How to Calculate Your Emergency Food Supply

If you want to calculate the exact daily amounts of food that meet your individual needs and those of your family, the MyPyramid website is a great resource. Emergency organizations such as the Red Cross and FEMA recommend having at least a two-week supply of food at home in the event of an emergency. To ensure you have enough food for three months, buy items that you normally eat and create meal plans for the full 90 days. This food storage calculator is designed to be a quick and easy resource tool to help you calculate and plan how much food storage you and your family will need over a period of time.

The World Health Organization recommends storing 2,100 calories of food per day for emergency preparedness. Your emergency kit should contain essential items for each person in your family to survive, such as fresh water, food, and medical supplies (including prescription drugs) for three days or two weeks. Freeze dried food is a great way to preserve fruits and vegetables from your garden, build your own personal supply of emergency food, and for camping or backpacking meals. The fatal flaw of this approach is that there is only a 3-day supply of food available in stores at any given time.

To make sure nothing spoils, it's important to rotate your food storage by using old food first. This includes the food and daily meals you eat on a regular basis that can accumulate 1 to 3 months from a rotating pantry of food and ingredients. If the emergency means you're sitting at home not doing much, you may not need as much food (although you could end up eating a lot more because of the boredom of eating snacks). We have developed a 3-month food supply spreadsheet in Excel that will help you map out meal plans, convert them into the number of items you need to buy automatically, and then track your inventory, including current prices for each product.

Karen Borchert
Karen Borchert

Freelance travel fanatic. Infuriatingly humble internet practitioner. Passionate twitter practitioner. Extreme social media nerd. Web trailblazer. Passionate pop culture advocate.