Emergency Food Storage-This Is What You Need

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Today, I decided I need to address emergency food storage because I know many people are not prepared for the unexpected. Here’s the deal, if you have watched the news or saw pictures on social media, you can see that NO ONE is going to help you right away after a disaster. I was pleased to see people helping people into boats, carrying animals through flooded water, what a blessing that was to see. But, let’s be real here, if you are not evacuated and you have not lost your home, what do you have in your house right this minute that you could feed your family? Water is critical as well. I heard from a young woman the other day that she didn’t know where to start with emergency food storage, how much water to store, or anything else, for that matter. I get it. I grew up with a single mom who taught me to cook from scratch and make bread just to save money. She always had a full pantry, or at least at the time I thought it was a full pantry.

I’m going to share a few basics with you today because I don’t want any of you to have to stand in line at grocery stores only to find the shelves are empty after an unforeseen emergency. Plus, I don’t want you to have to pay $20.00 for a case of water. I want you to store water and some emergency food storage, so you don’t have to leave your home for a week or two if it’s a major disaster. I would love it if you are prepared for a month, three months, or more. I’m not saying get it all at once, just can a week or a case of water per week, whatever your budget can spare.

If you think the government will deliver food and water, forget that. I heard complaints about major rescue groups after many disasters. I have also heard wonderful things done for each other, but not in all areas of the city or counties after the recent hurricanes. This is why we must be self-reliant. I better add one more thing here, keep your gas tanks 3/4 full, I’m begging you. I don’t want you to be in your car waiting in line at the service stations only to find that the gas pumps are empty when you get closer to the front of the line.

Read More of My Articles  Have You Heard About One Can A Week?

Yes, this happened even before the last hurricane, please keep your eye on the gas level in all your cars. It’s easy for me, I only have one car. If you are wondering if I store gasoline at my home, no I do not. Now, this is a very basic list, but it’s very easy to achieve without a lot of money. You don’t have to buy it all at once, but please start and get your neighbors to start stashing a little emergency food storage. Remember, you don’t have to buy #10 cans of every food item. Buy what you can afford.

Emergency Food Storage


Many government agencies say that the water needed is one gallon per person per day. My minimum is 4-gallons per person per day. If you have 5 in the family that is either 5-gallons or 20 gallons per day. If water is contaminated don’t count on that water heater, just think about all the water that’s been contaminated over just this last year in several states.

Instant milk

You need water for this, but I would also add some hot chocolate mix, who doesn’t love hot chocolate, right? It’s great for cereal and making mac and cheese.

Flavored Drinks

Thanks to Rita for reminding to add lemonade and Kool-aid packets. Yes, it needs sugar, but who doesn’t love a glass of lemonade, right? I need to look at my Kool-Aid stash. I love hearing from readers! Thanks to Diane, she reminded me to get sugar-free drink powders and tea bags. They are great hot or cold!!

Pancake Mix/Syrup

Buy the pancake mix where you just add water. Stir and make a great breakfast. I love the Krusteuz brand from Costco. I can make it from scratch, but it depends on how many people I will need to be feed after a disaster. Hungry people…..

Cold Cereal

It’s almost embarrassing when I fill a shopping cart at a local grocery store every six months with large bags overflowing the basket. Do I get weird looks, yep? I just smile and know I won’t be back for six more months.

Cans of Soup/Stew/Ravioli

Here’s the deal, I do not eat cans of food every day, but I need reassurance I can use a can opener if I need to feed those on my street who have not prepared for the unexpected.

Read More of My Articles  WonderMill Grain Mill Review and Giveaway

Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a little mac and cheese? Yes, you can make it without the butter, just use milk.

Cans of Canned Meats

Tuna, chicken, roast beef, etc. I grew up on cans of corned beef and pickle sandwiches. I haven’t had one since I got married.

Mayo/Miracle Whip/Mustard

If you buy the small jars you won’t waste as much if we have zero electricity to keep it cold.


If you have a few boxes of crackers we can pretend we are at Costco serving samples, right? Spread a little meat and mayo on some of those crackers!

Cans of Vegetables

I can eat green beans, corn, and beets right out of the can. Peas, not a good idea for me, too mushy.

Cans of Fruits

Fruits are pretty easy to choose, take the family down the grocery aisles and choose fruit cocktail, Mandarin oranges, peaches, etc.

Cans of Beans

Choose your favorite ones like refried beans, beans you can make a pot of soup with, any kind of bean works for me.


Rice fills the belly and is fairly cheap.

