Emergency Rations

Emergency Rations-What to Stockpile

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An emergency or catastrophic event could happen at any moment. Depending on where you live, a tornado, hurricane, tsunami or even an EMP attack could turn your whole world upside down.

Heck, scientists and representatives in office have been crying global warming for decades now and warning of the dire consequences.

One of these days, sooner or later, it might actually take place. So how are you prepared to feed your family in these or other emergency situations?

Chances are, you’re not. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure that out. Here are several emergency rations: what to stockpile.  

What to Stockpile for Emergency Rations

Did you know you can start saving money by stockpiling food? While I’ve started my own minimalism journey, I have no problem having emergency food rations for survival situations.

Spring or Distilled Water

While water is certainly not in the food category, it is one that will prove vital in your survival in just the first week after an emergency.

Most people drink around ½ to one gallon a day, so depending on the size of your family, you need to plan on a minimum supply of 2 weeks worth of water.

For a family of 4, that’s 56 gallons of spring or distilled water! That’s just to survive for two weeks, and not counting for any other purposes besides drinking.  This is the bare minimum for water.

I highly recommend 4-gallons of water per person per day. Please store enough water for your family to survive.

Protein Bars

A quick breakfast meal that’s filled with protein, protein bars can also help hold you over until your next meal. Plus you can switch it up with bars containing fruit, chocolate or extra granola. 

Peanut Butter

Most children won’t know how to cope without peanut butter, let alone dad, who sneaks a spoon of it once in a while. Peanut butter is one of those foods that has a good amount of protein.

You don’t want to go to the grocery store for peanut butter in an emergency. Go get it now so you’re ready. Peanut butter is also high in protein.

Nuts and Trail Mix

Nuts and trail mix provide much-needed energy with protein and other nutrients. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a good supply of honey-roasted nuts for a sweeter salty snack. 

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Jerky is not only a delicious snack, but it’s packed with protein that will help sustain people with a healthier diet of fats. Jerky is preserved to last for longer period than other meat products. Check it out. 

Canned Meats

Stocking up on canned meats such as tuna, canned chicken, and beef chunks will be one way of keeping meat on the menu, as it’s preserved to last for years. 

Canned Soups

Canned soups are a quick and easy meal, but we’re also talking about the cream of soups too. Cream of soups provides broth and a base to many meals for more flavoring. Some canned foods can also go beyond expiration dates.

Dried Fruits

For a healthy sweet option, try purchasing dried fruits to enjoy. Hey, dried beans are also good to store. Dried fruits and beans have an excellent shelf life, and the beans can also be a source for needed protein.

Canned Vegetables and Beans

Another great source of vitamins and protein would be canned veggies and beans. From past experience, you’ll notice that they last for a long time too! 


Oatmeal and oats are going to be a great source of fiber. Plus they store for a long period of time. This is also a good stored food to have on hand to mix with other food items as you strive to feed your family healthy meals during emergencies and just day to day meal prep.


Even if you don’t eat a lot of honey, be sure to stock up on it. It’s a sweetener that will make your oatmeal taste so much better. Honey can also be used for several medical purposes, including healing a sore throat and boosting your immune system. 


You gotta have sugar! Not only will it be nice to have something sweet to eat, but it also can help preserve food. Get it in the 5 lb buckets that seal better than plastic and paper packaged sugar. 


Another seasoning that will keep food from tasting bland, salt is also a preserver. You might not have known it, but it can also help kill bacteria. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar will not only be good for creating a salad dressing, but also for cleaning, preserving food, and a remedy for an endless array of medical problems.

It’s even useful for losing weight, although after an apocalyptic event you’ll probably be losing weight just fine without it. 

Rice and Beans

Rice and beans are every prepper’s go-to cheap foods that can create a complete meal with far less. Plus beans can provide plenty of protein to your diet. Instant rice might not be as nutritional, but it stores better than brown rice. 

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Pasta lasts forever, so it would seem to be a good food item to stockpile. While it might not be great for your diet, it will help your meals be more filling, especially if you’re rationing meals for an extended period of time. 

Whole Grains

How are you supposed to have any bread if you don’t stock up on whole grains? The answer is, you won’t. Whole grains are a healthy option that lasts for an indefinite amount of time. 


Just imagine going for the rest of your life without coffee. For some of you, that’s unimaginable and is an end-of-the-world scenario in and of itself.

Some people can’t even function without it, so if you’re one of those people, make sure you have a healthy supply of it. It also can be a great barter item if you find yourself wanting to trade for other valuable items to complete your meal prep efforts.

Cooking Oil 

Without cooking oil, you won’t be able to do a lot of baking. Some cooking may not even be an option. Please remember most oils only have a shelf-life of one to two years.

Coconut oil will last a little longer. When in doubt stock powdered shortening which has a shelf-life of three years (Thrive Life).


Now we’re not telling you to drink your problems away, or for you to “tap out” in other words. No, vodka will help relieve any pain you might be in, including an awful toothache. It also might be an item that you are able to cook or even barter with. 

Chocolate Chips

While chocolate chips do not provide much health benefits to your diet, they could prove huge for your morale. Especially if you’re a huge chocolate lover.

