When less active, healthy people can survive on half of their usual food intake for a period of time, and without food at all for a few days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women.

To prepare an emergency food supply you can rely on many of the same foods you already eat: canned foods, dry mixes, etc. Canned foods don't require cooking, water, or special preparation.

You should aim to supply an emergency food stockpile that will keep your family self-sufficient for up to three days.

What Do You Need?

  • Canned meats, fish and poultry
  • Canned soups and stews, baked beans and other vegetables and fruits
  • Cans or cartons of juice, non-carbonated soft drinks
  • Crackers and biscuits
  • Cutlery, disposable cups and plates
  • Fuel stove and fuel (follow manufacturer's instructions and never use a barbecue indoors)
  • Hard candy, chocolate bars
  • Honey, peanut butter, syrup, jam, salt and pepper and sugar
  • Instant coffee and tea, cocoa, powdered milk
  • Manual can opener, bottle opener
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Rice, pasta and canned pasta sauces
  • Specialty infant foods and formula
  • Vitamins, minerals, protein supplements
  • Waterproof matches

Storage Tips

  • Inspect all food in containers for spoilage
  • Keep food covered at all times
  • Keep food in a dry, dark, cool spot in your home (lower than 21 degrees C but above freezing
  • Keep perishables such as crackers in airtight containers or bags
  • Packages of sugar, dried fruits and nuts should be emptied into screw-top jars or containers in order to avoid pest contamination

Shelf Life of Stored Foods

  • Date foods with a marker
  • During the emergency, use perishables from your refrigerator first, freezer second, and finally non-perishables
  • Inspect reserves periodically for broken seals or dented containers
  • Rotate your stored foods and check the best before dates
  • Stored foods should be of the highest quality possible
  • Use foods before they go bad and replace them with a fresh supply

How to Cook if the Power Goes Out

  • Canned foods do not require cooking
  • Consume enough calories to allow you to do necessary work
  • Drink enough liquid to enable your body to function properly
  • Food can be heated with candle warmers, chafing dishes or even fondue pots
  • For emergency cooking you can use a fireplace or a charcoal grill or camp stove (outdoor use only)
  • Make sure your family members eat at least one nutritionally balanced meal per day