Short-term Emergency Food Supply Ideas

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Most experts suggest having a food supply that can get you through, at a minimum, the first 72 hours or so after a major weather event or natural disaster. For obvious reasons, make sure these are non-perishable food sources, and make your food kit as nutritious as possible.


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Here is a list of food items to always keep on hand, or to assemble quickly if you have time:

  • Peanut butter
  • Whole-wheat crackers
  • Nuts and trail mixes
  • Cereal
  • Granola bars and power bars
  • Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins
  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey
  • Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas
  • Canned soups and chili
  • Bottled water—a three days' supply of at least one gallon per person per day.
  • Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade
  • Powdered milk
  • Multivitamins


If you are preparing for a predicted weather event that might keep you housebound for a week or more, buy these fresh items that have a relatively long shelf life:

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  • Apples
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams
  • Cucumbers and summer squash
  • Winter squash
  • Hard, packaged sausages, such as pepperoni