As we see the number of natural disasters increase over the course of the last decade, these events have prompted many experts to become concerned with the very real chance of a global food shortage. More and more people are dispelling the way of thinking it can’t or won’t happen in their area. Unfortunately, there are still far too many people who are unprepared or underprepared.  Disasters can and do strike at any time, and many of them are completely unexpected. If one of these events does happen in your area, are you fully prepared to survive? While there are items you should always have in your survival kit, the most basic and important thing to have is a supply of food and water. Making the decision to start building an emergency food supply is a great start, but knowing exactly how much food you should store and what kind can be difficult. In this article, we’ll help you decide exactly how much food you should store and what kind, based on your individual needs and tastes.

Getting Started

As the saying goes, showing up is half the battle, so good for you for deciding to get started. So, what’s the other half of the battle? The other half, in this case, is calculating how much food you’ll need and what kind you want. Every household will have different needs and requirements when it comes to their food rations, so you’ll have to make some decisions based on your individual situation. For example, if you have young children and your neighbor has teenagers, your neighbor obviously will require more food and different kinds. Even though each situation is different, the concept is the same.

How to Calculate Your Emergency Food Storage

First, decide how long you want your emergency food supply to be able to sustain you and your family. Agencies like the Red Cross and FEMA recommend a minimum of at least enough food and water to last for 72 hours. This is the bare bones minimum, and most people decide to store more than that. When we talk about how long food storage will last, we generally break it down into three categories:

  • 72 Hours (Short-Term Minimum)
  • One Week to Three Months (Extended Short-Term)
  • More than Three Months (Long Term)

To calculate exactly how much food you’ll need to store, just use this formula:

Number of People in Household X 3 Meals Per Day X Number of Days

Let’s say you have four people in your household, and you want to just get started by storing the minimum of a 72-hour supply.

4 People in Household X 3 Meals Per Day X 3 Days

So this means that for this particular household, you’ll need at least 36 meals to make sure that you and your family can eat 3 times a day. As you can see, this tends to mean that you’ll need more food than most people think, but this is a good jumping off point to get you started on storing enough food for you and your family. Additionally, the Red Cross recommends that you store at least one gallon of water per person per day. For this scenario we’ve discussed, that would mean storing 12 gallons of water, which is quite a bit – and that’s just for three days. You will have to break it down according to your household and how long you want your emergency food supply to be able to last you. Now that you’ve got a grasp on how much food and water you’ll need, let’s talk about what kinds of foods you’ll want to store.

What Kind of Food Should I Store?

In the event of an emergency, you’re certainly not going to be fine dining on caviar or lobster. Even though you’re storing food for an emergency, you should still store food that you’ll actually want to eat. A few good ideas for food storage are crackers, canned beans, rolled oats, cereal, and tuna. Canned or packaged tuna is a great addition to your emergency food supply because they usually have a long shelf life and are a good source of protein. We recommend avoiding storing foods with pop-top cans, because they might explode if you have to pack up and evacuate. Also, try to stay away from highly salty foods that can dehydrate you, because fresh water is a precious premium resource in the event of a natural disaster emergency. Try to avoid foods that contain a lot of moisture and oils such as dried eggs, dehydrated fruits and veggies, brown rice, nuts, beef jerky, and so on.

Remember Your Furry Friends!

A tragic thing that can happen in the event of a natural disaster is forgetting to store enough food and water for your pets to survive and be by your side. Take the same calculation that you used when it comes to storing enough food and water for people, and apply it for your cats and dogs. Make sure you always have some kind of toys or something to keep them occupied or help them reduce stress.

Emergency Food Supply You Can Trust

While it’s great to have an emergency food supply, you have probably guessed that building one is a daunting task – even for 72 hours. With an emergency food supply kit from More Prepared, we alleviate that headache and do the hard work for you. Each of our kits contains delicious meals for the timeframe you need, and have a shelf life of five years. We also carry high-quality emergency drinking water like Blue Water products. This water has a shelf life of 50 years, so you never have to worry about it expiring. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, and pass it onto the next generation, but you can never be too careful.