How Much Food to Stockpile Per Person for Emergency

An emergency food supply is something every person and family should have. We live in a world where the process of getting food from its source to your table is a complex one, and a break in just one link in the chain can compromise you and your family’s ability to eat.

You should stockpile an adequate amount of food that has at least 2000 calories with 1 gal. Of water per person, per day, for emergency or natural disasters, also FEMA recommends you a have minimum 3 day emergency kit stockpile with food that has 6000 calories and 3 gal. Of water per person.

Examples of Disaster Preparedness

  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Severe tornadoes
  • Flooding
  • Winter storms
  • Economic collapse
  • Civil unrest
  • Zombie apocalypse

It pays to be prepared with a stash of emergency food list stockpile you can pull from. Even if you never face a disaster, it can help in tough times financially. Should a spouse lose a job, you have a supply of food to draw from until they get back on their feet.

The good idea is to make a baseline food supply, then add over time. For example, create a 2-week food supply list. Then spend $5 a week adding a little bit more to it, so it slowly grows with time.

How Much Food to Store for Emergency

This is up for debate, with different sources recommending different time frames. You should have 3 days covered at the bare minimum, as help often arrives within 72 hours. FEMA recommends a 2-week supply, and really, if you go through the effort and putting together 3 days’ worth of food, it’s not much of a stretch to turn it into a 2-week supply. A food storage list for 3 months is excellent, and some people even promote a 1-year supply of food.

Along with your food, it’s essential to store water as well. For information on that, check out this article on the emergency stockpile checklist.

How Many Daily Calories Will You Need in an Emergency?

Before planning a long-term food storage plan for your family, you’ll want to have a rough idea of the caloric needs of each member of your family. These can fluctuate based on a person’s physique and metabolism, but here are some ballpark figures to get you started.

AgeSedentarySemi ActiveVery active
2-3 years old 10001000-14001000-1400
Female Child140016001800
Male Child160018002000
Male Teen200025003000
Female Adult180020002200
Male Adult240027003000

What Type of Food to Stock Up on For Emergency?

  1. High calorie, high nutrient food that will give you the most value for each unit stored.
  2. Food that doesn’t necessarily require refrigeration, water, or cooking to prepare.
  3. Non-perishable food can be stored for long periods without spoiling.
  4. Familiar foods that give your family a sense of morale and security.
  5. A variety of food- if you’re eating the same thing every day, appetite fatigue will set in, and you’ll resist eating the same food again.

Emergency Food with SIX Month Shelf Life

So, with that said, here’s a list of potential items for a long-term emergency food supply, with their expected shelf life:

  • Crackers
  • Boxed powdered milk
  • Dried fruit
  • Potatoes
  • Beef Jerky
  • Raisins
  • Most boxed cookies

Emergency Food with One Year Shelf Life

  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cereals, uncooked instant cereals
  • Canned nuts
  • Vitamins

Foods That Last a Long Time without Refrigeration

  • Freeze-dried food
  • MRE’s
  • White rice
  • Dry pasta
  • Wheat
  • Vegetable oils
  • Dried corn
  • Baking powder
  • Soybeans
  • Salt
  • Instant coffee/tea
  • Canned (nitrogen-packed) powdered milk

You’ll also want a supply of vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements, to make sure everyone is getting the nutrients they need.

How to Store Food for Long Term Survival: Some Notes On Storing Food

  • Keep your supply in a cool, dry, dark place.
  • Use airtight, pest-resistant containers.
  • Rotate your food using first-in, first-out (have your supply of food, then when you go shopping put the new items in the back and use the older items in the front. This will keep your food supply perpetually fresh).
  • Open boxes carefully, so it’s easier to reseal after use.
  • Wrap perishable food in plastic wrap, then store in a sealed container, to maximize shelf life.
  • Put perishables in airtight containers to protect from pests.

Miscellaneous Survival Items to Help with Food Preparation and Storage:

  • A manual can opener
  • Disposable utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tupperware

Having a gas stove or gas-powered BBQ is a great idea, as it will allow you to cook when the power is out. Make sure to do your cooking outdoors. If you don’t have a BBQ or gas stove, a fireplace can be used as well.

Canned food can be eaten out of the can. It can also be heated if you remove the lid and label first. Never eat from a can that’s dented, swollen or corroded in any way.

Food Safety for Power Outages

  1. If you lose power in an emergency, you’ll want to eat your food in this order:
  2. Eat any perishables in the fridge or in storage
  3. Eat freezer food (if you keep the freezer door closed as much as possible, ice crystals in the food can last up to 2 days, keeping it frozen)
  4. After the above supplies have been exhausted, move on to your non-perishables.

Food Rationing During A Disaster

During a disaster, you’ll want to ration your food to make it last as long as possible. Some rationing tips:

  1. Remember, food can be rationed, water can’t. Always drink enough water every day (1-2L depending on sweat and exertion) and worry about finding more water tomorrow.
  2. Always take in enough calories for the work you need to do. A calorie deficit will weaken you and compromise your ability to do what needs to be done.
  3. Take a vitamin, mineral, and protein supplement daily.

I hope this helps; good luck, and stay prepared!


How Do You Store Water In A Bathtub for Emergency Water Storage

Emergency Food and Water Storage: Basic Survival Principles

Store Water for Emergency Preparedness

The Essential Preppers Guide to Long Term Survival and Sustainable Living

Preppers Basic Survival Guide: Prepping for Disaster


Macallister Anderson

I am by no means an expert in every aspect of this stuff. I plan to learn, and when possible, enlist the help of experts in various fields to come together and offer their knowledge. In a few years, I dream that this site will be a virtual survival encyclopedia and allow a total novice to come on here and be supplied with everything they need to prepare for anything.

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