Friday, July 16, 2021

How to Make an Emergency Food Supply

Learn how to make an emergency food list stockpile.  This has the best foods to stock up on and how much you'll need to buy to create an emergency food supply DIY.

When you're homesteading, it's important to have an emergency food supply.  Along with shelter, having an emergency food supply DIY is one of the most important things to have for survival.

Some homesteaders create an emergency food list stockpile in case of a natural disaster or other emergency.  We have one for that reason plus inclement weather or other reason that we can't get to the store.

We live in a rural area in Ohio.  Although I live among corn fields, I am fortunate in that I can grab necessities with a 5 minute drive.  However, those stores are expensive.

Aldi is only 15 minutes away, but I'm not making that drive when there's snow.  They don't exactly plow rural roads often, and besides when the corn is down, there's a lot of drifting.  Two years ago, we were stuck for almost two weeks because our driveway was so bad from the snow and ice.

Remember: two is one and one is none.  You should have at least two of commonly used foods on your shelf.

Following is how to make an emergency food list stockpile so you are prepared for an emergency or inclement weather.

Keep track of your emergency food supply and all of your important information for an emergency in this printable emergency planner.  You can print the pages and create your own binder.

How to Make an Emergency Food Supply

We have one storage area for both our emergency food list and our regular pantry.  You may want to separate yours, but this works for us.  

I can rotate food.  I don't want to have to use that supply in an emergency and find that my stockpile is expired, the cans are rusty, and bugs have infiltrated the boxes. 


Making An Emergency Food Supply List

When you first start working on your food supply, you will want to make an emergency food supply list. With an emergency food supply list you can easily take advantage of deals and buy food or ingredients for food that you enjoy when it is available.


An emergency food list makes it super simple to keep track of how much food you have and when it goes bad so you can replace food without having to waste it. Creating an emergency food list is a great first step.

What Is The Best Emergency Food Supply?

There are a slew of companies that offer emergency food supplies and you may have seen advertisements for some of them. 


Companies such as Wise, Valley Food Storage, Mountain House, and 4Patriots all offer quality foods that will last for a long time.

It's very convenient to buy these kits.  However, they are expensive.  We have five people in our family, and it could be very costly to buy enough for all of us.  I also have picky eaters (autism), so I want to create a custom emergency food list stockpile for us.


Are Emergency Food Kits Worth It?

Emergency food kits can be pricey, but many times their quality is well worth the price. Many companies offer delicious food that can last a long time, with some companies offering foods that last up to twenty five years!


If you are unable to or don’t want to prepare your own emergency food diy, emergency food kits are totally worth it in the long run. As for the price, consider it an investment much like insurance.


What Is The Best Survival Food With A Long Shelf Life?

As far as survival foods go, you will want to invest in dry and dehydrated foods. Foods like pasta, flour, and dried beans make for great ingredients that have long shelf lives.


Dehydrated foods such as meats and fruits don’t last quite as long but are still great to have on hand. 

What Food Keeps You Full The Longest?

When stockpiling food you will want to store food with high amounts of calories and protein such as meats, beans, and pastas.

How Much Emergency Food Should I Have?

At a minimum, you should have about three months worth of food and water stored in a secure location. You will want to buy food that will last longer than three months. 

When making your own emergency food supply diy, then you will be able to take into account portion sizes.  After all, the last thing you want is to be constantly hungry because of a lack of preparation.

How Do I Build A Three Month Food Supply?

When building a three month supply, you will want to find a secure and temperature controlled area of your home to store food. 


Further, food and water should be stored in sealed and durable containers. This way they last longer and can withstand natural disasters without perishing.

Can Dried Fruit Go Bad?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to dried fruit. Typically, store bought dried fruit will last about a year beyond the best by date. You can also freeze dried fruit indefinitely but that will depend on the fruit and the dehydrating process used by the manufacturer.

What Is The Best Freeze Dried Emergency Food?

The best freeze dried food is ultimately going to depend one what foods you enjoy. When it comes to pre-made food packs you have lots of options, so pick foods you enjoy with longer shelf lives.

I recommend a Harvest Right freeze dryer to make your own freeze dried food.  You can use it to make freeze dried fruit, freeze dried tomato powder,  and more.  Then learn how to store freeze dried food for long term storage.

How Can You Tell If Canned Food Is Bad?

