Food Storage Basics & Non-Food Suggestions

This is list is taken from Janine Hansen, editor of Nevada Families for Freedom.

Water: the most important consideration in preparedness is water. you should have a minimum emergency supply of 1 gallon per person per day for two weeks for drinking and other purposes. Don’t forget your pets. Use food grade containers like soda pop & juice bottles to store water. Don’t use milk jugs. They leach plastic into the water. Store unscented Clorox (use 8 drops per one gallon of water) or other water purifiers. Label all containers by content and date.

Mark all food with the date you purchased it with a sharpie marker so you can rotate and use the oldest first.

Store what you will eat and know how to fix. Be sure to have variety.

Make a menu for a week of basic breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Then begin to accumulate the food. Such as… Breakfast: oatmeal & fruit, Lunch: peanut butter sandwiches, Dinner: spaghetti or chili.

Set a goal: Do you have enough food for a week? A month? 2 months? 3 months? Or more.

Basic grains: wheat, corn, oatmeal, rice, quinoa. Do you have a hand grinder if needed? Flour, mixes, gluten free. Pasta, spaghetti, macaroni (most have a long shelf life).

Beans: dry and canned. Pinto, black, white, kidney, etc.

Milk: powdered and canned mild and mild alternatives. Butter: dehydrated and canned.

Canned: vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken, tuna, stew, chili, soup, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce (tomato products have a short shelf life of a couple of years)

Potatoes: canned, dehydrated, freeze dried, flakes, slices, etc

Flavorings: tomato powder, bullion, cheese, onions (dehydrated)

Spices: SALT, pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, Italian spices, cinnamon

Condiments: vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, taco sauce

Oils: critical for calories and cooking… olive, coconut, palm oil (have the longest shelf life) but other oils such as safflower last when unopened

Peanut butter, jam, dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, apricots, nuts

Cooking essentials: baking powder, baking soda, yeast, powdered or crystallized eggs

Long Term 10-25 years: dehydrated and freeze dried vegetables, fruit, meats, grains, beans

Vitamins: vitamin C, D-3, multi-vitmins, zinc, medicinal herbs, herbal teas

Comfort Food to maintain some normalcy: sugar, honey, Jell-O, pudding, candy, mad and cheese, chocolate chips, coffee, cocoa mix

Containers: protect storage from critters and moisture. You can obtain free food grade buckets from bakeries. Food grade buckets are available from Home Depot. If food is packaged you can use regular Home Depot buckets. All glass or plastic food jars and bottles can be used to store food, like mayonnaise jars or juice bottles. You can buy long terms storage in #10 metal cans (size of a gallon) or buckets.

Long term Storage compare prices: available from best price I know of for basics. Shipping $3 no matter the size of the order, however you have to buy a case of each item. Some Walmarts have Auguson Farms dehydrated and freeze dried food in store. You can order online at and has freeze dried and dehydrated food. Others: There are many others online. There may be some supply and availability problems.

Personal Hygiene: toilet paper, bar soap, deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes, dental floss, razors, shampoo, lotion, chap stick, handkerchiefs, feminine napkins, tampons or reusable sanitary pads available on Amazon, baby wipes, diapers disposable, cloth, diaper pins and plastic pants. Luggable Lou (toilet seat on a 5 gallon bucket) use with plastic garbage bags and kitty litter.

Laundry: Detergent, bleach, 5 gallon bucket with laundry plunger, wash board, mop bucket with wringer, clothes line and clothes pins, clothes drying rack.

Family Hygiene: Dish detergent, cloth and paper napkins, paper plates and cups, towels wash cloths garbage bags, shovel and lye

Communications: Solar cell phone charger, solar/hand crank radio, ham radio

Light: Lantern: battery, gas, propane, kerosene, lamp oil, wicks. Make sure you have fuel stored. Batteries, rechargeable batteries, solar battery charger, flashlights. Candles, matches

Heat: Kerosene heater and kerosene. Mr. Buddy indoor propane heater and propane. Wood stove and wood

Generators: Solar, propane, gas. Store fuel. Gasoline is hard to store. You need something like PRIG or Sta-Bil to treat gasoline so it will last longer

Reading Material: Good books for adults and children, spare glasses

Entertainment: Non digital board games and cards, sport equipment like badminton, croquet horseshoes, baseball bats, balls and gloves, basketball, pencils, pens, crayons, colored markers, notebooks, coloring books

Clothing and shoes: In a disaster you may need special clothing like ponchos, boots, extra socks, underwear, warm coats, hats, and work gloves. Consider getting bigger size clothing for children. Needles and thread, extra buttons, and scissors.

Cooking Equipment for Cooking Over a Fire: dutch oven, fry pan, griddle, utensils, plastic or metal plates, bowls, cups, silverware and a manual can opener. Camp stove with propane, one stove option is a ZOOM Stove which can use any available fuel such as sticks, sagebrush, pinecones, cow pies.

Health: Extra prescription medications, pain relievers like aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, allergy medications, vitamins especially C, D3 and zinc, herbs, essential oils, homeopathic remedies, Band-Aids, first aid. Cayenne stops bleeding.

Tools: Basic tools, hammer, screw driver, axe, etc. duct tape, rope

Shelter: Tent, tarps, sleeping bags, pads, extra blankets, camp chairs, camp table

Cash: Cash in small denominations. Banks may be closed and ATMs not working

Seeds: Heritage seeds not hybrid seeds so you can collect seeds and plant them next year.

Animals for Food: Chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, cattle, and food to feed them.

Personal and Family Protection of your choice.