Everyone should have an emergency food supply, regardless of whether they are a survivalist or not. Emergency food supplies can help you survive many disasters, from power outages due to storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, or something worse – such as a terrorist attack – that completely shuts down travel or the financial system of the country for a period of time.
Emergency food supplies should have a long shelf life, usually between 5 and 25 years when left unopened. You should look for food that has both individual servings, for shorter emergencies, and food that is measured out into servings, for longer emergencies. How much of each will depend on the size of your family.
You also have to take into account the cost of emergency food supplies. You need to have a budget to work with and storage for the supply when you order. Most of them are best stored in a cool dark place, kept between 50 and 70 degrees F.
- The best emergency food supplies for short duration emergencies
- One month emergency food supply
- Longer term survival food supplies
- Overall recommendations
The best emergency food supplies for short duration emergencies
These survival food supply kits are great for situations where you only need a few days to a week worth of survival food.
Mountain House, Just in Case… Classic Assortment Bucket
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This bucket by Mountain House contains everything a person needs to survive for three and a half days. If you have children or a spouse, you will need more than one bucket.
The bucket holds 12 total meals, which include Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Stew, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Noodles and Chicken, and Granola with Milk & Blueberries. That is a quite a selection of food.
Mountain House gives a 12+ year taste guarantee. They have been in business for 50 years, so you know you can trust them to deliver quality survival food to you in a stackable pail.
Store your buckets in a cool, dry place out of the light. A basement where the temperature stays between 50F to 70F is the best place to store your emergency food supply.
Wise Food 5-Day Survival Backpack
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I like this back pack full of survival food and gear. It contains enough emergency food for one person for 5 days, a portable stove and fuel pellets for it, and a deck of cards. It holds 32 servings of gourmet meals and 5 water pouches.
What this kit doesn’t have is measuring cups, or utensils. You need measure out the amount, add water to the food, and then heat. There is enough room in bag to add the things you need such as measuring cups, utensils, flash light, and more. Now if there are more people to worry about, you will need to buy a backpack for each person you need to feed.
The best choice for a few days’ supply
I like both of these choices for a short period emergency. However, I would recommend the 5 day back pack simply because the quality backpack has room left over for other items you may need. Things like dry, warm clothing and first aid supplies can be added to the backpack. The taste is good, and it can also be used for hiking or camping.
One month emergency food supply
These are great for emergencies like hurricanes or tornadoes in which power and roads may be disrupted for longer than a few days.
Wise Company Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit
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The Wise Grab and Go Bucket is great for a 1-month supply of food for emergencies. It can be stored in the basement and takes up very little room, with a 25 year shelf life.
It will provide all the nutrients you need to survive for a month. Meals include:
- Savory Stroganoff
- Chili Macaroni
- Pasta Alfredo
- Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Rotini
- Teriyaki and Rice
- Cheesy Lasagna
- Creamy Ala King and Rice
- Creamy Tomato Basil
The food is packed in airtight mylar pouches that contain 4 servings, so you will need to have some measuring cups, utensils, and so on. This is a good buy for the money.
Chef’s Banquet All-purpose Readiness Kit 1 Month
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Chef’s Banquet 1 month kit provides a variety of food to keep you nourished for a month during an emergency.
Each meal takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and is made with the finest quality ingredients to provide nourishment for your body and taste good.
The 6 gallon bucket has a 20 year shelf life when stored in a dry cool place 60F and if stored in 70F a 10 year life.
The kit provides 30 days of meals for 1 person, if you have 2 or more people in the house you will need to buy more than one but the price is fair and you have good quality food.
Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Supply Pail
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The Augason Farms emergency supply pail contains easy to prepare nutritional meals. The downside is that it is packaged in large pouches that hold 7 servings. This means you need to measure out meal portions. However, if you are in an emergency and can’t get fresh food, then this is a minor inconvenience. If you are worried that you may not have what you need to measure and make the meals then I would suggest that you get some cheap measuring cups and spoons, bowls, and a couple cheap pots to store with this food.
It has a 20 year shelf life when unopened and kept between 55 and 70 degrees. Once the pail is opened the shelf life is 1 year.
The pail includes the following:
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Creamy Chicken Rice
- Hearty Vegetable Blend
- Instant Potatoes
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
- Morning Moo Milk Mix
There is a good variety and a long shelf life when left unopened, even opened it still has a 1 year shelf life.
