With everything going on these days, more than ever we need to know How Much Food to Store for an Emergency. Times are rough right now, believe me, I get it. We’re all a little stressed.
They started by saying we should limit our exposure for 14 days. Now, they’re saying 30 days. Many families are used to having at least 2 weeks worth of food.
However, I don’t think many of us were thinking this was only going to be a 2-week deal. You know it’s going to be longer than that when essential supplies run out at the grocery store!
Why It’s Important To Stock Longer Shelf Life Foods
I feel like we really need to do our best to not go to the store every week or couple weeks like we normally do. Limiting our contact with the outside world, as they’ve suggested could really help all of this pass more quickly.
Having food with a longer shelf life, like rice, beans, canned foods, and even frozen foods can help us stay inside and stay safe.
What Kind of Foods to Stock
You don’t have to buy anything special like freeze-dried food, but they are super easy and tasty. You can use canned foods and other pantry staples like beans and rice for your emergency food storage.
If you’re looking for lists of foods to stock up on, I have a couple of helpful lists. I have a Non-Perishable Pood List for Hurricanes, and a Foods to Hoard list too. So check those out if you’re really looking to up your game in prepping for a disaster!
I also have list of Non-food Items to Stockpile, while you’re at it, it’s good to not leave out things like toilet paper and shampoo in your preps!
Recipes | What To Eat First?
Since all this started here, I’ve focused my efforts on getting the perishable foods eaten. This is the same strategy we have used in other disasters like after a hurricane.
Uncooked frozen meat like roasts, steaks, and chops, will only keep for about 1 year. While uncooked ground meat should be tossed after about 4 months, according to the USDA.
Obviously, any fresh fruit or vegetables need to be eaten first. Frozen foods are next, and after that dig into your dry goods, and freeze-dried foods.
The recipes on this list allow you to utilize what you have on hand.
Recipes You Can Make Using My Non-Perishable Food List
In this list, some items may not be on the non-perishable foods list. I note each time there is an ingredient that’s not on that list and what subs may be used.
These recipes will feed up to 6 people, unless otherwise noted.
- Salmon patties & grits
- Spaghetti – vegetarian or add freeze-dried ground beef. Use my homemade marinara recipe, and then add pasta!
- Chili – Use frozen ground beef or freeze-dried.
- Beans and rice
- Chicken and rice – canned chicken, rice or quinoa, carrots, and chicken broth. Or just use my Instant Pot recipe.
- Chicken tetrazzini (instant pot recipe) – either leave out mushrooms or use canned mushrooms. (Double this recipe to feed 6)
- Beans, rice, cornbread, and canned collard greens.
- Salisbury Steak – will need frozen burgers and mushrooms or use canned mushrooms.
- Green Bean Casserole – will need french fried onions either store-bought or homemade. I would pair this with something else like cornbread, a meat perhaps pork chops if you have them. Canned meat would also work.
- Beef stroganoff – need mushrooms or you can use canned mushrooms or leave them out. Need eggs noodles, ground beef or use freeze-dried
- Tacos – you’ll need some hard taco shells. If you have lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, refried beans, those are great additions! Make your own taco seasoning when you run out!
- Lasagna – slow cooker or instant pot recipe. Use fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried ground beef.
- Hamburger macaroni – use fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried ground beef.
- Mulligatawny – curried chicken and apple soup.
- Vegetable Stir Fry – You’ll have to use frozen veggies if you have them.
- Spaghetti Soup – you may have to use canned veggies if you don’t have fresh.
- Dill Caper Pasta – If you don’t have capers, just leave them out!
- Pancakes – You can add freeze-dried or frozen fruit. Use maple syrup.
- Spam & eggs
- Grits & eggs – use powdered butter and/or powdered cheese
- Corned Beef Hash & Eggs
- Oatmeal with various ingredients. Brown sugar, maple syrup, freeze-dried fruits or frozen fruits. Oatmeal with cranberries and raisins.
- Scrambled eggs – We have fresh eggs from our chickens, but you can make scrambled and all kinds of other mixes using powdered eggs.
- Cereal with powdered milk or real milk if you have it.
