29944114_Foods to have in an emergency

Food to have in an emergency

It’s an emergency. A global pandemic is on the rise. Stocking up on non-perishable foods is one of the significant ways you and your family can see this through.  You may ask: Why are non-perishable food items the foods to have in an emergency? It’s because of their shelf life. 

During an emergency, outside movement is often restricted, businesses are halted, stores are almost empty, and you’re holed up at home with your family. Understand that food with long shelf life (expiration dates) will keep hunger away as you weather the storm from home.

Here is a list of foods to have in an emergency:


  1. Peanut butter


Peanut butter is one primary necessity in the middle of an emergency.

Asides being delicious, peanut butter provides protein, energy, and healthful fats to keep you going. Great on sandwiches, cookies, and perfect for families with varying dietary needs. 

For emergencies, this peanut butter powder is perfect because it holds freshness for up to 15 years if you don’t break the seal. After breaking the seal, the mix has a shelf life of 12 months.

Since it’s in powder form, you and your family will be enjoying the nutty taste of slow-roasted peanut butter for a long time. Simply mix the powder with water to create the smooth and creamy texture you love. 

With one jar of peanut butter powder, you will be getting 81 servings. At three meals per day, that is 27 days of peanut butter joy.


2. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables


Freeze dried fruits isolated on white background.

Freeze dried fruits isolated on white background.


You will need vitamins, which boost your immune system, to survive an emergency.

Fruits and vegetables are a significant source of vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants—fighting inflammation and cholesterol, and reducing high blood pressure.

Vegetables, like carrot, asparagus, and fruits, like apple, pineapple, peaches, blueberries, and strawberry, will give your family a delicious lasting treat throughout the emergency. Whether as snacks, salads, or in cereals, soups, and stews.

Just before the emergency, stocking up on fresh produce with short shelf lives is advisable.

When kept in a cool and dry place (and kept away from perishable items like bananas), apples can last for three months.

Not fully ripe grapefruit and citrus fruits, which are quite acidic, can last 14 days without refrigeration.

Unripe avocado can last seven days without refrigeration.

Fresh tomatoes and veggies (summer squash and cucumbers) will last for a few days. 

Sadly, fruits and vegetables are known to have a poor shelf life and have to be consumed immediately.

Thankfully, with freeze-dry technology, you can store your fruits and veggies in the fridge for months while keeping your young and elderly healthy. 

Freeze-dried fruits and vegetable products, like these strawberries, peaches, pineapple chunks, broccoli, green beans, dehydrated carrots,  asparagus, apple slices, banana chips, and blueberries, are perfect for any emergency. 

Check out the essential foods you need and stock up while you can.

Because they are vacuumed-packed, they can hold freshness for up to 10 years before unsealing or 12 months after unsealing. 

If you cannot get fresh fruit, these healthy snacks efficiently provide dietary fiber, potassium, a large number of nutrients and calories. To prepare your fruits or veggies, simply rehydrate by adding water.


3. Powdered milk


Milk is a must-have food item in every home, especially in the middle of an emergency. Its a rich source of vitamin D, calcium, minerals, vitamins, and protein. Milk is essential for your cereals, beverages, baking, and cooking. 

While fresh dairy needs refrigeration and takes up space, powdered milk does not. You are not guaranteed power during uncertain times. Therefore, surviving means having to maximize the storage space in your fridge or pantry for necessities. This is where powdered milk comes to the rescue. 

This nonfat USDA Grade “A” Powdered Milk takes up less space in your pantry and has a shelf life of three to five years.

Simply mix the milk powder with water and you have delicious and nutritious milk.

Providing up to 40 servings per pack and 9 grams of protein per serving, this powdered milk is the one economic and efficient food item to get you through any emergency. 


4. Freeze-dried chicken and beef


It’s a fact that you need a good dose of protein during any emergency. You cannot deny your family of chicken and beef, whole protein sources, during an emergency. Protein is an essential balanced diet that builds muscle and protects cells. 

These vacuum-packed products, like 100% USDA freeze-dried chicken dices and beef dices, are not only high-quality but also delicious. To prepare, soak the meat in water for five minutes.

These products come in lightweight packs that won’t take a lot of space in your fridge or pantry. With proper protein, you and your family won’t be starving during the emergency. 

The freeze-dried chicken is tasty, tender, and has a shelf life of 10 to 15 years. And with 19 servings per pack, you will be stocking up on essential protein. Packed with 100 calories and 22 grams of protein per serving, you enjoy your fried chicken and chicken soup any time

The freeze-dried beef dices provide 19 servings per pack and 17 grams of protein per serving. With a 10 to 15-year shelf life, you will store these flavorful beef dices packs for a long time. 


