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It’s never a bad idea to have an emergency food supply. Food is of vital importance (you don’t have to be a member of The Krumps to realize this!), almost as essential as water for survival.
When things are going well, we hardly ever realize that food is so hard to get when things go wrong. If we realize that, we must create an emergency food supply that we can use in times of crisis.
This is especially true for those who live in dangerous places where natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and tsunamis are very common.
Usually, when disaster strikes, food is the hardest to find. Even when your friends laugh when you put together an emergency food supply, you know that it will help when things go wrong.
Putting together an emergency food supply takes time. You must take everyone in your family into consideration, take into account any food allergies that you or your family members might have, and then start creating a supply of nonperishable food items.
When you put together dry, nonperishable food items, they usually last for a long time if stored in a cool dry place.
When building an emergency food stock, you must have enough supplies to last at least two weeks. Yes, gathering all that food takes time and money, so you must start when the sun is still shining instead of waiting until you see a tornado heading your way (if you see a tornado heading your way, you better get out of the way and/or begin to pray!).
Emergency food isn’t just for natural disasters. They are also outstanding for times when you don’t have the energy to cook. They are easily available on the market, even online, and come in a wide variety for you to choose from. Let’s look at what you must consider when buying emergency food online.
At a Glance: Our Choices for The 7 Best Emergency Food Supplies
Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each food supply.
- Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage
- Mountain House Just In Case…Essential Bucket
- Wise Company Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit
- Chef’s Banquet 30 Day Emergency Food Supply
- Survival Tabs 8-Day 96 Tabs Emergency Food Ration
- O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar
- Datrex 3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bar
What to Consider When Buying Emergency Food
When it comes to food everyone’s needs are different. In one family, there might be three different food habits and preferences. There will be people who eat little and others who eat a lot. In fact, when buying emergency food, you must have the same considerations when you’re going out to eat or cooking at home.
Emergency food isn’t just meant to satiate your hunger when there’s nothing else available. It is also meant to meet your daily nutritional requirements. Therefore, when buying emergency food supplies well in advance, consider all your needs instead of only focusing on hunger.
There are five key factors that go into choosing the right kinds of emergency food supplies:
How much food do you need?
To be able to decide how much food you need to collect, you first need to know what you are planning for. As mentioned earlier, emergency food isn’t just for the great unknown. It could also be for overnight guests, or for when you’re too sick to cook and there’s no one else home.
Once you know what purpose your emergency food is for, ask yourself the following questions to decide the right amount.
- How many people are there?
- Do they have any health concerns or allergies?
- How long should the supply last?
- Does it need any equipment (such as gas stove or utensils)?
- Is there water and electricity available?
When gathering food supplied for emergency preparedness, there are several more questions that you need to ask. For instance, if you have a bag full of dry beans without any access to water, it will be of no use. Therefore, considering your specific situation is a must when buying emergency food supplies.
How many calories and nutrition do you need?
Calories are your energy intake through food, and this is an important factor to consider when building an emergency food supply. The amount of calories you will need depends on your metabolism and how long you need to survive on the food supply. You don’t want to eat like Hugo did in Lost!
Using a calorie calculator helps planning your daily calorie intake. The results are based on age, height, weight, and level of activity.
In emergency preparedness, it is best to go with the maximum calories that a person needs daily and add an extra 500 to 700 calories to it. This is because you burn more calories when the activity level is high and when you need to ration food in an emergency.
You must look for high-quality food supplies that are packaged by calories and not by serving size. This is because you need to increase your calorie intake instead of only filling your stomach.
What types of food do you need?
There are various types of emergency food available on the market. You get breakfast, lunch, and dinner kits, with choices like scrambled eggs, bacon, granola with milk and blueberries, beef stew, chili mac, and even vegetarian options like noodles, pasta, and pizza.
You could consider buying individual items and make your own kit or buy readymade food kits. These items taste good and also provide the necessary energy.
How much are you willing to spend?
Emergency food supplies can seem expensive, but think of it like this – you’re getting safety, nutrition, and value when you need it the most, without having to cook. This is also why you should buy a whole kit instead of buying individual meals.