Pasta/Spaghetti Sauce

We need water to boil spaghetti, and we can add the spaghetti sauce right over the hot pasta. This is why I recommend a butane stove. Butane Stove and Butane Fuel

I feel in my heart I have to remind people to spread the word to get people prepared, we must be able to take care of ourselves. The government will not always be there when you need help, there are too many people to help. You can sleep at night even if you just fill a large plastic bucket with items you could grab and take with you if you had to evacuate. Mine would have to have wheels, I overpack, just giving you the heads-up here. Thanks again for being prepared, your family will thank you, I promise. May God bless all of you!

WaterBricks I recommend

Survival Needs by Linda

Instant milk 

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  1. Rita Saumweber says:

    Hooray! Linda I have this one under control:) Insert happy dance. I would only add that we have the canisters of lemonade and Kool Aid to add to our water. I know, too much sugar, but in times of distress I think we will be ok with a bit more sugar.

    • vivian montgomery says:

      Rita, good job! your addition may just save your life and the lives of others. Remember to purchase powered milk and keep on hand at all times. I purchased my things little by little. I went on Amazon and purchased a couple of sturdy water containers and ended up with more plus four rain barrels for outside. Rain water always works in an emergency. The water can be boiled over fire if necessary and then filtered if needed. Think ahead my dear. You will not regret it. You are doing a great job and we are proud of you.
      Cincinnati Ohio

    • HI Rita, oh my gosh I forgot the lemonade and Kool-Aid! I’m adding it right now!!!! We will need the sugar is stressful times! Thanks for the reminder. I love it! Linda

  2. vivian montgomery says:

    I love you Linda and your passion to help people. These are great ideas. I am surprised at how many people are not prepared and do not even know where to begin. What we need to remember is to set aside things that can be kept for months that may save our lives for a week or two in case of emergency. You and I have gone the full length of preparing but some are just too young to imagine something that horrific could happen to them. Hopefully the younger generation will see what is happening in Florida and Texas and think about preparing. That is all we can ask at this point.
    Take care my friend. I see more destruction in the future but not sure where it will come from. Stay strong and keep warning others. You are doing a wonderful, wonderful job. Thank you for that. God bless you and God bless America.
    Cincinnati Ohio

    • Oh, Vivian, I needed to hear this comment today. I wondered if I was coming on too strong and sometimes I get discouraged. It’s readers like you that keep me going. I am so blessed to have some of the best readers in the world, they keep me writing. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We will teach the world, one can at a time. Thanks again my sweet friend, Hugs! Linda

  3. Diane Middleton says:

    As far as drinks I always keep sugar free drink mixes on hand due to my husbands diabetes.  Also large amounts of ice tea bags to make sun tea..this can be warmed or cooled as needed…refreshing

  4. Martha J Solis says:

    Hi Linda, excellent article! I’ve been prepping for a few years for a household of two and three four-legged babies. I have converted two bedrooms into two walk-in pantries. One is my canning room and the other is for canned goods. I’d have to say I have a three-year food supply and a water storage system. I too, believe 5 gallons of water per person is the way to go. God bless your efforts in being the voice of reason during these trying times. -MJ

  5. Linda, I’d also like to thank you for your gentle nudges. You’ve been such a blessing to me and my family, even if they don’t know it! I tend to need encouragement to stay prepared, so with your help I do it for my grandbabies. Just ordered two more cases of refried beans…

    • Hi, Roxanne, sometimes I think my gentle nudges come on too strong. But I can still picture a young dad in Florida on TV crying that his home was now gone and there was no food or water anywhere. If just one or two homes were still standing they could share what they had with this young dad. I will never get that picture out of my head. I love refried beans. God bless this world that they will get prepared ASAP. Hugs, Linda

  6. Mildred Stephens says:

    Thank you for the print button. I can now print the articles I want to keep and share with my family. I am trying to get them to have at least a weeks worth of food and water on hand. My next purchase will be a rolling cooler, so if I lose power, I will have something to put my meats in and at least keep them cold for a few days.

