While water is the number one concern, food is not far behind.

Being hungry is distracting, demoralizing, and will make surviving a disaster very challenging.  The absence of food and water will likely be the cause of a societal break-down, should a disaster occur -so make sure you have a sufficient supply of food for you and your family.

Having food will give you more control.  You won’t have to leave your safe place and seek it, avoiding dangerous situations “outside” and leaving your family members alone.  Having food also allows you to focus on other tasks critical to your survival or to make your living situation more pleasant.

Since a disaster will likely knock out electricity very quickly, food stores should not require electricity for storage or preparation.  Frozen or perishable foods are out, and an alternative heat source will be needed to prepare a hot meal.

Short-Term Emergency Food for Disaster Situations

Food requirements for a day or two to many months can easily be filled with freeze-dried food.

Freeze dried foods are safe, healthy, convenient, light-weight and often have a shelf life of 25 to 30 years.

Despite being stored for years, freeze dried foods retain their vitamins and nutrients.  Should you have to evacuate your primary safe place, they are light enough to carry.  That won’t be the case with #10 cans, which weigh between 3 and 5 pounds each.

They are convenient to prepare.  All you do is add hot water, stir, wait a few minutes and the freeze dried foods are ready to eat.  All-in-all, it takes about 10 minutes to prepare a meal.

My family chose to purchase our meals from a freeze-dried food company that offers very cost-effective meal packages as well as a variety of fruit, vegetable and drink options – all with a shelf life of 25 years.  They even have gluten-free options for those that need it. To see where we buy our long term survival food, click here.  This company even provides free shipping.

To prepare and eat the freeze dried meals, you will need some other items.  All of these items are chosen for their versatility and light weight (so they are easy to carry, if you need to evacuate):

  • Cook stove:  We have selected a hybrid-fuel camp stove that burns about any fuel you can find, including unleaded gasoline.  In a disaster, fuel options may be limited so being able to choose from different fuel options is a huge plus.  Click here to get your 1.2 lb. stove for a bit over $100.
  • Utensil:  No one likes eating with his or her fingers, so you better get an eating utensil.  We recommend a super light-weight spork for maximum versatility.  Click here to get your 0.6 oz. spork.
  • Pot/pan cookset: We stuck with the titanium option on the pot and pan cookset.  If you are prepping for one person, the larger of the two sets will do.  If you are prepping for two to three people, you should definitely plan to get both sets.  Don’t worry, they stack inside each other to save space in your backpack.
  • Clean-up rag:  Sanitation is key to a healthy living situation.  After cooking and eating, it is important to clean your utensils and cookware for the next meal.  For a great, highly-absorbent towel that can hold up to 10 times its weight, click here.  Note:  we like the medium sized towel.

Our family goal is to have a 12 to 18 month supply of freeze dried food, but we started with a 30 day supply for each of us, which was the 180 meal package.  The package offers 17 different entree varieties so we won’t have to eat the same things over and over… and over again.  The 180 meals weigh less than 19 pounds (and come in a bucket with a handle), so you can easily carry them if you need to move.

If you can afford to buy a year’s supply for each member of your family now, we strongly recommend it.  A disaster typically happens without notice, and you can sleep better knowing you and your family are prepared with food supplies.

If you are like us and cannot afford to buy a 12 month supply at once, at least start with a two week supply of food. For a family of four, that is the same 180 meal package that we bought.  You can buy more packages over time – like us!

Having a short-term food supply is critical so do not postpone getting some food.  If nothing happens, you can just eat it instead of buying take-out one night.  If something does happen, you won’t go hungry.


Long-Term Emergency Food for Disaster Situations

Food needs for a year or more are likely best provided by growing your own food in gardens at your safe place.

Many may consider a disaster where food is scarce and unavailable commercially for a year or more unlikely.  For that reason, many will not prepare to this degree – and that’s perfectly okay.

Some people, like us, do understand that, while remote, it is possible to have extended food scarcity; and for that reason, we prepare to grow our own food, should the need arise.

To have a garden, you need seeds, soil, sun, water and suitable temperatures for the desired food crop.

For the seeds, it is important to secure heirloom (non-hybrid, non-GMO) seeds.

Heirloom seeds provide an opportunity to harvest seeds from ripe fruits and vegetables from one year’s crop to plant and grow the same fruits and vegetables for the next year – so you don’t have to buy seeds year after year (since the stores would not be open to buy from in this long-term scenario).

Hybrid and GMO seeds do not reliably provide seeds in the fruits and vegetables that can be used to plant and grow food in successive growing seasons.

For heirloom seeds, we recommend Heirloom Organics.  They offer a variety of fruits and vegetables for all growing seasons and U.S. climate regions.

There are a lot of places to buy non-hybrid heirloom seeds, but there is one important feature that makes Heirloom Organics better.  Their seed packs are processed for long-term storage, increasing the shelf-life of the seeds by many years.

They use the methods developed and approved by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) for processing and packaging seeds for long-term storage.  They attest that they are the only seed supplier that has studied and implemented the methods developed by the USDA, and that no other seeds available today incorporate these advanced methods for seed packaging and storage.

While the shelf life depends on the seed variety, whatever the shelf life, Heirloom Organics’ packaging / storage process can double it.  Since you want to save your seeds for an emergency, this is a huge plus!!  Seeds do you no good if they have outlived their shelf life and won’t sprout when they are eventually planted.

We started with the Seed Vault package, which contains 30 different varieties of seeds.  This is a great starter kit.  Click here to get yours today.

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand these recommendations are provided to be helpful and accelerate your level of disaster preparedness, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.