When a serious tragedy such as a hurricane, tornado, or a global pandemic strikes, your survival becomes the only important thing. Therefore, having enough supply of food and drinking water helps to reduce the stress, fear, and other inconveniences caused by such a disaster.
And since stocking up for an emergency is different from your typical grocery shopping, you should prioritize foodstuffs that last long without refrigeration.
As a resident of Miami, Florida, which is known to suffer severe hurricanes almost every year, I have often found myself trapped inside the house for days as intense winds and high storms tear across the city. Without enough food and water, I and other residents wouldn’t have been so lucky.
That’s why I’m happy to share this simple survival food list with you so that you can have an idea of what to stock up during an emergency. But before I give you the list, let’s look at the factors that determine the food you stock up during an emergency.
Things to Consider When Creating a Survival Food List
1. Type of Emergency
You need to understand that some emergencies require you to have specific types of foods. For instance, a hurricane comes with strong winds and rainstorms that often lead to flooding and power outage. In such a situation, you will need to stock up non-perishable food items that don’t require refrigeration.
And if you are prepping for a global pandemic like Covid-19, you will need nutritious food that will fuel your body and keep you healthy.
Although it is difficult to predict how long a natural disaster will last, it is important to stock up enough food and water that can sustain you and your family for several days as you wait for evacuation or emergency response service providers to arrive. Keep an eye on the updates and forecasts from the meteorological department to know the possible duration of the emergency.
3. Number of People to Feed
It goes without saying that the more people you have in your house, the more food you need to stock up. You also need to consider the various nutritional needs of every member of your family, including toddlers, seniors, and people with special medical needs.
Prepping for an emergency can be nerve-racking especially when you do not have enough money to buy the items you need. That’s why you need a well-thought-out budget before you head to the store. Therefore, your budget should only include items that you can’t survive without.
Go through your daily meal plans to identify the most essential foodstuffs and their shelf life. Don’t waste your money on food items that will go uneaten or get wasted after a few days.
Here is a list of survival foods that you need to consider when prepping for an emergency.
Ready-to-eat foods come in handy when you don’t have the luxury of preparing a meal due to lack of water, power, and gas. They include:
• Canned Food
Although canned food is not very healthy, it can make all the difference when you are faced with the danger of starvation. Besides, it is quite convenient and filling. Canned foods include beef, tuna, baked beans, sauces, soup, salmon, hey, Spaghettis among others.
• Dried Fruits and Vegetables
Instead of going for fresh fruits and vegetables that won’t last for two days without refrigeration, consider stocking up the dried ones such as apples, plums, pears, bananas, peaches, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes, kales, spinach, potatoes, green beans and many others. They still have the same nutritional value as their raw counterparts.
Nuts are rich in healthy fats, protein, and essential vitamins. You can also mix them with some raisins to make them more enjoyable and useful to the body. Some of the best nuts that I always include in my survival list include almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, walnuts, and pistachios.
Although they are not so tasty, crackers make a useful snack during an emergency. Besides, most crackers now come with seasonings such as herbs, cheese, or salt to make them tastier.
Energy Giving Food
Your body requires a lot of physical energy when you are trying to survive during a disaster. So, you will need food that gives you enough energy. These foods include:
Rice is a popular staple food consumed by more than half of the world’s population and it has been found to be a great source of energy. There are two main types of rice: white and brown. White rice is more common than brown rice, though the latter offers more nutritional benefits.
The other benefit of stocking up rice is that it has a long shelf life and doesn’t require preservation.
Pasta is another great source of energy and it’s more filling. Additionally, it can be prepared in many different ways, and it lasts on the shelf for a long time without refrigeration.
Since oats are gluten-free, they can be consumed by all family members, including those with gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. Also, they are very rich in fiber and protein. They can also stay on the shelves for many days without preservation.
• Powdered Milk
Just like fresh milk, powdered milk is packed with essential nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins A & B, and calcium. It can even be supplemented with zinc. Furthermore, it lasts on the shelves for many years.
Beans are very rich in protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and iron. They are also very tasty and versatile. But remember to soak them for a few hours before cooking. It helps them to cook faster and reduces gassiness when you eat them.
• Chia Seeds
Although they are tiny, chia seeds are packed with a lot of nutrients like calcium, manganese, protein, fatty acids, vitamin B, and fiber. Plus, they can be eaten with fruits, milk, or nuts. Also, they can stay on the shelves for years without refrigeration.
• Whey Powder
While whey powder may not be the tastiest food out there, it is very rich in protein. So, instead of stocking up meat whose shelf life is very short, you should go for a few packets of whey powder. Two scoops of this powder daily will help you meet 50 percent of your protein needs. You can either mix it with milk or sprinkle it onto other food such as mashed potatoes or rice.
These are food items that can be used in various ways to prepare different meals. They include:
• Salt and Spices
Salt and spices are not only good for adding taste to your food, but they are also good for keeping your body fluids balanced. Natural spices, in particular, offer numerous health benefits like fighting inflammations, lowering blood sugar, easing pain, relieving nausea among others.
• Wheat Flour
There are so many meals that you can cook with wheat flour, including pancakes, bread, bannocks, hardtacks, cookies, donuts, and the like. Furthermore, it can last on the shelf for more than a year when stored in a cool, dry place.
• Dehydrated Eggs
Dehydrated eggs are usually dried and powdered to boost their shelf life. Plus, they have the same nutrients as their raw counterparts. You can use them in almost any meal that needs eggs.
• Raw Honey
Apart from being nutritious, raw honey can last on the shelf for years without going bad. Plus, it can be added to a variety of meals, especially the ready-to-eat foods.
In summary, there are so many food items that you can include in your survival food list without breaking your bank. But you have to make sure the items you choose are fully packed with essential nutrients and minerals. Also, they should be simple to prepare and last long on the shelves without refrigeration.