What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency

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In almost every disaster situation, many people are left blindsided and totally unprepared. You just never know when an emergency could happen and you’re no longer able to head to the grocery store to pick up some last-minute supplies. Covid-19 has been a fair example of this. Which is why you need to have a pantry that’s ready for those emergencies. Let’s talk about what to store in your pantry for an emergency. 

In times of emergency, it’s important that you’re still providing your family with the right nutrition, even when your circumstances aren’t so great. Here’s more on what to store in your pantry so that you’re prepared for an emergency. Please pass this PRINTABLE on to people who need help with food storage, Food Storage List-Where Do I Start Free Printable

What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency

What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency

Drinking-Water

For obvious reasons, drinking water takes up the top spot on my list. Your body is made up of around 60% water and can only last a few days without it. Whether you plan on storing your drinking water in bottled form or in a 5-gallon container, make sure that you have a minimum of four gallons of water per individual, per day, for at least a 3 day period. This will cover your family’s drinking and sanitary purposes. And don’t forget your pet’s needs. You need one ounce of water per pound. So, if your pet weighs 10 pounds you will need 10 ounces of water stored for each day.

For those of you who live in a hotter climate, are pregnant, or have a baby that drinks formula, you’ll want to have more on hand. Another reason you may want to plan on storing more is in case one of your family members were to get sick and require more fluids to keep them hydrated.     

Electrolyte Drinks

It can be an extremely dangerous situation when you’re sick and your body is unable to retain fluids and electrolytes, especially during an emergency. Electrolyte drinks, such as Gatorade or Pedialyte, provide you and your children a way to hold on to those fluids if you were to have vomiting or diarrhea symptoms. I feel so much better when I have this product stocked in my home, Pedialyte Electrolyte Powder Variety

In case you missed this post, How To Know When Someone Is Severely Dehydrated

Canned Vegetables and Fruit

Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of buying fruits and vegetables in the produce department of your local grocery store and never getting the chance to enjoy them? Happens to me too often. Instead of purchasing products that spoil far too quickly, why not buy them canned so you have something when you’re in a pinch? Not only do they last in your pantry for a very long time, but they also have similar vitamins and minerals that fresh produce has. 

Pasta 

Pasta contains important carbs that can give your family energy, as well as fiber to help with digestion. It stores for several years and comes in so many different shapes and sizes. Be sure to also have the pasta sauces that you can use so that it doesn’t get old eating it multiple times.  

Canned Soups

Another warm and hearty meal that lasts for several years in your pantry is canned soup. Many have plenty of nutritious value and only require to be heated up. It’s also not necessary to add any milk or water to them, which is a good thing when you’re dealing with an emergency situation where those ingredients may not be available to you.    

Canned Meat and Fish

Listen up, all you meat-eaters! If you’re ever faced with an emergency situation and fresh meat was not currently available to you, that doesn’t mean that you have to go entirely cold-turkey (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Canned meat and fish come packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that are important for your family. You also have plenty of tasty options, whether it’s canned chicken, ham, SPAM, Manwich, sardines, tuna, or salmon. They not only come in cans, but you can also find them in foil pouches that don’t require a can opener. 

Beef Jerky and Other Dehydrated Meats 

Beef jerky and beef sticks are excellent snacks for you that are filled with protein to provide you energy. Just be careful not to eat too much because they do in fact contain a lot of sodium. As long as it’s sealed up properly, jerky can store for a couple of years. If you’re not much of a beef fan, there’s a number of other dehydrated meats that you can try, such as ham, turkey, venison, salmon, alligator, buffalo, and even kangaroo.    

Protein and Granola Bars

Granola and protein bars come individually wrapped and can come in handy when you’re in need of a quick breakfast or a sweet snack. Plus, they’re much healthier comfort food for your children instead of them eating a chocolate candy bar.  