    • Hi, Mildred, this is so funny that you would mention your next purchase would be a rolling cooler. I want one as well. I need to research which cooler to buy. I do not or will not have a generator that uses gasoline, it’s way out of my budget. I do have a solar generator, so I need to find one that will work with what I have right now. Keep me posted if you find one that looks good. Linda

  7. Debbie sykes says:

    It seems like maybe you snuck into my home and made your inventory list linda (only joking) I am so happy to say I have all that you mentioned and more I also have pressured canned dry beans so all I have to do is just heat up and serve with rice or whatever if chili is what we want I have my kidney beans ready as weel as my beef so happy to be prepared. Love your thoughts and helps. Thanks

  8. Carolyn Steel says:

    Hello Linda, I recently commented on your water storage article. You commended me on “being one prepared lady.” I was doing pretty good, but knew there are areas which I can do better. My prepping skills were put to the test last week when hurricane “Irma” came through. Last Feb. I bought some rural property with my daughter and son-in law 80 miles from the city in St. Petersburg which is right between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. They commute the 80 miles both ways twice a day which is grueling. They occupy the home in the rural area and I am still in the process of moving. We had a great weekend of work and Labor Day fun. Then on Tuesday morning it dawned on me we had a hurricane coming. Not panic set in, but decidedly angst. I called my son in law at work who had already tried to get plywood for the shop they work in and it was Gone. That night we drove a half hour away and managed to get some OSB board to board up the rural house and Walmart was already bare of bread, water, batteries, and most canned goods. I ran home to St. Pete to get my things ready and they came over after work to board up my house with my window panels I have had sine 2004. We loaded up two cars with water, my big Berkey, food, rotated gas, propane, etc. We have had some downed trees, but all houses came through in great shape. I lost five fence panels, but that is nothing. My son had to stay at the assisted living home where he works, but his family stayed here just fine. We lost power in the rural area, but had a generator. I now know I will not have to fight with my daughter and son-in-law about prepping any more. It sure showed us where we could improve. You just NEVER know when those preps will be a life saver.

  9. Linda, thanks for the gentle reminders. I love the print button, as I print and store your articles and recipes in a 3 ring binder along with your book. No power, no internet! My age I won’t remember everything I’d like too.
    Also, I’d suggest storing back a 5 gal. bucket of cleaning supplies to have in case you have had to bug out and go back to a huge mess. United Methodist Church’s have an excellent list they are requesting for the flood victims. Keep up the great work.

    • Hi Beth, I’m glad one of my readers realized the “PRINT” button was missing, I got right on it and had it restored! I’m going to go look up the United Methodist Church’s 5-gallon bucket of cleaning supplies. At my age, I won’t remember either!! LOL! Thanks for telling me about the 5-gallon bucket. I’m on it. Linda

  10. Linda:
    I think the time for gentle reminders is long past. It is time to have strong reminders. I have told people here at my Senior Apartment complex and they just don’t get it. They say they are coming to my apartment to survive. Well, they will have to break down the door as I won’t open it to anyone in an emergency situation. I am done beating my head against the proverbial brick wall and they are on their own. No one wants to hear it nor take measurable steps toward preparing.

    I know this makes me sound cruel and heartless but I have tried the gentle way and now it is get your s**t together or perish! My food and water are MINE. I worked for it and paid for it. I am willing to share my knowledge but if they won’t listen or make a plan, they are on their own.


    • Oh, Leanne, you took the words right out of my mouth! LOL! I was just telling Mark yesterday, I’ve had it, why in the world can’t people see they need to store food for themselves and water. It sounds like we both need a stronger door. LOL! Mark said, Linda, they can break the windows. I know they can break the windows, I just had to share my conversation yesterday. People need to be prepared for themselves. Period. I love your comment as always, Linda

  11. Linda, thank you for alerting everyone. My thoughts are just start! Start having enough for a week, then a month, then 3 months. The world is showing people why they need to have food storage. Have a manual can opener. For the sake of your family, just start stocking up.

  12. CAROLYN CHOI says:

    I love your site, Linda it is a winner. I am not LDS but what your church has done for preparation is impeccable.

  13. I keep Tang , lemonade and Koolade on hand all the time. I recently had a bad upper respiratory infection and became dehydrated. we mixed up some tang and added some sea salt, quickly rehydrated. you can also use koolade. I personally keep 4 gallons of water per person. Don’t forget toilet paper . I know you can’t eat it,but you will need it. I just added to my honey stash (Cox honey came in today).And an extra bottle of your most used spice every month.  will also come in handy. Just tonight on the local news we were warned that N.Texas could very soon experience an earthquake in the 5-6 magnitude.  so now I’m wrapping my home canned foods in bubble wrap. (my family thinks I’ve lost it LOL) Thanks for another great post. God Bless

    • Hi, JudyK, thanks for these great tips, I’m going to write another post with all these ideas. I’m glad you got your Cox’s honey!! Please be safe, I’ll watch the news about the earthquake, oh my goodness. Great comment, Linda

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