You can also mix cheaper products with premium options to build your supply without spending too much. You can also buy the food with extra money that you get, like tax returns. This way, building an emergency food supply won’t eat into your budget.
When building your food supply, don’t forget the importance of water. In fact, water is more essential than nutrient-rich food. No matter what kind of ready-to-eat meals you buy, you will need water to prepare them.
You must have at least a gallon of water on hand per person every day. Remember that bottled water also comes with an expiry date, therefore, for long-term uses, a water purification kit is beneficial than bottled water.
Top 7 Emergency Food Supplies
Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage
|Calories:||1,822 cal per day|
|Shelf Life:||20 Years|
(+) Handsome serving sizes
(+) Lasts 20 years unopened
(+) Delicious and nutritious meals
(+) Each meal lasts one year
(-) Some individual items don’t have expiry dates
(-) Food is a little too salty
This is a food bucket that’s going to feed you for a month and it comes for less than $100. Augason Farms brings to you this healthy and tasty food bucket that includes some of the most loved recipes of all time.
Some of them are: cheesy broccoli rice and creamy chicken flavored rice, which is full of flavor, texture, and nutrition, and one of the most delicious entrées; macaroni and cheese, the ever popular comfort food; vegetable chicken soup and creamy potato soup, for times when you either want some creamy soup or some delicious vegetable broth; maple brown sugar oatmeal that is rich in nutrition for a healthy breakfast; Morning Moo’s low fat milk alternative, which is milk, but whey based; instant potatoes and banana chips, for when you’re in the mood for some snacks.
No Skittles or cotton candy!
Preparing these meals require only water. Simply pour the content and add enough water for the right thickness, stirring to make a complete meal. The meals are sealed in individual packs in the bucket. If unopened, the bucket lasts for 20 years.
Once opened, each meal lasts for one year. The product also comes with a 30- and 45-day meal planner, something you don’t always find with an emergency food supply. This package of dehydrated food should last for an unbelievable two decades if unopened.
Conclusion on the Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage: For under $100, this bucket gives more than 300 servings. Whether you’re having unexpected guests or building an emergency food supply, this is one of the best out there from a stellar brand.
Mountain House Just In Case…Essential Bucket
Mountain House is one of the most famous brands in ready to eat meals, having been around for 50 years. All you need is some water to prepare the delicious meals in the bucket. The meals are convenient and easy to prepare, with the twelve total meals meant to last three and a half days.
Needless to say, this isn’t supposed to feed you for three months or a year. Therefore, the four pouches each of three entrees are great for backpacking, camping, or emergency kits.
The three meals are chili mac with beef, which is beef, macaroni, beans and onion in spicy chili sauce; rice and chicken, which is seasoned rice and chicken in a savory sauce with pimentos; spaghetti with meat sauce, which tender pasta with chunks of beef in a rich marinara sauce.
A Twix candy bar? Nope!
The clear bucket that the meals come in is reusable, and can also be used to store other items when the meals are over. Mountain House meals come with a 30-year taste guarantee, which means if you buy a bucket now and keep it unopened, you can use it for survival if an apocalypse strikes 30 years later.
What’s even better is that you can prepare the meals right in the pouch itself and eat from there, without having to worry about dishes.
Conclusion on the Mountain House Just In Case…Essential Bucket: This isn’t fine dining, but it’s definitely wholesome enough to help you survive. Tasty and nutritious meals for a couple of people in a reusable bucket that has a 30-year shelf life (unopened).
Wise Company Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit
As the name suggests, this is a grab and go kit, meant for 120 servings. This food package includes all the recipes that you can satiate yourself with during an emergency.
The tasty and simple meals have less sodium and trans fat. The recipes are: creamy pasta, cheesy lasagna, vegetable rotini, macaroni and cheese, stroganoff, hearty tortilla soup, potatoes and chicken flavored pot pie, chili macaroni, pasta alfredo, teriyaki and rice, baked potato casserole, tomato basil soup with pasta, southwest rice and beans, and chicken flavored noodle soup.
Popcorn? Nope, you are not watching a brilliant Transformers movie, Sicario, or Chappie!
One vital thing to note about this product is that people allergic to peanuts may have a problem. There are several granola based ingredients, and the meals are manufactured on equipment that also processes peanuts.