The best choice for a month’s supply
Of the three I highly recommend the Wise 1 month supply it has a 25 year shelf life. Also, the food has good taste and contains breakfast and entrees as well as soups. The choices contained in this bucket have a great variety. The price is fair and in line with the other two choices I showed.
As with the other two I highlighted, you can also add the freeze dried meat bucket with it to really make sure you get your nutrients and protein.
For an emergency that is longer than a few days, the Wise 1 month supply is the best choice.
Longer term survival food supplies
The longer term food supplies are a little tougher to compare as they come in different levels and not every company has a level that is the same as the other.
Wise, for example, has a package for a month, but not really a package for 3 months. They have a 6 month package, and year package. However, Chef’s Banquet has only a one month supply. So you understand that comparing price wise with Chef’s Banquet is going to be difficult.
This is emergency survival food supplies so I am basing my recommendations and reviews on what you get in the kit, how many people it feeds for the time specified, and the amount of variety. The ease of use when you need to use it and the shelf life it has unopened and after it is opened. Also on storage space and temperatures it needs for storage.
While many of the brands have the same storage temperature requirements the space varies on them depending on how they are packaged.
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Legacy offers a 25 year shelf life, no GMOs, and is made in the USA. This package contains enough meals (3 a day) for 1 person for 8 months.
The variety of food contains:
- Multi-Grain Cereal
- Oatmeal with Brown Sugar
- Strawberry Creamy Wheat
- Old Fashioned Pancake Mix
- Pasta dishes – Italian Marinara, Alfredo, Primavera
- Mexican tortilla, Beans, and Rice
- Beefy pasta stroganoff
- Loaded Baked Potato
- Hawaiian Style Sweet ‘n Sour
- Creamy A La King
- Vegetable Rotini Pasta
- Chili Mac
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Cheese and Broccoli Soup
Those are just a few of the choices you will have with this package for 8 months. It arrives in 6 buckets. Everything is easy to make. You may need measuring devices and utensils as well as a pot or two. These items should be stored in a cool dry place between 50 and 70 degrees F.
Valley Food 3 Month Supply
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Valley Food has a 25 year shelf life, with no hydrogenated oils, GMOs, MSG, or trans-fat.
The meals are easy to make and come with a variety of choices such as:
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Apple Oatmeal
- Blueberry Muffin-waffle mix
- Blueberry Pancakes
- Buttermilk Pancakes
- Multi-Grain Cereal
- Strawberry Cream of Wheat
- Strawberry Oatmeal
- Baked potato soup
- Chicken and Rice Pilaf
- Chicken Ã la King
- Chili mac
- Classic Chili
- Enchilada Beans and Rice
- Irish Pub cheddar potato soup
- Mac and cheese
- Mango Habanero Chili
- Pasta Alfredo
- Pasta Primavera
- Southern style Chicken Rice
- Sweet and sour asian rice
- Teriyaki Chicken
- White Bean Chili
This package will feed 1 person for 3 months. The downside is it is shipped in a cardboard box.
These items should be stored in a cool, dry place between 50 and 70 degrees F.
My recommendation for long term emergency food supply is Legacy. The variety is good, it comes in pails which help protect it for storage, and the shelf life is 25 years. Price aside, the packaging is a factor, since the plastic pail protects your pouches whereas the card board box does not give as much protection. Legacy also feeds 1 person for 8 months compared to 3 months.
For short to midterm emergency food supplies is Wise. Their 25 year shelf life of unopened products and 1 year shelf life of opened ones is a great bonus. The meals are easy to make, and have a wide variety of choices. These meals are in protective pails or a back pack.
For longer term emergency food supplies I have to go with Legacy. They also have a 25 year unopened shelf life, provide a wide variety of choices, and come in plastic pails that help protect your food supply from damage.
Again these recommendations are based on one person. If you have more than one person, you’ll need to add to the amount of food you have on storage for the period you want to be prepared for, whether it is a week, a month, 6 months, or a year.
Another thing I like Wise (and why I recommend them) is they also have other buckets of just freeze dried meat, fruit, vegetables, or just breakfasts or entrees. Another company who also separates their emergency foods is Mountain House. This allows you to plan for things like meat, fruits, and vegetables to mix with the pasta entrees in order to have a full and balanced diet.