How Much Food Should I Store For An Emergency?

How Much Food Should I Store For An Emergency?

The first question that always comes up whenever we talk about emergency preparedness is: are you prepared? What amount of emergency food should I have in case of an emergency? If you lose your job or experience a minor natural disaster, you need anywhere from three to six months of food stored in your home.

Honestly, the answer depends on several factors.

Answering this question involves many factors. In addition to your financial situation, you need to consider the type of emergency you are preparing for. I recommend preparing for the worst level of emergency your current financial situation allows if you are strapped for cash.

Please allow me to explain. The preparations you make can be as cost-effective as possible within the constraints of your budget. Financial security will enable you to prepare for a long-term, worst-case scenario for your immediate and extended family, friends, and/or neighbors. Depending on your location, you can consider what types of emergencies you might encounter and prepare accordingly.

An overview of three possible emergency scenarios

Consider buying based on the three different levels of possible emergency scenarios after determining your financial situation and moving forward with your emergency food storage plan.

Short Term Emergency (up to 30 days)
Long Term Emergency (3 months or more)
SHTF – Shit Hits The Fan Emergency 

Our tips can help you get started no matter what your situation is.

A List Of Short-Term Emergency Food Recommendations


We all face short-term emergencies, such as power outages or floods caused by broken pipelines, at some point in our lives. This makes it a very practical emergency to prepare for, as well. It usually takes a week to handle this type of disaster. 

In other words, you should have 15 to 30 days’ worth of food and clean water in your emergency food storage for short-term use. Those items are not included in this calculation. Preparedness supplies are supplies of food and water that will last 15 to 30 whole days for everyone in your household, stored away in an area that will not be touched unless you need it.


Short-Term Food Storage List Ideas

Peanut Butter
Canned meat
Canned Veggies
Canned Fruit
Protein bars

A List Of Long-Term Emergency Food Recommendations


You should store away 3 months’ worth of food and water specifically for emergency preparedness instead of 15 to 30 days. The food in this photo does not come from your pantry. You keep this food aside until an emergency occurs and then don’t touch it. You can store food for long periods of time without worrying about spoilage and that it will last. The next section of this article discusses what, where, and how long-term food storage can be done. 



In my food storage, what should I have?

Your emergency storage should include these foods no matter what the situation is:

Sugar, honey
Baking powder, baking soda
Dehydrated Milk
Vegetable Oil
Flint or dent corn
Cereal, popcorn, crackers, oatmeal
Dehydrated potatoes
Canned and dried meat
Lentils, beans, rice
Seasonings, bouillon broth cubes
Textured Vegetable Protein
Nuts, nut butter
Dehydrated and canned fruits and vegetables
Coffee, tea
Pasta, pasta sauce


What foods last the longest?

It is better to keep food supplies for a longer period of time. There are a number of foods on this list that don’t require frequent swapping out. If you start with a few of these basics, it can be easy and effective, with little maintenance required.

It will last you the rest of your life if you consume honey, baking soda, and salt. There are many pasta products that can stay fresh for up to 30 years, such as dried beans, rolled oats, white rice, and many rolled oats.

There is a wide range of shelf life for dehydrated fruits and vegetables. The dried carrots would be a cost-effective, nutritious alternative to dehydrated fruits which last five years. As long as moisture absorbers are included in their storage packs, powdered eggs and powdered milk last for 7 or 20 years, respectively. Add Twinkies, which taste delicious for more than 30 years, to your storage to spice (or sweeten) it up.


Does canned food stay good forever?

It is not possible to preserve canned food, but there are some things you can do to enhance its shelf life. You can extend the shelf life of cans by many months or even years by storing them in a cold, dry place. 

The taste of canned food will only be affected if it is kept beyond its expiration date. Thus, unless you are currently in an emergency situation where you are unable to go to the store, I recommend that you keep canned food past its expiration date. 

As an alternative, you can rotate through your cans with rolling racks that can accommodate many different types of cans. 

Having the newest product at the back and the oldest at the front makes it easier to consume the newest product first. This recommendation should be taken with caution. The can should be thrown away if it is damaged in any way. Just to be able to say you have food storage isn’t worth the risk of horrible sickness. To avoid expiration dates until an emergency occurs, rotate your cans as you use them.


Where should I keep my emergency food?

You will need to consider the type of space you have available to you when answering this question. This is an excellent option if you have a closet or pantry available. In spite of its small size, it contains enough supplies to last 30 days.

You may want to consider finishing your basement if you have more space in your house. It would be ideal to put food storage in the basement on pellets and install a dehumidifier. You could prevent your storage from being damaged by humidity and water by doing either of these things.

This option is available if you currently have space in a garage. The humidity in garages can be high, and the temperature can fluctuate greatly. Depending on your location, this could be a viable option with a ton of space if you live in a mild location (below 75 degrees). It is recommended to store food in a root cellar for a long period of time. Root cellars offer both space and temperature regulation, which isn’t an option for everyone, but if it’s an option for you, use it! Many people tell me they can’t buy food storage until they have enough space in their house. In spite of your current living situation, you can find creative ways to store food.


Is it illegal to stockpile food?

Stockpiling food is generally not illegal. Make sure you check your local laws before buying too much, as some cities do not allow it. In addition, understand what “too much” food is when it comes to that city. There is still a possibility of storing up to 3 months’ worth without any issues. 

How long does bottled water last?

There is a lot of variation depending on what type of bottle it is in and where it is stored. Store your water in a top-quality, food-grade container or bottle for best results. Keeping this water cool, dry, and dark is the best way to keep it safe.

A clear water bottle exposed to sunlight may grow algae if it is clear. In addition, you should not store the bottles directly on cement or near chemicals. Drinking water can be unsafe due to the chemicals absorbed by the plastic in bottles.

A List Of SHTF-Term (Shit Hits the Fan) Emergency Food Recommendations


Most people believe that the government or local governments will take care of us all. In the event of natural disasters or economic downturns, the government must step in. This would be ideal, and it might even be true in some cases. There are, however, no guarantees provided by the government. Prepare responsibly for an SHTF disaster for your safety and the safety of those around you.

SHTF Scenarios:

The situation in which we must stay in our homes until the disease has been contained or vaccinated.
Earthquakes on major fault lines, like the San Andres Fault, the New Madrid Fault, or the Wasatch Fault. Months of damage could result if this happened.
Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP. Sun flares may cause this. We would have to go back 200 years in terms of technology if this scenario were to occur (fully or partially). Without power, there will be no running water, no flushing toilets, and deadly diseases could result.
A war fought in our backyard, an invasion, or a terrorist attack. Despite hoping for the best, this is a possible reality we must prepare for.

The more prepared you are, the better your chances are in these dire situations. It would be wise to store one year’s worth of food if you have the financial means to do so. As well as storing more for those around you if you have already done so.

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