How to Prepare an Emergency Food Supply

When it comes to preparing for an emergency, having a reliable food supply is essential. Whether you're stocking up for a natural disaster, a pandemic, or just want to be prepared for any eventuality, there are a few key steps to take. First, use perishable foods and foods from the refrigerator. Then, use the food from the freezer.

To minimize the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of the contents of the freezer on it. In a well-filled, well-insulated freezer, food will usually still have ice crystals in the center. Consume food only if ice crystals remain or if the freezer temperature has been maintained at 40 degrees F or below. Covering the freezer with blankets will help keep the cold.

Be sure to hold the blankets backwards so that the ventilation is not covered.Once you've used up your perishable and frozen foods, it's time to start using non-perishable foods and staples. For most people who don't cook regularly and are used to preparing food, freeze dried foods are the ideal solution. It's stored for more than 25 years, so it's a good insurance policy that you can keep in a back closet until you need it. One of the most convenient types of emergency food supplies are MREs or “ready-to-eat meals”.

They are already prepared foods that can be stored for years and then eaten as is without any preparation.How much do you want to store? Should you aim for three-day supplies? Or enough for three months? What needs to be supplied for emergencies depends on the type of emergency that is most likely to occur where you live and how long you anticipate that access to supplies will be cut off. For an all-in-one shortcut, you can order 3-day emergency preparedness kits and other emergency supplies from the American Red Cross. You can also find many emergency and survival kits on Amazon.But you can be much safer in a crisis if you go beyond the 72-hour minimum. Once you reach that goal, move the goals to a week or two.

Keep it up until you've reached your final goal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing 1 gallon per day for each person and, if possible, recommends creating a two-week supply. Don't forget to store additional water if you have pets.For affordable storage, especially if you have a large home or want a complete, long-lasting reservation, buy what you can in bulk. If you're not sure what to include on your wholesale shopping list, see “10 Foods That Can Be Preserved for Years”.

For more ideas, see “20 Things That Are Really Worth Accumulating”.Even in an emergency situation, it's worth keeping an eye on what you're consuming. That's why we recommend this Survive2Thrive certified organic emergency food supply. Exclusive food supply offers a wide variety of individually vacuum-sealed foods that combine to provide 40-day food. Instead of pre-prepared meals, the Survive2Thrive supply has individual, highly nutritious ingredients, such as beans, oats, quinoa, rice, and pancake mix.The container weighs 36 pounds, which is a little more than others, but it is a necessary sacrifice to have healthy and organic food.

Whether you're celiac or gluten-free by choice, there's no need to interrupt your diet in an emergency situation. This Gluten-Free Essential Bucket from Mountain House includes four varieties of foods, such as rice and chicken, and scrambled eggs with bacon, all made without wheat, barley or rye ingredients. You get a total of 22 servings, which is approximately enough to feed a person (wholeheartedly) for four days.Like all Mountain House survival food supplies, the gluten-free bucket has a guaranteed shelf life of 30 years. Rations are a great utilitarian choice.

The package contains nine fortified food bars for a total of 3,600 calories. They do not require any preparation and provide energy that is quick and easy to transport.Ideal bars for hiking, supplementing a larger emergency food supply, or storing in your car or boat. The service life is five years, but unlike previous options that rating is for “weather conditions”. This means that the bars will survive for five years in adverse weather conditions and possibly a little longer under ideal storage conditions.If you know how to cook from scratch, non-perishable dry goods are by far the most cost-effective way to build an emergency food supply.

I maintain a food balance for each type of meal in my pantry so I have options to cook all of my family's favorite comfort foods as well as simple prepared meals to heat and eat.Military and camping supply tents are good sources of some compact well-preserved foods that are good choices for emergency preparedness kits. The best emergency food supplies take the work out of storing your own supply of canned or dry food.An emergency food supply can save lives in a large emergency and be deeply comforting during a small emergency. Of course this short-term prep kit should include food in addition to water personal hygiene items flashlights blankets and other essential items recommended for emergencies.The amount and what food to store will depend on the members of your household their preferences their special health conditions the ability to use food in an emergency and the storage space. Planning for short-term emergency food needs can be as simple as increasing the amounts of some basic foods and non-perishable foods that you would normally use.Food in cans or jars may appear to be undamaged but the heat from the fire may have activated bacteria that spoil food.

Karen Borchert
Karen Borchert

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