There are a couple signs that your canned food has gone bad without having to open the can. For homemade canned food there are more signs than in aluminum cans.


If the jar is warped or bulging in any way it could have gone bad. Further, signs or rust and mold or bubbling are all signs that the food inside has gone bad.


For aluminum cans many of the same principles apply. Excessive amounts of rust and warping of the can are both tells of spoiled food.

What Food Never Expires?

Unfortunately, there is only one food that never expires, which is honey. Honey never goes bad but sadly, it doesn’t have as much use in a survival situation as would meats or fruits or other such foods.

What Is The Best Survival Food?

The best survival foods are foods that will keep you full for a long time and will last a while on the shelf. 


Further, buy foods that you enjoy eating when you can as survival situations can be made a lot better when you eat food that you like. For instance, many outdoorsman will carry flavor powders or packets to improve the taste of purified water.

If you have children, you may want to put some of their favorite shelf stable foods on your emergency food storage list.  Although survival is your most important goal, having familiar favorites will help comfort your children during a stressful time.

What Drinks Don’t Expire?

Aside from water, pretty much every kind of drink will eventually break down. If you wish to store beverages such as juice or sodas, make sure the expiration date aligns with the rest of your food, and replace them before they go bad.

Does Water Expire?

Simply put, no, water does not expire. However, water stored in containers can go bad after long periods of time. This is because certain containers can break down and leach plastics or chemicals into the water, making it unfit for drinking.

Water should be sealed properly.  You can not simply place water in old jugs and put it on the shelf.  It can grow bacteria or other germs.  I recommend having a water purification system in place for water.

If you buy water, make sure you buy a brand that has a thick plastic jug.  Milk jug style jugs will eventually start leaking.

How do I Organize My Emergency Food Supply?

Your emergency food supply should be kept on sturdy shelves and up off of the ground. For the sake of convenience you can organize by food types and separate liquids from solid food. 


However, this is all up to you and is not required. What is most important is that your food is stored in a space saving way to maximize how much you can stockpile.


You should also keep an emergency food storage list handy on your phone, computer, or up on the wall. This way you can keep track of food that you have stored with ease. An emergency food storage list will also help you to waste less food as you can eat what is about to go bad and replace it.

Don't forget to pack some dried fruit, dried meat, or protein bars in your bug out bags.  Here's what should be in a bug out bag.

How Do You Hide Food Storage?

There are several ways to hide a food storage for when you are away from home. There are extravagant ways such as building hidden rooms or concealing pre built rooms to hide your food in. 


You can also use any passageways or simply obstruct your food from view by placing stuff around your stockpile. If it is possible, always lock up your food supply and keep your home locked while you are away.


Why Can’t You Hide Food In Your Basement?

Many warn against hiding food in your basement, but this mainly applies to perishable food or food that is not properly stored. If your food and liquids are stored in sealed containers and up off of the ground then your stockpile should be fine.


If possible, place dehumidifiers or humidifiers to regulate the climate of your basement. A regulated climate better helps to ensure that your food will remain safe until it is needed.

If you can your own food, you'll have a great start for creating an emergency food supply.  If you're new to canning, here are my canning supplies for beginners to help you get started. 

Other Supplies

In addition to your emergency food supply, you should also have some other items available in case of an emergency.

  • Can opener
  • Ziploc bags for storage
  • Basic cooking utensils (spatula, whisk)
  • Bowls for mixing
  • Paper plates


Emergency Food Supply List

I recommend adding the following to your emergency food storage list:

  • Peanut butter
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Nuts
  • Cereal
  • Granola bars
  • Protein bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Canned meat 
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned soup and chili
  • Sports drinks
  • Powdered milk (full fat is best)
  • Shelf stable milk
  • Drink mixes
  • Salt, pepper,  and sugar
  • Canned juice (or use the juice from the fruit)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Comfort foods
  • Multivitamins
  • Infant formula if you have a baby
  • Bullion cubes
  • Oils 
  • Flour and baking mixes
  • Potato flakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Boxed meals
  • Jams and jellies
  • Beans
  • Honey
  • Apple cider vinegar (learn how to make apple scrap vinegar)
  • Vodka (can also use for medicinal purposes)
  • Baking soda and baking powder
  • Yeast

Have you created an emergency food supply?

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