Food & Water : Food Storage – Part 1 of 3

If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm, or other disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks.

By taking some time now to plan and store emergency food and water supplies, you can provide for your entire family during more or less any kind of crisis or catastrophe.

Emergency Food Supplies

Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last that long.

You may not need to go out and buy foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned goods, dry mixes, and other staples on your cupboard shelves. Be sure to check expiration dates and follow the practice of first-in, first-out. More on this principle shortly.

Preparing An Emergency Food Supply

As you stock food, take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Familiar foods are important. They lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress. Try to include foods that they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. Foods that require no refrigeration, water, special preparation, or cooking are best.

Individuals with special diets and allergies will need particular attention, as will babies, toddlers, and the elderly. Nursing mothers may need liquid formula, in case they are unable to nurse. Canned dietetic foods, juices, and soups may be helpful for ill or elderly people. Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils. Don’t forget non-perishable foods for your pets.


In Australia it’s the bushfires, in the snowy Alps there are the risk of avalanche. In many other territories, there is ALWAYS the risk of disaster due to floods causing individual houses or entire villages to be isolated or at least cut off from the grid as well as other services.

Currently, people have to stay at home for several weeks because of the corona virus. Our food should be fresh, balanced and healthy. And that’s what people prefer to buy in small regional shops: sustainability is a trend. Bulging pantries are a thing of the past, because if something is missing you can always find a supermarket that is open until 10:00 p.m. 

But what do you do if suddenly you can no longer be reached? What shouldn’t be missing in any household in order to be prepared for a possible supply shortage? What do you need in the worst case scenario ?

Before continuing on this theme, it’s important now to clear up a mis-conception as regards ” Food Storage”.

We tend to talk about food storage as if it is just one broad category when in reality it should be divided into three distinctly different groupings.

  1. 3 Days (Short Term Emergency Food Storage)
  2. Weeks to 3 Months (Extended Short Term Emergency Food Storage)
  3. Long-Term Storage (4 months to x number of years)

Regardless of the type of emergency, you will probably have to take care of yourself for 3 (three) full days before any rescue entity can help you. If you face the facts, it takes at least that long to organize and implement a rescue effort. This is why a 72 hour (or 3 days) kit is a necessity. You may also hear it referred to by the government as a disaster supplies kit OR a Bug-Out-Bag (BOB).

Once the immediate emergency and accompanying danger have passed, food, fuel, and other supplies could be disrupted for several weeks or months. Long-term situations where survival is in question can include famine and warfare.

These circumstances require different foods and different plans.

72 Hours (3 Days) is Considered Short Term Emergency Food Storage

The key here is food in a box, a can or a bag. Ideally, it should be food you are used to eating and should be portable. If you have to quickly evacuate, you can easily take your food with you.

Avoid storing salty foods for your 72-hour kit. Salty foods make you thirsty and will increase your water needs. This is not a good idea in an emergency situation. Water will be your biggest headache because it is difficult to carry.

Finally, most emergencies involve contaminated water problems. You need to have plenty of water stored. Buying bottled water is not necessary, or even desirable because purchasing large quantities is expensive. Luckily, there are ways to make water storage straightforward and simple.This is something we have discussed in the Water Storage sub-section.

Extended Short-Term Food Storage

Most people will not have room to store more than two weeks of water per person. This includes drinking water and water needed for sanitation, like brushing your teeth. What you will need are containers you can fill up at a water truck or at a water station.

Here’s a Tip : Nobody can carry 50-gallon drums of water anywhere. Those big drums of water are fine if you have to stay put, but it’s essential to have a variety of water container sizes and shapes. They will all be useful provided they ALL satisfy the essential water storage container requirements as discussed in our Water Storage sub-section !

Just about any food you regularly eat can be stored for three months. Therefore, store what you eat in the amounts you eat it.

Don’t depend solely on dried food for your food storage needs. It is worthless without water and water is hard to store as previously mentioned. The liquid in cans or bottles of food can serve as water storage. Store that instead and make this liquid part of your water storage calculation.

Long Term Food Storage is Intended to Keep You Alive in Survival Conditions

Your long-term food storage is the only thing you will have to keep you from starving to death. So, when compiling it you need to ask yourself an important question. What is absolutely essential to prevent starvation?

The best food storage is food that can be stored for a long, long time and retain its nutrition and taste. These foods can be purchased online and shipped to you. Or, you can find a home storage center and buy it there.

In the final Part 3 of this topic we shall discuss the storage of food and drinks for a period of three monthsnot just what to store but also how and where to store it for that period of 3 months.

However, for now we move onto PART 2 which amongst other matters discusses the various food storage options to be considered.

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