- Biscuits – whole wheat biscuits and butter biscuits
- Chicken Camp Soup – make it or buy it.
- Beef stew, beef broth, canned beef (or use frozen), canned potatoes, canned mix veg (carrots, peas, and corn).
- Corn soup – If you don’t have fresh potatoes use canned.
- Vegetable Beef Soup – Frozen Veggies, beef broth, canned carrots, and peas, barley if you have it.
- Tuna salad – will need mayo
- Egg salad – will need mayo
- Chicken salad – will need mayo
- Spam sandwich – use mayo or mustard whichever you prefer
- Peanut butter sandwiches
Snack Recipes or Ideas
- Canned Fruit
- Chips (tortilla chips) and salsa or Rotel. Make a dip with canned cheese, Rotel and green chiles. If you don’t have tortilla chips you can fry some tortillas in a pan until a little crisp, and cut them into bite sizes.
- Chocolate granola – You’ll need shredded coconut & flax seeds too.
- Stovetop popcorn
- Pickled Vegges – If you have access to vegetables, you can easily learn how to pickle them with vinegar.
- Homemade Hummus – sandwiches, wraps, or with tortilla chips.
Shopping List of Food To Store For an Emergency
I’ve made a shopping list you can use to make the meals above! It’s a lot, but you can eat real food for the next couple of weeks or you can make your own list like this. Plus, I’m sure you already have many of these items!
- Canned salmon – 1
- Olive oil – 1/3 cup
- Egg or egg replacer – 3 (+more for breakfast recipes or use powdered eggs)
- White or yellow onion or onion flakes – 11 1/4
- Seasoned breadcrumbs – 1 cup
- Garlic cloves – 20 (or use garlic powder)
- Diced tomatoes – 28oz, 3 cans
- Tomato sauce – 28oz , 4 cans
- Dried thyme – 1 1/2 tsp
- Dried basil – 1/2 tsp
- Dried rosemary – 1 1/2 tsp
- Garlic powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Red cooking wine – 1-2 tsp
- Spaghetti pasta – 3 lb.
- Ground beef (or use 2 cups freeze-dried ground beef) – 6 1/2 lbs.
- Canned black beans – 15oz , 3 cans (can use 1 for chili or use pintos)
- Canned kidney beans – 15oz
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Cayenne pepper – pinch
- Dry beans – 2 lb. (any kind, pinto, black bean)
- Rice – 10 cups
- Frozen chicken breast, boneless skinless – 9 or canned chicken
- Linguini – 2 lb.
- Butter – 5 sticks
- Mushrooms – 4 small cans or 52oz fresh
- Chicken broth – 3 1/2 cups
- Sour cream – 1 cup
- Sherry cooking wine – 1/2 cup
- Milk – 6 1/4 cup
- Parmesan cheese – 8oz
- Flanders frozen hamburgers – 8
- All-purpose flour – 3 cups 2/3 cup
- Worcestershire sauce – 2 tbsp
- Beef broth – 11 1/2 cups
- Green Beans – 2 small cans (15oz) or 1 1/2 lbs. fresh
- French Fried Onions – 1 1/2 cup or make your own
- Egg noodles – 16oz
- Cornstarch – 1/4 cup
- Canned collard greens – 2 small cans or 1 big one
- Cornmeal – 1 cup
- Sugar – 2/3 + 2 Tbsp cup
- Baking powder – 1/3 cup
- Vegetable oil – 1/3 cup
- Lasagna noodles – 16 oz
- Mozzarella, shredded cheese – 2 cups
- Ricotta cheese – 32oz
- Italian cheese, shredded – 1/2 cup
- Oregano – 1 tsp
- Garlic salt – 2 tsp
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Macaroni pasta – 1 lb.
- Adobo seasoning – 1 Tbsp
- Fresh ginger – 1/4 inch (optional)
- Ginger powder – 1 tsp (optional)
- Sesame oil – 2 tsp
- Soy sauce – 2 Tbsp
- Frozen stir fry vegetable mix – 1 lb.
