Emergency Preparedness Food Storage List

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Ellen Christian

I’m sharing this emergency preparedness food storage list. You never know when a freak snowstorm will leave you stuck at home for a week so it’s a good idea to be prepared. 

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Emergency Preparedness Food Storage List | Reducing Food Waste

Emergency Preparedness Food Storage List 

I’d hate to be stuck at home and realize that I am out of the basics I need to feed my family or take care of them if someone is sick. For this reason, we make sure that we have a stockpile of food and medicine just in case.

The amount you should keep on hand really varies depending on how many people are in your family and what you’re preparing for. The government recommends that we have at least two weeks of food on hand at all times for emergencies. We believe that more than that is a good idea.

a row of jams on a shelf

What should I stockpile for emergency needs?

So, what should we keep on hand? Again, it varies greatly depending on how many people are in your family and what you are preparing for.

We tend to keep shelf stable items on hand because I have no desire to lose power and have an entire freezer full of emergency rations go bad.

We lose power a lot in the winter in rural Vermont so it’s a real issue for us.

jars of food on a shelf

One of the biggest problems that I have had is reducing food waste when stocking for emergency preparedness. It’s important that the food you store be good when you need to use it.

That means that you need to rotate it regularly and store it in a way that keeps it fresh as long as possible.

What is good emergency food?

Here are a few things to keep on hand in case of an emergency:

  • Peanut butter
  • Whole wheat crackers (sealed)
  • Trail mix and nuts (unsalted)
  • Healthy cereals
  • Granola bars and meal replacement bars
  • Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)
  • Canned beans and vegetables
  • Sports drinks
  • Canned soups and chili
  • Powdered milk
  • Herbs, spices, salt, and pepper
  • All-purpose multivitamins

a food storage machine and a bag of pasta

Emergency preparedness food storage systems

I have been storing our dry goods using the Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System (v159) to help extend the life of our food storage. This one is very similar.

This emergency preparedness food storage list will give you an idea of how long things will last. You should keep this in mind when stockpiling.

  • 6 months: powdered milk, dried fruit, crackers, dry cookies, cereal, potatoes
  • 1 year (or before date on package): canned fruits, meats, soups and vegetables, peanut butter & jelly, nuts
  • Indefinitely in proper containers and conditions: wheat, grains, flours, dried corn, baking powder, salt, rice, dry pasta, instant coffee, and tea

The thing that always got me was the last one on the list – “indefinitely in proper storage containers and conditions”. You need to keep out air, bugs, and moisture or your food will go bad. A vacuum sealer system like the Ziploc® Brand v159 Vacuum Sealer System keeps food fresher longer compared to conventional grocery store packaging.

Emergency Preparedness Food Storage List | Reducing Food Waste

Ziploc Brand V159 Vacuum Sealer System

This is a very versatile vacuum sealer system. You can use it with rolls, bags, and canisters.  Not only that, many chip and cereal bags can be resealed using the Ziploc® Brand v159 Vacuum Sealer System so you don’t need to transfer the food to another bag.  

I can vacuum seal foods in a variety of different quantities depending on how much I’ll use at one time. There are quart, gallon and half quart sizes so I put things like flour in the gallon bag and instant coffee in the half quart size. If you have emergency preparedness food storage needs, this is a very versatile sealer system.

Emergency Preparedness Food Storage List | Reducing Food Waste

The Ziploc® Brand v159 Vacuum Sealer System can also be used with food that will go in the freezer or the refrigerator. I’ve used it to reseal cheese so it doesn’t go bad and to freeze individual hamburger patties to cut down on time making dinner. It even has non-food uses! Did you know you can use it to store your photographs or your passport so they aren’t damaged?

The Ziploc® Brand v159 Vacuum Sealer System is a great gift idea this holiday. So, make sure you visit the Ziploc® Vacuum Sealer System Website for a coupon on your purchase. Or, look for it on Amazon. It’s a great way to get a handle on your emergency preparedness food storage needs.

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22 thoughts on “Emergency Preparedness Food Storage List”

  1. I have found that vacuum bags do lose their vacuum seal after a while so I out up my flour up in mylar bags with an oxygen absorberr. I do freeze the flour or corn meal for a couple of days and lay it out on baking sheets and let dry completely for 2 to 3 days to get the moisture out and then put in bags. This way the product will last 10 to 15 years. And yes I have opened a bag and used the flour and it's fine. Not being negative or anything but I have had them come unsealed and when I started buying my vacuum bags from Out Of Air I haven't had any of the bags lose their seal. These bags hold their vacuum. And are thicker than any vacuum bags I have ever bought.
  2. I have found that grains really need to be frozen a for 2-3 months to kill off any insect eggs that could be hidden in the grain.
  3. bit confused about the canned foods section "1 year (or before date on package): canned fruits, meats, soups and vegetables, peanut butter & jelly, nuts" Canned foods (from the supermarket for example) only go off if the integrity of the can is compromised and usually there are tell tail signs of this visible on the can itself. Unless your talking about a different type of can? or canning?
    • Hi, Jamie - Nothing lasts indefinitely even if the can looks OK. If there is no date on the product, I would rotate so that I was using older things first. Home canned products, I would use within a year. Just use your best judgment and remember to rotate foods.
  4. I have wanted a vacuum sealer for forever.  We throw out more food than I'd like, and I know this would extend the life of much of it.  Plus I could buy more in bulk from a co-op or Sam's Club and portion it out into more usable portions without it all going bad.

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