How To Build An Emergency Food Supply

Pros

  • 25-year shelf life
  • High quality
  • Great for specialized diets
  • Easy to prepare
  • Preserves nutrients well

Cons

  • Most expensive emergency food

Pros

  • Complete meal
  • Variety of entree choices
  • Kosher and vegetarian options available

Cons

  • High sodium
  • Significant paper and plastic waste
  • Limited options for specialized diets

Case of 12 Warfighter MRE's
Survival Food & Water

$148

at
View Details

Foodsaver Gamesaver Vacuum Sealer
Survival Food & Water

$198

at
View Details

Pros

  • Easy to learn
  • Makes foods shelf stable without refrigeration
  • Reusable jars
  • Safe as long as you follow directions and never leave your canner unattended
  • Easy to see what you have on hand
  • Jars are rodent proof

Cons

  • Lids can become hard to find. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people were scouring stores region-wide looking for lids. Most lids are designed to be used only once. The cost and lack of availability can be problematic. Tattler lids are reusable but cost more.
  • Jars are fragile and require a lot of storage space. Canned foods contain a lot of moisture, so you're typically storing a lot of water.
  • Canning requires a heat source for preparing foods and operating a hot water bath or pressure canner. Pressure canners should not be used on large propane burners or over fires. During a long-term emergency, without electricity or propane, pressure canning is not realistic.
  • Canning takes a lot of work. Meat, for example, must be pressure canned for 55–90 minutes in most cases. This does not include preparing the food, cleaning the jars, or bringing the canner to pressure.

Hardtack is a survival food ration that can be made using flour, salt, and water.

It will keep you alive but lacks a lot of nutrients. People have found hardtack that's over 160 years old that was still edible−—even if it tasted terrible.

Pemmican is an easy-to-make survival food for long-term emergency food supplies.

The combination of dried meat, fat, fruit, and salt provides a lot of what your body needs to keep going.

Legacy Food Storage Premium 240 Serving Kit
Survival Food & Water

$650

at

 Legacy Food Storage

View Details

Faq

How much food should I store?

Storage space can be a major factor when it comes to an emergency food supply. However, even a small apartment can provide enough space to put back a few months' worth of food. A 2-4 month supply will get you through a lot of short- to medium-length emergencies. If you have space, a one-year food supply is preferable.

How many calories per day should I plan?

Plan 2,000–3,000 calories per day for teens and adults. Plan 1,500 minimum per day for toddlers and younger children. Kids grow fast, so planning 2,000 calories per day is not a bad idea for long-term emergency food stockpiles.

Why is food labeled as emergency food so expensive?

Emergency food takes a lot of processing to make it shelf-stable for long periods. Freeze-drying, for example, can take 1–2 days. The cost of packaging and shipping is also significant. The plus side is that freeze-dried foods only have to simmered in water or have boiling water added. This means that the consumer doesn't have to use a lot of resources to cook a meal.

MEET Samantha Biggers

Samantha is Ready To Go Survival's lead editor, a life-long outdoorswoman with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies. She learned the foundation of preparedness from her father who saw heavy combat in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. An avid outdoors woman and survivalist, her articles have appeared in various homesteading magazines such as GRIT, Back Home, Backwoods Home, and Countryside.

Share on

Join the Conversation