- Capers – 7.7 FL oz
- Dill – 1 tsp
- Vanilla extract – 1 1/2 tsp
- Spam – 2 cans
- Grits – 3 cups
- Canned Corned Beef Hash – 2 cans
- Oats – 3 cups
- Whole wheat flour (for whole wheat biscuits)
- Self-rising flour (for butter biscuits)
- Shortening – 1/3 cup
- Buttermilk – 2/3 cup
- Quinoa – 1 cup
- Cannellini beans – 2 can
- Whole Carrots – 3 or 1 cup of dried vegetable blend
- Canned Beef – 2 cans
- Canned Potatoes – 3
- Frozen corn – 16oz
- Smoked paprika – 1/4 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
- Coconut milk – 15oz
- Canned tuna – 3 cans
- Canned Frozen Mixed Vegetables (carrots, peas, and corn) 2 cans or 2 small bags
- Barley – 1/2 cup
- Peanut butter – 1 cup
- Canned Fruit
- Tortilla chips
- Popcorn bags, or popcorn kernels
- chickpeas – 115oz (hummus)
- Tahini – 1/4 cup (hummus)
- Lemon Juice – 1/4 cup (hummus)
- Extra virgin olive oil – 2-3 tbsp
How Much Food to Store For an Emergency | When The Power Is Out!
I’ve created a menu for two weeks worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). along with a list of the foods and how much you’ll need for the menu. This should be a good start to learn How Much Food to Store for Emergency.
You should store enough food to last at least two weeks, according to FEMA. It’s not likely that you’ll be without electricity for that long, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared.
I urge you to try the recipes on the menu, tweak them to your liking but remember to use only what you would have in an emergency.
Get used to making these recipes, so you can do it in an emergency. Remember to cook over a fire, or using other means that don’t take electricity.
Food Supply List – How Much Food to Store For Emergency
When storing food, use the table below and multiply it by the number of people that live in your home. This amount will be approximate since everyone’s eating habits are different.
|Food Item||2 Week Supply (1 Person)|
|Water – See How to Store Water||14 Gallons|
|Canned Ground Beef | Or Freeze Dried Ground Beef||1 can|
|Canned Tomato Sauce||2 cans|
|Canned Diced Tomatoes||2 cans|
|Peanut Butter||1 jar|
|Canned Fruits | Veggies||2 of each|
|Canned Chicken, diced||2 cans|
|Canned Cheese | Butter||2 cans each|
|Cereal | Granola||1 small box|
|Dried Fruit||2 packages|
|Coffee | Tea | Cocoa||1 can|
|Dried Beans||1 lb.|
|Rice |Quinoa||2 lbs.|
|Spices | Salt | Pepper | Other Favorites|
|Bouillon | Chicken||6-10 cubes|
|Oatmeal/grits||4 cups each|
|Spices | Salt | Pepper & Other Favorites|
|Powdered Eggs with Bacon||4 cups|
|Bread in a Can|
(Buy it or make your own)
|Canned Spam||2 cans|
|Powdered Milk||4-6 cups|
|Freeze Dried Vegetables||2 cups|
|Taco Seasoning||1/2 packet|
|Barbecue Sauce||1 cup|
|Canned Chicken, shredded||2 cans|
|Turkey Dinner Casserole||2 pouches|
|Chicken & Rice||2 pouches|
|Beef Stroganoff||2 pouches|
Day 1: Breakfast: Toast with Jelly (add butter and bread to a skillet, and fry until brown on each side for “toast”)
Lunch: Chicken (canned chicken) BBQ Sandwich (toast the bread, heat the chicken in a pan, place it on the bread, and drizzle BBQ sauce on top.) Dinner: Turkey Dinner Casserole
Day 2: Breakfast: Cereal with dried fruit. Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Dinner: Rice and Beans (add spices to taste).
Day 3: Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried fruit and honey. Lunch: Butter & Herb Pasta Dinner: Make Camp Soup
Day 4: Breakfast: Grits with canned or powdered butter. Lunch: Spam Sandwich. Dinner: Spaghetti (Make an easy red sauce with canned tomatoes and Italian spices.)
Day 5: Breakfast: Eggs & buttered toast. Lunch: Dried fruit and peanut butter. Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup (Use canned chicken, canned veggies, pasta, and bouillion.
