We live in a world that is full of uncertainty and risks. With recent severe storm and tornadoes hitting the U.S., wars going on in the Middle East, virus spreading in West Africa, and volcanic eruptions happening in different countries, it is increasingly becoming clearer to us that any number of catastrophic events can happen at any time. But as what they say, the event itself is not the worst part. The most frightening is the aftermath of the disaster. What if you wake up one morning and find out that ATMs no longer work, grocery stores are empty, communications are shut down, and chaos are everywhere. What would you do?
Since we live in an uncertain world, we have to be prepared so that we can deal with the dangers that disasters bring. And one of the best strategies in emergency preparedness is gathering essential items and keeping them in a safe place. Of course in case of emergency or crisis, food will be the most important thing to have. But the question is what food to stockpile?
When selecting food for emergency situation, there are several things you need to take into consideration, such as the calorie count, the ease of use or preparation, the weight of the package, and more importantly, the shelf life of the items. To help you, here’s a guide that outlines the best foods to stash in your survival kit.
1. Purified Water
In any kind of emergency, having a supply of clean water is a top priority. Water is used for drinking, cooking, and washing. Try to stock at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for a minimum of 3-day supply. So that means if you are a family of 3, you should store a minimum of 9 gallons of water.
Rice is an excellent source of energy and considered an important staple food in many countries. The best thing about it is it has a very long shelf life. Depending on the type of rice and how it is stored, it can last for 4-5 years or more. You can also make a lot of different dishes with rice, from side dishes to delicious, filling main courses.
3. Dried Beans
Beans are well-known as one of the best foods for survival, so stock up as much as you can. Get all kinds of dried beans – kidney, black, red, lentils, pinto, garbanzo, etc. – they are all great source of protein and if stored properly, they can last indefinitely.
4. Canned Goods
Canned meats, fruits, and vegetables are all great survival foods. They are by far one of the least expensive options when it comes to food storage, and they contain a fair amount of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals per serving. They are also easy to handle because most of them do not require refrigeration, and some only require minimal preparation. In fact, most canned products can be eaten right out the can, without cooking. Canned goods typically have 2-5 years shelf life.
5. Peanut Butter
Packed with essential fatty acids, as well as fair amount of protein and carbohydrates, peanut butter is one of the best foods you want to have in your survival kit. Just a few tablespoons a day can help you survive in times of limited food supplies. Plus, it’s very cheap and stores extremely well. You can eat peanut butter right out of the can, on bread, or on crackers, as well as can use it as an ingredient in cooking.
Salt is an essential food for survival. It has many uses, such as for preserving meats and flavoring meals. With a good amount of salt in your survival food kit, you will be able to make delicious meals in time of disasters. The best this is that salt lasts forever, so always buy an extra every time you go grocery shopping.
7. Sugar and Honey
While most people try to avoid eating too much sugar, it is an essential food for survival. Just like salt, sugar enhances the taste of food. It also contains calories that are needed for maintaining health, especially in times of disasters. Aside from these, you can also use sugar to treat wounds and infections. Sugar lasts for a very long period of time, while honey stays forever. Make sure to buy extra when shopping.
Just like rice, wheat is a basic food product that is essential for survival. Not only does it contain loads amount of nutrients, but it also stores very well. In addition, it can be used in making bread, pancakes, tortillas, pizza crust, cookies, cakes, and more.
9. Powdered Milk
Without refrigeration, fresh milk will spoil quickly like meat, so a great alternative is powdered milk. Even if you don’t enjoy dairy products, powdered milk is immensely useful in times of calamities. Not only does it provide milk to drink, but also an ingredient to use for making nutritious meals. It’s also a great source of calcium that is essential for bone growth.
10. Dried Pasta
Another great source of carbohydrates and protein is dried pasta. Although it doesn’t last as long as rice, it can stay for at least 1-2 years if stored properly. You can make a lot of delicious and filling meals with pasta, such as spaghetti, lasagna, macaroni salad, pasta soup, and more.
So, there you have it – the top 10 best foods to stock up for emergencies! Did we miss anything? What other items do you think will be useful in times of need?