Dehydrated Fruits

For those of you who can’t seem to get enough fruit, you should consider storing raisins, craisins, apricots, and other dried fruits to hold you over. While most dried fruits typically have much of their vitamin C compromised, there’s still plenty of other nutrients that come with them. It’s better if you go with the “no-sugar-added” dehydrated fruits when you can, but no matter which way you prefer them, they’ll last for a long time when properly sealed in their container. 

Nuts and Seeds

Another wonderful emergency snack to stock in your pantry would be a combination of nuts and seeds. Whether you’re a pecan, walnut, cashew, pistachio, or peanut lover, each of them has plenty of protein, along with fiber and other important nutrients. If you’re looking for a supply that will last you the longest, then I’d encourage you to purchase the nuts and seeds that still come in their shell.

While I’m on the topic of nuts, don’t forget to have a few jars of peanut butter, especially if you have children. Please remember all nuts must be kept in the freezer because of their oil content, they will go rancid very quickly. In case you missed this post, Health Benefits of Nuts: Stock Up

Multivitamins

It’s pretty safe to bet that your family could be missing out on some rather important vitamins and minerals from their diets when dealing with a stressful emergency situation. Don’t allow it to come to that! Be sure to add daily multivitamins to your pantry to fill in those deficiency gaps. I’m not a doctor, or nurse, or anyone in the medical field, but I will recommend these vitamins if they work with any medications you are taking. Always check with your medical advisor. Vitamin D3, Vitamin B-12, and Zinc. Please stay healthy, let WHOLE food be your medicine.

Can Opener

Several of the food items on this list come in can form, but it’s going to be difficult to open any of them without a can opener, so make sure you have one set aside.  I have several Hand Can Openers, and because of my arthritis, I opted to have an Electric Can Opener as well.

What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency

Final Word

Covid-19 was certainly an eye-opener for Americans, as many began to see the urgency and importance of having a fully-stocked pantry in case of an emergency. Because chances are, when you went to the grocery store, it was difficult to find what you needed.

The experts have been telling us for some time that this winter could get even worse. This is why I’d encourage you to prepare now and store several of these pantry items before things wind up being worst case. That way you’ll still be able to provide your family with meals and snacks that also have the nutrition value we all need. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Pantry AdobeStock_239082975 by artursfoto

21 thoughts on “What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency

  • December 19, 2020 at 7:48 am
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    I am so glad to say that we have all of these. No electric can opener though. But we have several manual ones. I did go and save the list of pantry essentials. We have all of those. I’d add Vegetable juice and/or tomato juice or powdered tomatoes. I use these to make soup with. I like the vegetable juice best. And Spices. Do t forget the spices.

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    • December 19, 2020 at 9:27 am
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      Hi Deborah, I’m glad you mentioned spices. I had heard there was a shortage of spices and I went through and rotated, tossed, and replaced several so I’m good for now. Great tip on the vegetable juice/tomato juice. Life is good if our pantry is full. Merry Christmas, Linda

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      • December 19, 2020 at 10:50 am
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        Linda, and all of you,
        Wishing you a very Merry CHRISTmas, and a much better New Year! May God bless you with all you need and some of what you want.

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          • December 19, 2020 at 11:00 am
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            No Linda, Thank you for all you teach us. And/or remind us. Another thing we need to think about is herbs. There are so many herbs that can be used for medicines.

          • December 19, 2020 at 12:23 pm
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            Hi Deborah, I agree. I need to get the books Leanne suggested. Linda

      • December 20, 2020 at 10:06 pm
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        Linda, Deborah beat me to the punch. Store spices, especially salt, which is good for tons of things. Also, I store my sprouting jars there between uses–the seeds are kept in a fridge.

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        • December 21, 2020 at 4:29 am
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          Hi Ray, I just barely cleaned out my spices, rotated, trashed, and purchased fresher ones. I agree with you on spices, we can cook anything!! Linda

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  • December 19, 2020 at 8:15 am
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    Lehman’s offers a longer handled manual can opener that is wonderful for anyone with arthritis or failing hand strength. The crank handle is much longer & very easy to turn. The other handles are also longer and give more torque for opening the cans. I have cysts in my wrists that occasionally flare up & create major issues for my ability to grip objects…. that longer handle can opener is a lifesaver! It’s been well worth the couple extra dollars it cost!