Being able to open a bag of chocolate might work wonders for you and your family mentally by helping you return to some normalcy.

Chocolate chips can usually store for around one year, but hey, it’s chocolate, you’d probably eat it no matter how out of date it was.

Powdered Milk

For some families, milk is just as important as food and water. Make sure you’re prepared to have milk on hand for emergency rations.

Of course, powdered milk is the only thing that would last on a pantry shelf. Food storage and milk do not go well together for long term purposes.

Final Word

These are a number of emergency ration items that you need to start stockpiling in the near future. Just remember to rotate your supply every year or two. I would stock several #10 cans of freeze-dried food, but only the kind your family will eat.

If you’ve been stockpiling for a long time, what foods are you storing in your emergency pantries? May God bless this world, Linda

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  1. Crackers are very useful to have as emergency rations, so you have something to put the canned meat or peanut butter on when having a meal. And while supermarket boxes of crackers are cheap and store for a while, I keep mylar bags and #10 cans of pilot crackers which are good for 20+ years if unopened. For those events when cooking will be hard to do for a while, a supply of crackers lets you get by without trying to make tortillas or bread.
    And for canned meats, if you have the budget for it, then Yoder’s Bacon is a great addition to any emergency storage plan. Sure, I have plenty of spam, tuna, canned chicken, etc, but a case of bacon cans really spice things up – just think of mac and cheese with real crumbled bacon that can be made with just hot water….that’s roughing it in style. 🙂

    1. Hi DMWalsh, oh my gosh, the Yoder’s bacon is the best! I only have 5 cans, I need to get a case this year!!! I’ve been making the biscuit Hardtack, to show my readers how to make it. It lasts forever!! Plus it’s cheap to make. The pilot crackers are awesome!! Great comment! Stay tuned for my step by step instruction to show how to make Hardtack. Linda

  2. Hi Linda,
    I just want to thank you for all the hard work and time you spend to share with others the ways to prepare for emergencies. These days it seems like we’re seeing more and more of them globally and we ALL need to take notice of this. This is not going to go away either. This can happen to any of us, not just in another town, state, or country. There is enough happening out there that anyone should notice. I feel everyone should be responsible for themselves and their families. Don’t expect the government to step up and provide. It won’t be there, or if it is, it will be little to none.
    I remember a book you mentioned a few years back I believe in one of your posts. I think the name was Five Days at Memorial?….something like that. It was a true story as to what happened during that hurricane and the people. I read that book and I can tell you, if anyone would read that they would get on the stick and get going with making plans and preparations. That was a real eye opener hearing exactly what went down during that time. We hear and see things on TV, radio, but when you hear it from the people who experienced it truly, it makes you feel like you were right there beside them. A very scary, sad situation and the ending for many was not good. God gives us people like yourself to help lead and to teach. I hope those who read your site will pay attention carefully and to share your website with others. I would rather be prepared if even a little, than none at all. Trust me. If things get bad, and they can, no one is going to be overly generous or trusting. Do what you can with what you have even if it is a little at a time. Thanks again Linda.

    1. Hi L, thank you for your kind words, they mean so much to mean. That book Five Days at Memorial was a rude awakening for me as well. I wish I could use a microphone and shout “Please be prepared because you will have to take care of your self, the government cannot take care of everyone.” A reader actually told me about that book, and I have read it 3 times now. Your comment, do what you can with what you have even if it’s a little at a time. I LOVE this comment, thank you, stay safe. Linda

  3. Hi Linda! Thank you so much for all the great articles. I read every one and pass them on to folks I think will benefit.
    Matzah also lasts a very long time. I’m coming to believe it’s very similar to hardtack. I keep 3 or 4 boxes, especially during the hot humid Florida summer when I much prefer to eat matzah and cheese or peanut butter for supper.

    1. Hi BDN, thank you so much for your very kind words! I work very hard to teach the world to be prepared. Life is so good when we have the tools! I vaguely remember the Matzah, love hearing tips! Linda

  4. Something that I saw on a recent shopping trip to the Dollar Tree was small cans of Folgers ground coffee. I didn’t look at the number of servings or ounces but it looked like less than a pound of coffee. Those might be good to store for barter if you use Folgers. You could then put those small cans in rotation until the “EVENT”!!

    I purchase coffee pods for my single cup coffee maker (I know that they are wasteful but…). I purchase them from Costco – San Francisco style French roast. SO, what I have discovered is that because these pods are contained in a soft “bag” of some kind – sort of like a tea bag, they can be used for cold brew coffee just by putting a few pods in a jar, add water and let sit either on the counter or in the fridge for 24 hours. Voila, cold brew coffee. My thought is that these could also be hot brew but I haven’t tried that yet. Might do it one day this week.

    As for vodka – those small sample bottles might be good to get for bartering. I would also put perhaps a few small bottles in my first aid kit for cleaning out wounds and a separate box of those small bottles for bartering.

    1. Hi Leanne, oh yeah, those sample bottles of Vodka are a great idea! AND the pound coffee cans! They will be easy to barter and to share if we need too. Great comment, Linda

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