Emergency Food Storage – Ideas and Considerations

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Do you have emergency food storage at home, work, or elsewhere?

You never know what might happen (COVID-19) or other natural disasters. Having food stored can help not only you but your family as well.

You are going about your busy day. It’s pleasant weather, and you decide to get a movie on the way home. You think, what the heck, and grab a pizza too! You are halfway through your film and enjoying your meal when it happens.

The power goes out.

At first, you are mad because you want to know what will happen in the movie.

Then you realize you do not know when you will have power again. Recently you got ground turkey, shrimp, and hot dogs, not to mention all your other items (milk, cheese, yogurt, and tasty beverages) in your refrigerator.

How are you going to store your food long-term?

Do you have emergency food stored in case of these emergencies?

Canning veggies at home

Emergency Food Storage Considerations

Something to keep in mind is that you do not want to rely on any items that need to be held in your freezer or refrigerator.

If you can eat them first, it’s terrible when you need to eat all the ice cream before it melts, but sometimes that has to happen.

If there are any questionable foods, toss them, trust me. Giving up some food is way better than sitting on, or bowing to, the porcelain thrown for hours on end.

Something that I do is take out my cheese and lunch meats from the fridge and put them in the freezer.

Another option is tossing an extra ice pack into your cooler the day before you need to use it. Allowing the cooler to get cold, and when you need it, toss in ice and your items.

You will notice the ice lasts longer!
(Also, keep some ice on the top of the cooler, or I take an ice pack in a paper bag and keep it on the top)

Items on your shelf are simply the best.

There are many options for freeze-dried foods, but many people overlook what they have in their pantries. You can eat a good meal if you have a can opener.

Remember to have some jarred or canned veggies for another great option. Freeze-dried foods are pretty good. I will post some of my favorites later to see what you think.

Ideas on Long Shelf Life Foods

Having a variety of foods to eat will help you not get bored.

I can eat the same items for a day or two, but eating the same can of black beans every day would be awful.

Checking your long-term foods once a year is also a good idea. I tend to check them every April.

I know some people that check their food storage every time they change the clocks (side note checking the batteries in your smoke/carbon detectors when you change the clocks is an excellent way always to have them working correctly).

Another idea that I have used for years is that I don’t wait for the items to expire.

I will often use what I have and buy some extra ones.

Examples of this are when I go on a road trip or camping. If I purchase a can of tuna, for example, I will make sure I use one of the older ones and stash the new one I just purchased.

Some of the freeze-dried foods can last over ten years, with those I keep in my emergency backpack. Then I will check the dates and replace any that need it every once in a while.

A Basic List to Get You Started

Some lists can be extremely long. I also know many people have food allergies (not that I speak from experience), so I will list various foods.

There are some that I do enjoy (check later for links to the items), and there are many more that I will never eat again. This list will include the ones I enjoy. There is no need to go through the horrible process of illumination.

  • Final product of food stored in jarsCanned foods
    • Chili
    • Tuna
    • Beans
  • Dried foods
    • Instant oatmeal
    • Fruit
    • MREs, aka Meals Ready to Eat
    • Freeze-dried like Mountain House or Alpine, powdered eggs
    • Pasta & rice (good, but they do take time to make)
  • Bars
    • Granola
    • Protein
    • 36-hour bars
    • Any type of candy bar (Snickers, Payday, 100 Grand)
  • A few other ideas
    • Protein powder
    • Tea or coffee
    • Items that can be eaten independently (fruit tree, etc.)
    • Any spices you like (salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, everything but the bagel, hot sauce packets)
    • A long-handled spoon (this is for the bags or MREs)
    • A mug, plate, or bowl

You can also go online or to your local store and buy a bucket of ready-to-eat meals.

There are a lot of different types, and I would suggest taking one out to try it. I like Mountain House items, and they come in nifty resealable bags. All you do is simply add water.

If you cannot access a stove or fire ring, another option is to cold soak the meals.

It is the same concept as adding hot water. Remember, it will take longer for the food to soak up the water.

I have had good luck with Mountain House breakfasts and instant oatmeal for cold soaking. I advise getting a container with a tight seal (just in case it gets knocked over or you are taking it somewhere). It is also a good idea to try before you need to cold soak. There is some guesswork involved.

Preppers That Have It All

I was a closet prepper for a while, but then I realized how many of us are out there.

I am not one of those guys that go overboard and have a bunker full of canned foods (yet), but to quote the military adage, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.”

I have heard of some that keep their house fully stocked and their vehicle and even have items in different locations.

This is mainly due to prepping for something to happen. It allows you to get from work to home or to your secondary site.

Having a plan is the best.

You never know what life will throw at you. In my example of the power going out. I have always tried to keep my vehicle above a half gas tank.

I also keep a decent amount of water on hand.

Making sure there is the right amount of freeze-dried package food available, I make sure there is fuel for my stoves (if I get down to one canister, I buy a few more), and I make sure I have canned foods.

When the power goes out, I am never bothered. Unless I’m watching a movie, then I’m sad. I go about my day like I always would.

I don’t need to panic and sit in a mile-long line for a loaf of bread or gas for my vehicle.

Having a simple plan will help you out. Knowing you have canned chili, tuna, veggies, and dried foods, will get you past the typical 72-hour setup most people have.

Final Thoughts

I get on some tangents when I start to write, but what can I say? I feel very passionate about these topics.

But having prepping ideas in your mind will help later when disasters occur.

Being prepared with food, water, and even toilet paper can help solve a lot of stressors when the world shuts down. I mean, who would have thought that could actually happen?

It is pretty common these days to hear about people prepping for everything.

Making sure you have a few staple items in your pantry will be peace of mind for when it happens.

A few other things to consider are making sure you have water, a way to boil water (I use an old Coleman two-burner stove and a Pocket Rocket for backpacking), and fuel or a way to make a fire.

To be completely honest, all you need are some granola bars and water, and you are set. But after eating that for a few days, you will be thrilled you thought ahead and can have actual meals.

Leave a comment below on what you do for emergency food and storage.

If you have any questions or concerns, please comment as well.

I take pride in reading all the comments and love learning new things. If you have a question that I don’t have the answer to, I will find it.

Stack of jars in a warehouse
How much food storage do you have?

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