When disaster strikes, there’s a pretty good chance your local grocery stores are going to be stripped bare in a matter of hours. From panicked people trying to stock up on last-minute supplies to those who failed to prepare for even short-term disasters and now find themselves facing the prospect of starving, your local grocery store is going to look like a battleground in a post-apocalyptic movie.
Most grocery stores have a maximum 3 day supply of goods on hand before they run dry. That means even short-term disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes can cause supply chain problems that will quickly wipe out their inventory. Now throw in a long-term disaster that cuts off supplies for months, and you have a real recipe for disaster.
To be prepared to face an emergency situation where supply chains start to fail and food supplies are blocked, you need to invest in a long-term food supply. This supply should be made up of six months’ worth of emergency food that has a long shelf-life and is something that you already eat.
With the help of suggestions that have come in from our readers, we have compiled a list of the top food items and emergency supplies that you can buy at the grocery store. The list contains foods with a long shelf-life, items that have multiple uses, and supplies that are great for bartering.
Survival Foods that add flavor & comfort:
Comfort foods can be a huge morale booster during a stressful survival situation, something that needs to be kept in mind when starting to stockpile food. These four things can be stored for over 10 years, and are a great way to add a little bit of flavor to your cooking. If stored properly they will probably last indefinitely.
- Sugar – Brown or White
- Raw Honey
- Alcohol – Whiskey, Vodka, etc…
Base cooking ingredients with a long shelf life:
The following categories of food make up the foundation of most recipes and are all things that store well.
Hard Grains: Stored properly hard grains have a shelf life of around 10 – 12 years.
- Dry Corn
- Hard Red Wheat
- Soft White Wheat
- Durum wheat
Soft grains: These soft grains will last around 8 years at 70 degrees, sealed without oxygen.
- Oat Groats,
Beans: Sealed and kept away from oxygen the following beans can last for around 8 – 10 years.
- Pinto Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Lima Beans
- Adzuki Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- Mung Beans
- Black Turtle Beans
- Blackeye Beans
Flours and Mixes and Pastas: 5 – 8 years
- All Purpose Flour
- White Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- White Rice ( up to 10 years)
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil has one of the longest shelf lives of any kind of oil. It can last for over 2 years and is a great item to add to your survival food supply list.
Survival Foods that are great during short-term disasters:
The following items are great for short-term emergencies, and will stay fresh for a long period of time. During most disasters, you’re going to want to have food that requires very little cooking, or can be eaten without any preparation at all. Make sure some of your stockpile includes these types of food.
Other good survival foods: 2 – 5 years of shelf life
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Meats
- Canned Vegetables & Fruits
- Peanut Butter
- Ramen Noodles – not the greatest food in the world but they are very cheap so they made the survival food list.
- Hard Candy
- Powdered milk
- Dried herbs and spices
Items that can be used for more than cooking:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Cleaning, cooking and has antibiotic properties
- Baking Soda – Cleaning, cooking, etc…
- Honey – Mentioned again for its antibiotic properties and wound healing.
Nonfood items to stock up on at the grocery store:
- Bic Lighters
- Toilet Paper
- Bottled Water
- Lighter fluid
- Canning Supplies
More Emergency Food Resources
While we always advise the DIY approach to stockpiling food, this way you have the things that you would normally cook and eat and can then rotate them in and out of your normal life, there are some circumstances where commercially made survival food supplies might make sense. Here are some of the top emergency survival foods that can help you quickly bulk up your emergency supplies.