Preparedness Food Storage List

Preparedness Food Storage List


Food is a priority during a crisis even through the average person can survive up to three weeks without food. Food is comfort and can immediately bolster morale and make the crisis easier to handle. Even the process of making a meal can return some normalcy to an otherwise chaotic situation. Nutrition is a priority, and to ensure you do not lose your food supply to spoilage, rodents and insects it must be processed and stored properly.

Basic Essentials

• Salt/Pepper
• Various Dry Spices: Store To Protect From Moisture Rodents And Insects
• Cooking Oil
• Vinegar: Cider And White
• Flour Stored In Moisture/Rodent And Insect Proof Containers
• Powdered Milk Properly Stored: Used For Nutrition/Making Sauces And Gravies

Food Storage

Canned foods are popular for emergencies and relatively inexpensive and can be purchased virtually anywhere. However, the typical shelf life is one year from date of purchase and the variety can be limited, so persons with specific dietary concerns would have to shop carefully. Because of the limited variety, you will have to stockpile multiples of cans. When calculating amounts the average person will need one can of protein, one can of vegetables and one of fruit daily. Store where there is no chance of freezing and store in a dry area. Canned foods are already processed to prevent spoilage and the freezing and thawing of the contents can ruin the food and cause the can to rupture. Excessive moisture will cause the can to rust prematurely causing holes in the can.

Protein is important during a survival situation to maintain energy levels and proper red blood cell production. Keep in mind your physical activity level will rise during a crisis and you likely burn more calories as a result.

Avoid consuming high sodium foods. Do have comfort foods available but do not consider them a substitute for a well-balanced meal. For children and adults alike have cookies, dried fruits, hard chocolate and crackers available. Crackers and peanut butter will provide needed carbohydrates and protein to supplement a canned food diet. Peanuts, jerky and trail mix make ideal supplements during the day as well.

Dehydrated foods have an extended shelf life up to 30 years in some cases if unopened. They have a large variety from which to choose to include meats, fruits, vegetables, gravies, potatoes and even desserts. Once opened however the shelf life is reduced. The preparation requires water for reconstitution and a means to heat that water. The foods can be stored at room temperature and while the containers can be relatively large, each can contains a large number of meals. Keep in mind when ordering foods for long-term survival the amounts calculated are based on two meals a day.

Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) have a shelf life of between five and seven years when stored on the shelf. They require no preparation, so they can be eaten from the package. Each meal has about 1,200 calories and two per day is recommended for each adult.


Have a variety of food packages on hand that can be easily carried in backpacks and vehicles. Canned foods are ideal for short-term if you shelter in place but can be cumbersome to carry if you have to relocate or evacuate. Dehydrated foods can be broken down into smaller containers for packing in a backpack, but consider the fact you will need water, a vessel for cooking and a heat source for preparation. MRE’s can be carried in a backpack relatively easily and can be eaten cold or immersed in hot water for heating the food.

1. Stockpile over time to lessen the economic burden
2. Inventory your stockpile once completed and note amounts and expiration dates
3. Rotate foods into your daily diet that are close to expiration and replace
4. Inspect all foods every 90 days for damage from insects and rodents
5. Do not become complacent because a crisis has not occurred and allow your food supply to be used for camping or other outdoor adventures

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