5. Sweeteners



food series: glassy bowl with tasty honey and honey- drops


In whatever emergency, you would need sweeteners for your meals and beverages. Aside from its health benefits, 100% pure honey is a perfect emergency food supply because of its infinite shelf life. Unlike artificial syrups or sweeteners, it will stay in your pantry for a long time without crystallizing. 


6. Potatoes


Stored in a cool, dark area, potatoes will last about a month. If you are into mashed potatoes and want something with a longer storage life, consider this freeze-dried mashed potato flakes (30 servings per pack) that can be turned into creamy and delicious mashed potatoes by hydrating. 


7. Power bars and granola bars


These portable snacks, with a shelf life of six months, will keep you and your kids going for days. They are a great source of energy and tastiness.


8. Canned soups


Canned soups are literal lifesavers as they provide direct emergency food options and provide nutrients. Just search for the ones with low sodium content and look out for the expiration dates, too.  


9. Dry pasta and macaroni



Dry pasta and macoroni

While pasta and macaroni are carb-heavy, they are so filling. Dehydrated pasta and dehydrated macaroni are fast and easy-to-prepare comfort foods also rich in iron and protein. Both pasta and macaroni will last for 10 to 15 years unopened. And stay good for 12 months when unsealed. With mac and cheese or pasta and pasta sauce, your family and children will be enjoying comfort food during any emergency.


10. Parboiled rice


Rice is one essential emergency food. And parboiled rice is not only long-lasting but also a great source of energy and body-fueling fiber. Sealed, you will be getting a shelf life of 15 to 20 years with this pack. The pack offers 30 servings and can last 12 months after being unsealed.


11. Bottled water


Staying hydrated is important during an emergency. Stocking up on at least a three-day supply of drinking water is crucial to surviving. While a healthy human being can survive on a gallon daily, young people, the elderly and the sick will have varying water requirements. If you cannot depend on government-supplied water, you should store at least a three-day supply of water for cooking and washing as well. As clean water gets scarce, you may have to filter tap water, rainwater, or river water during the emergency. This is why investing in water storage systems, emergency drinking water, and filtration systems like this is a no-brainer.


When considering how much food items to buy:

1 person x 30 days x 3 serving per day = 90 servings per month

A family of 4 = 4 x 30 days x 3 servings per day = 390 servings per month.

When you don’t have electricity

During an emergency, power is likely to go out. Without electricity, many food items go bad. If frozen foods thaw and get to room temperature, they begin to spoil. So you have to be very careful about eating just anything.  

Cooking your meals might be a problem without electricity. If you have outdoor space, a propane stove or charcoal grill may come in handy. For proper ventilation, these pieces of cooking equipment should not be used indoors. 

For special needs family members

If you have folks with special needs—like, infants, the elderly, and people on medication—stocking up on their essential food items is vital. This means keeping backup packs of baby food, health-specific meals, and drugs.

When you are at the risk of flooding

If you live in a flood-prone area during an emergency, stocking up on food in cans, jars, and waterproof packs are important. Also, get a can opener. Ensure you don’t eat foods contaminated by floodwater, especially food items with poor seals.

Watch the expiration dates

Create a list of the food in your stockpile and write down the expiration dates. Keep checking the date every three to six months to ensure your food is fresh. 

Keep your diet balanced

You should not compromise on your diet during any emergency. Focus on foods that give you energy and boost your immune system. Your emergency food should be rich in energy, protein, and highly nutritious. The good thing about high-quality food is that you consume them moderately and still feel healthy. Maintaining good health comes with taking in calories, nutrients, and some fiber.


You don’t have drastically lower your food quality during an emergency. Stocking up on a variety of non-perishables and necessities will get you through the storm.


Foods to have in an emergency

Foods to have in an emergency

  1. Hi. I’m here because you were in the Hot Seat on Friday. Jay recommended we visit all the sites.
    This article is very helpful. Thank you for all your great work.
    I don’t see an About Me page. So, I don’t know your name.
    I have made note of the food I should have on hand. This Corona Virus sure has us all thinking about disasters!
    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for visiting my site and I hope the list of foods helps you with the emergency food you need on hand. My about me page is on about survive disasters on top of the menu. Take care, Bob

  2. Hi I went right to your site from the hot seat because it caught my eye. I was just reading into freight containerized gardening as a project for the kids while they are out of school. I have a feeling this site will host great content for assignments, too. Thank you for putting this together.
    Kind Regards,
    Nurse Becca

    • Hi Nurse Becca, I’m glad you came to my site. Containerized gardening sounds like a great project for you & the kids. I think a lot of us should be thinking about gardening, as it is fun, and gives us who don’t have that skill a chance to learn it. All the best, Bob

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