Emergency Food Storage: What to Stock and How to Store It
The only thing you can predict about life is that it will be unpredictable. You never know when a natural disaster like a flood, hurricane, or tornado might strike but you can prepare for it to some degree. Because you never know when your access to supplies might be cut off, you should seriously consider building an emergency pantry in your home.
Best Foods to Store for an Emergency
When it comes to stocking your emergency pantry you want to focus on the foods that will give you the best bang for your buck. Look for foods that provide plenty of nutrition and calories but that will also last.
Stocking an emergency pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables won’t do you any good because they will go bad in a matter of days – you want nonperishable foods that will last for months. In addition to stocking your pantry with foods that have long shelf-lives, you should also check and rotate your stock every six months or so to keep things fresh.
Here is a list of some of the best foods to stock in your emergency pantry:
- Peanut Butter
- Nuts and Trail Mixes
- Whole Wheat Crackers and Cereal
- Granola Bars
- Dried Fruits
- Canned Meats
- Canned Vegetables and Soups
- Bottled Water
- Sports Drinks
- Powdered Milk
- Baking Staples
These are some of the best things to keep in stock in your emergency pantry at all times. Right before an emergency happens, assuming you have some warning, there are some other things you should purchase – things like fresh fruit, potatoes, squash, dried meats, etc.
Things that have a limited shelf-life but will help give you some variety if you have to live off of your stores for a little while.
Tips for Starting an Emergency Food Pantry
In addition to thinking about what kinds of food you should store in your Tips for Keeping Cool While Camping this Summer you also have to think about the best way to store them. During an emergency you may not have any power so you should store your emergency foods in an area that is naturally cool and dry – a basement is ideal.
If you have the means to do so, build yourself a little pantry equipped with shelves to keep things organized. When you stock your shelves, just make sure that the items with the soonest expiration dates are kept in the front so they are used first. Check your supplies every few months and use things that are about to expire then replace them with newer items.
Something else you need to think about when stocking your emergency pantry is how you are going to cook the food. Many foods like peanut butter, crackers, and dried fruits do not need to be prepared but soups, stews, and vegetables are generally better when they are cooked.
A charcoal grill or a propane stove is as great option – you may not have electricity to run a hot plate. You should also keep some cans of sterno handy as a last resort. Make sure you keep plenty of salt, pepper, and dried herbs on hand to add flavor to foods that can easily become dull and boring if you eat them every day.
You may not be able to stop a disaster from happening, but you can do your best to prepare for it. Stocking an emergency pantry is a great way to protect your family in the event of a disaster and it may give you peace of mind knowing that even if you can’t predict the future, you will be ready for whatever happens.