Survival emergency foods

Best Non-Perishable Foods to Stock Up for an Emergency

Discover the 27 essential foods that you need to have on hand when a disaster strikes.

One of the unfortunate things about disasters is that you never know when they are going to strike.

But when they do, you’re suddenly in the middle of a very difficult situation.

You’re going to have to fend for yourself.

That means being self-sufficient. And that means being prepared with a stock of survival foods.

In this article, we take the guesswork out of the equation to provide you with your essential 27 survival foods to stock up on to prepare for a disaster. 

1. Water 

Ok, it’s not actually a food, but without this basic staple, you will DIE.

Plan to have a minimum of a liter of water for every person in the home for a period of 30 days. 

2. Canned Food

Canned foods have the advantage of not having to be cooked.

If your power is down, all you need to do is to open the can and eat (make sure you pack a can opener!). Cans can also have an extremely long shelf life.

The best-canned goods to stock up on are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Spaghetti
  • Creamed Rice
  • Sweet Corn
  • Baked Beans
  • Soup
  • Corned Beef

3. Dried Beans

Dried beans will last for years.

They also provide you with a great supply of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Be sure to store them in a cool dry place and, if possible, put them in vacuum packaging. 

4. White Rice

While not as nutritionally beneficial in terms of vitamin and mineral content as brown rice, white rice is preferred because it has a much longer shelf-life.

It is still an excellent source of energy that will provide a staple meal ingredient for not much storage space. 

5. Whole Grains

Whole grains such as rye, wheat, and barley will last for more than twice as long as flour.

You’ll only get 6-9 months of life out of flour, so storing the raw ingredients to allow you to make your own makes a lot of sense. Just be sure to store a grinder to help you get the job done.

6. Powdered Milk

Powdered milk provides you with a long-lasting source of complete proteins as it includes all nine essential amino acids.

That makes it a good complement to canned beans which provide incomplete proteins. 

7. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another superior source of protein. It also has a long shelf life, so long as it is stored in a cold, dry place. 

8. Honey

Honey is a genuine super-food that is packed with life-giving energy.

It’s full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to boost immunity and promote overall wellness. Plus it can be stored indefinitely!

9. Pink Salmon

Pink Salmon will provide your family members with a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for overall healthy and immunity-boosting.

It also has the longest shelf-life of any canned fish, making it a perfect addition to your disaster stocks. 

10. Cooking Oil

You will obviously need cooking oil to get you through the disaster zone.

Choose types of oil that have the longest shelf and are the best for your body.

These include:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

11. Hardtack

Hardtack was very popular in decades past. It’s made of flour, salt, and water.

This will provide a great snack item for the family during your shut-in time.

You can either buy ready-made hardtack or simply store the three ingredients and make them yourself. 

12. Jams

Jams make a delicious spread for crackers or bread.

You can make your own from fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries or buy them from the supermarket.

If they are well-sealed they can actually last for up to 5 years!

13. Protein Bars

Protein bars provide you all of the nutrients you need for muscle preservation.

Some will also deliver a good dose of fast-digesting carbs for energy.

Just be careful to avoid those that are filled with preservatives and artificial flavors. 

14. Popcorn

Popcorn is a healthy snack that everyone loves.

So long as it’s not microwave popcorn, it also has a long shelf life, making it an obvious disaster prep snack item. 

15. Powdered Juice

Packets of juice powder will provide a quick, refreshing drink that will keep the kids happy.

It’s long-lasting and comes in a huge range of tasty flavors. Just be sure to choose those that are moderate in their sugar content. 

16. Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a necessary baking ingredient that you won’t want to be without.

Yet this is an extremely versatile compound that has many applications beyond the kitchen. You can even use it to brush your teeth. 

17. Powdered Eggs

Eggs provide you with a near-perfect source of protein.

However, they do not have the shelf life that you need for disaster prep storage.

That is why powdered eggs are the next best thing. They provide nearly all of the nutritional goodness of eggs and they last for as long as five years. 

18. Coffee

If you’re like most people, you won’t be able to last 4 hours without your caffeine fix, let alone four weeks.

The best for storage are green unroasted coffee beans.

Of course, you will have to roast and grind them yourself, so make sure you’ve got the equipment to do that job. 

19. Vinegar

Like Baking Soda, vinegar is a multipurpose staple item that should definitely be in your disaster storage box.

As well as flavoring your foods, its acetic acid content makes it an effective disinfectant, as well as a good treatment for sore throats. 

20. Instant Potato Flakes

Instant potato flakes provide a fantastic source of Vitamin A and starchy carbs.

Use them as a base for dishes the same way you use white rice. Be sure to store them in a cool, dark area. (  

21. Dehydrated Fruit

Dehydrated fruits allow you to get the nutritional benefit of fruits that do not last very long in the normal state.

Dried fruits will last for up to a year. The best fruits to include in your disaster survival box are:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Mangoes

22. Granola Bars

Granola bars provide a nutritious, filling snack.

Most of them have an expiration date of about 9 months, However, granola bars are generally safe to eat beyond expiration. 

23. Pemmican

If you’re not familiar with pemmican, it’s about time you got acquainted.

Pemmican is made from a combination of the fat and muscle of big-game animals like the buffalo. It is a lump of chewable dried meat. 

23. Tea

Tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can consume.

It’s also one of the tastiest. Store your tea bags in mylar packs along with some oxygen absorbers. 

24. Hard Candy

Having a store of hard candy available will help out no end when the kids are going stir crazy from being in lock-down during a disaster. 

Hard candy will last for ages, Here are the longest lasting ones:

  • Candy Canes
  • Jelly Beans
  • Skittles
  • Chewing Gum

25. Herbs & Spices

Having a complement of condiments on hand will allow you to still enjoy tasty meals during a disaster.

Store them in mylar bags and throw in some oxygen absorbers to help lengthen their shelf life. 

Here are 5 good options to include:

  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

26. Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder allows you to make all sorts of goodies, from chocolate cookies to smoothies and protein shakes.

It stores well and hardly takes up any room. 

27. Pasta

Pasta is a meal staple that will provide plenty of carbs to keep your family energized.

Before putting it into your disaster prep storage box, put it in the fridge for four days in order to kill any eggs that it contains. Keep it in a dry, cool place.


The 27 items we’ve covered here will provide you with all the foodstuffs you need to get you through a month-long disaster period.

Why not set yourself the task of collecting 5-6 items per week.

Before you know it, you’ll have ticked off the entire list and be ready to take anything that life may throw at you!

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