Day 6: Breakfast: Canned Fruit & Granola. Lunch: Chicken & Rice Dinner: Taco dip (Use canned ground beef, canned cheese, and taco seasoning, use saltines to dip into the taco mix.)
Day 7: Breakfast: Grits & Eggs Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwich Dinner: Beef Stroganoff
For week two repeat the first week.
Snacks and Desserts
You might want to add a couple of items to the list above. If you have kids they might like some snacks like nuts, and/or pilot crackers, and popcorn (buy kernels and pop it in a pan)
You could also buy extra dried, and canned fruit to have for snacks.
Or you might want to add some kid favorites to the menu like macaroni & cheese.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to stock some desserts, right? How about some freeze dried ice cream or as we called it when I was a kid astronaut ice cream. Check out other Mountain House freeze-dried desserts like their, apple crisps, raspberry crumble, and cheesecake bites.
Food Storage Tips | How Much Food To Store For Emergency
- Keep food in a dark, dry place.
- Place food in airtight containers, or vacuum pack them. Mylars bags are great to use for loose items such as rice, beans, powdered items and more! Use a bag sealer to close them.
- Add desiccant bags to every food container, to help cut down on the moisture.
- Use the FIFO method. First in first out. When you buy new supplies make sure they go in the back of the shelf, or the bottom of the bucket. That way the oldest food is out front and will be eaten first.
- Go through your stock often, throw away expired foods. Don’t eat canned food that is dented, swollen, rusty or leaking.
Preparing for The Lights to Go Out
- Old juice bottles filled with water, and then frozen can help keep the freezer items colder for longer. I like to keep them in the freezer all year long, especially before we bought our generator.
- Speaking of generators, it’s a really good idea to have one. It could be the difference between losing several hundred dollars worth of food, or not.
- Being able to flush the toilets can be a Godsend. We have an old burn barrel that my husband fills with water. It’s not potable (ingestible) water, but it’s great for flushing toilets!!
- For a makeshift sink, I save large detergent bottles that have a spout. I place it right next to the sink, with the spout hanging over the sink, and we can still wash out hands. Since this had detergent in it, it’s not potable water either.
- If you know a big storm is coming, don’t buy fresh, or frozen foods. Reach for the non-perishables if you need to stock up. Or better yet, use my menu!
- Have a plan of escape, just in case. Watch the news continuously, and know when to leave! Get packed and ready to go, just in case you need to leave fast!
Place all of your food in laundry baskets, so they can easily be transported. Put important papers in a plastic zipper bag.
- Make sure you have safe light sources for nighttime. LED lanterns (these have a 5-star rating!), and flashlights (these are 800 lumens and have 3 dimming settings, plus it has a strobe light function) are pretty amazing these days!
Candles and other flammables can be dangerous, so be careful if using those methods.
- If it’s going to be cold, you might want to evacuate. You can use a tent to help keep in the warmth when sleeping. Nice warm sleeping bags will help too!
- Make sure you have enough gas to run chainsaws and generators. It’s a good idea to go ahead and fill up your vehicles too, just in case you need to hit the road to evacuate.
The gas stations will be filled up if people are evacuating in your area. Not to mention after a big storm, sometimes gas is hard to come by.
- Purchase a weather radio, so you can get the latest information about the storm, and updates about road closures, and other cleanup timelines.
If/When the Electricity Goes Out
- Use up any food in the fridge that may spoil first, but try not to open the fridge and freezer much if you don’t have to.
The more food you can use from your fridge, freezer, and pantry will help stretch your food supply and lessen How Much Food to Store for Emergency.
- After multiple days, without a generator, the freezer food will start to warm up. Before it all goes bad you might be able to make a meal or two. You could cook frozen meat and vegetables.
Just make sure you do this before it thaws. To be safe keep food out of the danger zone. Otherwise, it could make you sick.
- Don’t travel on the roads, until they have been cleared. Downed lines are very dangerous. Often trees will still fall days, weeks, and even months after really bad storms, especially if you get a lot of rain after a bad storm.
- Get those board games ready, to help cut down on the boredom. Or you could play some cards or teach the kids a card trick.
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