them fresh by transferring to airtight containers once opened.
- Dried fruits and nuts. A calorie-dense source of nutrition and energy.
Pro Tip: Label your containers with the food name and date of storage. This helps you keep track of its shelf life.
Rotate food supply every 6-12 months
Rotating your food supply every 6-12 months is a must. Here are some tips to help:
- Label each food item with its expiration date using a permanent marker.
- Plan meals based on expiration dates, using the oldest first.
- Use the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method. Put new items in the back and older ones in front.
- Check supplies regularly for spoilage. Mold, off color or a strange smell mean it's time to remove.
These tips will help you keep your emergency food supplies fresh and safe.
Keep a list of expiration dates and replace as needed
Emergency food supplies need tracking. Here's what to do:
- Make a list of all the food items you bought and when they expire.
- Store the food in a cool and dry place, away from sun and moisture.
- Check your inventory often and replace items that are close to or have passed their expiration date.
- Rotate your food supply – use the oldest items first and replace them with fresh ones.
- Keep track of when you rotate and replace your items. This ensures your emergency food supply is always ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best type of food to include in emergency supplies?
The best type of food to include in emergency supplies are those with long shelf lives, high nutrition content, and are easy to prepare. Examples of these are canned goods, freeze-dried meals, energy bars, and peanut butter.
2. How long can emergency food supplies last?
Emergency food supplies can last anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the type of food and storage conditions. Canned goods can last up to 5 years, while freeze-dried meals can last up to 25 years.
3. How much emergency food supplies should I store?
It is recommended to store at least 3 days' worth of emergency food supplies for each person in the household. However, it is better to have a supply for at least 2 weeks in case of extended emergencies.
It is not recommended to store homemade meals as emergency food supplies since they may not have the same shelf life and nutrition content as commercially prepared emergency food supplies. Additionally, homemade meals may not be stored properly and can lead to foodborne illnesses.
5. Can emergency food supplies be kept in a car?
It is not recommended to keep emergency food supplies in a car since the temperature fluctuations can affect the quality and shelf life of the food. It is best to store them in a cool, dry place like a pantry or closet.
6. Can emergency food supplies be donated after they expire?
No, it is not recommended to donate expired emergency food supplies since they may not be safe for consumption. It is best to dispose of them properly and to regularly check the expiration dates of your emergency supplies.