Step 1: Gather Your Emergency Food Supply

Lasting Supply of Food


  • Choose foods that last a long time, do not need to be refrigerated, and are easy to make. Also, try to pick items that are high in calories and nutrition. Check out the box below for ideas of foods to use, and how long they last!
  • Make sure you have a manual can opener and disposable utensils.
  • Plan ahead for family members with special diets and allergies, including babies and elderly people. Look for special canned foods, juices, and soups for them. Nursing mothers should have formula, in case they are unable to breastfeed during the emergency.
  • You will need at least a 3-day supply of food per family member, including pets. You may want to store more than this amount. Remember, it is better to have extra food that you can share than to run out of food during an emergency.

Foods That Last for About 6 Months


  • Boxed potatoes
  • Dried fruit
  • Dry, crisp crackers
  • Powdered milk

Foods That Last for About 1 Year


  • Canned food like soups
  • Canned fruit juices
  • Canned nuts
  • Fruits
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals
  • Vegetables

Food That Lasts Many Years


In proper containers and conditions, these foods can last many years:
  • Bouillon products
  • Dried corn
  • Dry pasta
  • Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa
  • Rice
  • Seasoning packets