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    • December 19, 2020 at 9:32 am
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      Hi BDN, you know now that you mention that I think I bought one from Lehman’s. I have a bucket of can openers, (I’m afraid I won’t have one that works-LOL)! I may be a hoarder on those, don’t tell anyone!! LOL! I remember speaking at a neighborhood group on preparedness and one lady said “I don’t own a can opener”!! WHAT???? I still laugh about that one. we won’t always have fresh food!! Merry Christmas! Linda

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    • December 19, 2020 at 7:54 pm
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      I’d like to know more about the long handled manual can opener. I shop at Lehman’s all the time and I couldn’t find it listed anywhere on their site! Any information you can give me would help. Thank you!

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      • December 20, 2020 at 6:19 am
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        Robbie, you are right, Lehmans no longer carries the Swing Away Easy Crank can opener. I bought mine over 10 years ago. It is available on Ebay for about $18 – 20 & free shipping. Most likely on Amazon, also.

        Lehmans does carry the Swing Away wall mount can opener. The crank handle on the wall mounted unit is similar to the handle on the Easy Crank manual can opener.

        Hope that helps! Merry Christmas, everyone!

        Reply
    • December 21, 2020 at 6:19 am
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      On a only vaguely related note….

      That reminded me that my mother-in-law was having issues opening jars and bottles, so I sent her a set of strap wrenches from Lowe’s https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-2-Piece-Household-Tool-Set/50029434

      I had gotten a similar strap wrench for dealing with the 5 gallon water jug lids that were hard to open with the recessed lids giving me little finger space, and thought they would be just the thing for opening the Gatorade bottles she was having issues opening up. Turns out my wife wanted one too so she could open her apple juice bottles without asking me to help.

      So I now have a bunch of these to go along with my stash of manual can openers.

      Reply
  • December 19, 2020 at 3:04 pm
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    Linda, I have quite a few herbal books. And how to make tinctures and other things. I love them. I got interested in herbs many years ago after reading about a girl raised in a cave by cavemen. Clan of the Cave Bear.

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    • December 19, 2020 at 4:06 pm
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      Hi Deborah, I’m going to go look for that book. Thank you, Linda

      Reply
  • December 20, 2020 at 5:52 am
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    Some other items you can store…Dehydrated Potatoes..you can put them in Mason Jars with Oxygen Absorbers (available from Amazon) Dried Soups from Knorr..or Lipton…White Rice…Sugar..Soy Sauce which will last forever …in regards to a can opener…in an emergency you can take a can turn it upside down and rub it across your driveway…a section of concrete…or a large rock..just keep rubbing it back and forth and the top of the can will separate where it has been folded over at the canning factory and it does not take long….also canned plain Seltzer water is simply carbonated water…should last forever in a can..and is a good source of water…anything you store away that will help you survive has to make you feel good during an emergency..

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    • December 20, 2020 at 6:55 am
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      Hi Tom, thanks for telling us how to open a can without a can opener. I totally agree with you on the dehydrated potatoes, soups, white rice, sugar, and soy sauce. Canned Seltzer is a great idea! It’s all about being prepared for the unexpected. Great comment! Merry Christmas, Linda

      Reply
  • December 20, 2020 at 8:37 am
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    Linda…and anyone reading this…I promise you will get such a good feeling and a rush of Endorphins if you just store a few things..it feels so good knowing that you don’t have to rush to the store in an emergency to get the old standbys BREAD AND MILK…never figured that one out…but powdered milk is another standby that is pretty much good for long term storage…but I just love the feeling of being somewhat prepared no matter what happens I can hold out for 3 months…but even two weeks is good.

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    • December 20, 2020 at 10:01 am
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      Hi Tom, I totally agree with you. I believe once people understand the “endorphins” or “peace within” when they have food stocked, they will never look back. It’s a way of life for sure. Linda

      Reply

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