Keep an emergency list. We all need protein, carbohydrates and fats to keep up our energy, so be sure to store nonperishable foods that will meet these requirements:
- Dried meats. Beef jerky or beef sticks are good sources of long-storing protein.
- Canned fish and meat. Canned tuna is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Canned ham and sandwich spreads can be eaten with crackers. Canned beans are an excellent source of vegetarian nutrition.
- Canned fruits. Peaches, pears, berries and applesauce are good sources of vitamin C and other nutrients.
- Canned vegetables. Vegetables, such as beans, peas, carrots and so on are important.
- Dried fruits. Dried fruits, such as raisins, are another way to get the nutrition of fruit in your emergency food pantry.
- Whole grain crackers. These are good replacements for bread.
- Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, cashews and pecans have protein, fiber and healthful fats.
- Granola bars. These are good for sweet treats.
- Make your own homemade protein bars. Keep them in the freezer, or buy prepackaged protein bars.
- Dry cereals. They're fortified with extra vitamins and minerals and can be eaten dry.
- Juice boxes. Single-serving-sized juice that doesn't need to be refrigerated is helpful. Make sure to choose 100-percent fruit juices.
- Electrolyte drinks. Drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, are a good addition to your emergency food pantry.
- Water. In case your regular water supply becomes contaminated, store several bottles of water in your emergency pantry.
- Multivitamins. A bottle of multivitamins can help supply any missing nutrients.
- Can opener. You need to have a can opener or church key opener that stays in your emergency food pantry.
- Large containers. Keep bags, backpacks or other large containers close by. In the event you have to get out of your house in a hurry, you do not want to have to hunt for a bag to carry your food.
- Stove. A camping stove or small grill may be used in a safe area to heat foods.
More Emergency Food Pantry Tips
- Buy single-serving sizes whenever possible, because you can't depend on refrigeration after the containers have been opened.
- Make sure to periodically check the foods in your emergency food pantry, so that you don't keep foods that have passed their expiration dates.
- If you live in the northern latitudes, pack a separate emergency food container and keep it in your car. Choose nuts, crackers, dried beef, dried fruit and a container to melt snow for water.
- Keep flashlights, fresh batteries, candles, matches, blankets, first aid kits and any other emergency supplies you may need.
United States Department of Agriculture. "Model Food Emergency Plan." Published March 2006.