The meals have a shelf life of 25 to 30 years if unopened. Although the meals are packed individually, the packs aren’t resealable. So if you open the bags, you have to finish the meal quickly. Also, none of the meals have any real meat, they are only chicken flavored.
Conclusion on the Wise Company Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit: For the price, the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Although the meal options are somewhat numerous, not all of them are tasty, and none of them has any real meat. But in a real emergency, this will help you survive for a few days.
Chef’s Banquet 30 Day Emergency Food Supply
When it comes to ready to eat meals, Chef’s Banquet offers standard quality delicious food. All the meals in this 30-day storage bucket have been made with the finest quality ingredients.
Whether you use it for emergency meals or for general purposes, this bucket with individually sealed meals is great for daily meals or long-term storage. The meals pack 2100 calories per day for 30 days (for one adult). If properly stored in a cool, dry environment, the bucket will last 20 years.
The meals are: oatmeal (60 servings), hearty potato soup (60 servings), chicken flavored vegetable stew (30 servings), mixed vegetables (30 servings), instant potatoes (30 servings), macaroni & cheese (30 servings), beef flavored vegetable stew (30 servings), and cheddar broccoli rice (30 servings).
Mike and Ike’s candy bar? Nope! That is not the right idea!
Conclusion on the Chef’s Banquet 30 Day Emergency Food Supply: Best suited for an emergency, the Chef’s Banquet 30 Day Emergency Food Supply comes cheap and packs a variety of meals, but fails to provide sufficient nutrition. Also, large quantities of food can go bad quickly.
Survival Tabs 8-Day 96 Tabs Emergency Food Ration
|Calories:||200 Cal per tab|
|Shelf Life:||20 Years|
(+) No prepping or cooking required
(+) Chewable tablets packed with nutrients
(+) Comes in vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, and strawberry flavors
(+) Compact pouches
(-) Far from enough for survival
(-) No sufficient calories
(-) Pouches not resealable
If you’re ever in a situation where you can only survive on a pill every day, then the Survival Tabs eight-day food ration is a neat option. These aren’t meals; they are tablets packed with all the calories, vitamins, and minerals you need in a day.
No, caramel popcorn is not ideal here. Save that for the next Horrible Bosses movie or when you are watching a baseball or basketball game!
These tablets need to be chewed and come in four different flavors. These gluten- and GMO-free ‘Just in Case’ food supply is meant only for natural disasters when nutrition needs to be packed in the smallest volume. The whole product is supposed to sustain a person for an average of eight days.
Conclusion on the Survival Tabs 8-Day 96 Tabs Emergency Food Ration: If you’re ever in a situation where you need to survive on ten tablets a day instead of food, this could be a salient option. Otherwise, there’s no other reason to survive on tablets when you could be getting better ready to eat meals.
S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar
Food bars don’t taste like candy bars (save that Mars Bar for later and only if you have plenty of water – don’t eat like Fat Bas-ard did in those goofy Austin Powers movies), but if you have nothing else to eat, these will keep you alive. The S.O.S. Rations Emergency food bars claim to pack 3600 calories for three days, with a shelf life of five years.
The best thing is that these bars will survive under any climatic conditions so you don’t need to store them in the basement. You get nine bars for around $20, which will keep you going in dire circumstances.
Conclusion on the S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar: These are like energy bars that you can eat on the way. But they aren’t nutritious enough to replace a meal.
Datrex 3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bar
A stiff competitor to the above option, Datrex emergency bars score by being tastier and more filling. One kit contains two 18 Bar packs, with 200 Calories per bar. Made with all natural ingredients, these bars have no preservatives and come in a coconut flavor. They provide energy, have a five-year shelf life, and don’t provoke thirst.
Conclusion on the Datrex 3600 Calorie Emergency Food Bar: If you’re building an emergency food supply, it’s good to include some of these along with some ready to eat meals. They don’t provoke thirst and provide enough energy to last a few hours.
An emergency food supply is for several purposes, from a natural disaster to outdoor adventures. These options are meant to suit various situations, therefore, including more than one of these in your survival kit is the right choice.