Stocking up on an emergency supply of food to help see your family through any type of emergency is a wise decision to make. Choosing foods that contain vitamins and minerals, along with protein to keep your family healthy and energized during this time is also a good idea. Don’t forget to stock up on foods that don’t require any cooking to make your life easier.
The most important thing for you to think about when it comes to your emergency food supply is going with foods that have a long shelf life. Would you like to know what those items are?
Check out these 20 emergency food items that you should always have on hand or in your pantry.
1. Canned Vegetables
Just because your family is in the middle of an emergency doesn’t mean that they still can’t eat healthily. Canned veggies contain vitamins and minerals and are a great side dish with any meal.
2. Canned Fruits
Canned fruit may not be your first go-to when it comes to fruit, but they will store in your kitchen pantry for several months.
3. Canned Meats
Everyone in their right mind prefers fresh meat over canned meat but having the latter of the two on hand will still allow you to eat some of your favorite proteins.
4. Dry or Canned Beans
Beans contain carbohydrates and protein while providing you with the feeling that you’re full. Canned beans typically have a good expiration date on them, but dry beans will last you even longer.
Pasta is extremely cheap and can last a lifetime in your kitchen pantry. Stock up on all different types of dry pasta so that your family doesn’t grow tired of having spaghetti so often.
Just like pasta, rice is a cheap food item that’s a versatile dish that will go a long way. Just remember that if you’re going with brown rice because it’s healthier, you only get about 6 months of shelf life with it.
7. Canned Soups
Need a warm hearty meal to keep your family going following a disaster? Canned soups are a great option and come in all sorts of wonderful flavors.
8. Breakfast Cereal
Breakfast cereal provides your children with fortified vitamins and minerals that they may not get elsewhere, so don’t feel bad about gathering a few of their favorite cereals that you can fall back on during an emergency.
Make sure you have a container of oatmeal stashed away when your family is wanting something warm to eat for breakfast. You can go with oatmeal that comes in individual packages but keep in mind that they don’t store as long.
10. Dry Milk
Packaged milk that doesn’t have to be refrigerated until it’s been opened can last for a very long time. It may not taste like what you’re used to, but it’s better than going without.
11. Shelf-stable Juice
Besides having just water available, your kids will thank you for having some juice to drink to switch things up.
12. Electrolyte Drinks
Sports drinks or other Electrolyte support drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, Liquid I.V. Hydration, etc. not only help to keep you hydrated, but they also contain electrolytes that your body may be needing.
13. Peanut Butter
If you have younger children, don’t be caught in an emergency without having a couple of containers of peanut butter. Even dad likes a spoonful of it every now and then.
Don’t be afraid to stock up on all kinds of nuts to give you a variety that you can enjoy. They too, contain protein that you and your kids need.
15. Dried Fruits
Need a sweet-tasting snack that’s healthy for you? Dried fruits may not have near as many nutrients in them as fresh fruits do, but they taste good and can last in your pantry for a very long time.
16. Protein or Energy Bars
Although your family may not eat protein and energy bars on a regular basis, they’re good to have following an emergency. It’s a quick and easy on-the-go snack that can give an extra boost to your day.
Eating jerky will provide your family with a great source of protein, which means that they’ll have more energy for when they need it. Jerky also stores for a very long time and can be enjoyed years later if the package is still sealed up.
18. Baby Food/Formula
For those of you with a baby in the family, make sure that you stock up on some of their favorite baby foods, so they have plenty to eat if you’re unable to head to the grocery store. For infants, you will want to have an extra can or two of baby formula stocked away.
19. Comfort Food
When your family is under a lot of stress following an emergency, it will be nice to have some of their favorite snacks and comfort foods to help put their minds at ease. Besides, you’ll probably grow tired of eating foods out of a box or can.
Okay, so this one isn’t food, but drinking water is the most essential item to have with you following an emergency. That’s because a person can only survive without water for a much shorter period than what they can by going without food. The average adult uses about a gallon of water a day, not only for drinking purposes but also for sanitary reasons.
It’s recommended that you store at least a three-day minimum supply of drinking water for everyone in your home, so if you have 4 people in your family, you will need to have at least 12 gallons of water stocked up.
Just don’t forget to have a can-opener nearby! A small camp stove would be another item that you might want to consider so that you have a way to prepare a hot meal should your stove not work.