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Useful Foods to Survive in Emergencies

Updated on March 22, 2020

This is what stores look like in the United States as of now

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Uploaded March 16, 2020 | Source

Just some ideas, I hope you will find useful.

Let me just preface this briefly by saying that I have never been one to stock up on food, I usual went on the philosophy, buy as you need. However, something happened in March of 2020 - and is still happening. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon, but even then, you can still use some of the ideas presented below.

We really are unaware of what a lockdown might mean for us - just a few days, weeks, or even months. And we are going to need to eat.

I have provided some ideas that I am using for foods that are convenient, palatable, non-perishable and even portable. I hope you can use some of my suggestions.

And wherever you may be or whatever you may be going through, I wish you the best.

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Canned Goods

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A small stockpileA variety of canned meatsand vegetablesChili is a good staplecanned chicken is an option too
A small stockpile
A small stockpile
A variety of canned meats
A variety of canned meats
and vegetables
and vegetables
Chili is a good staple
Chili is a good staple
canned chicken is an option too
canned chicken is an option too

Canned items

Let's look at the pros and cons:


Items are ready to eat - not heating required

convenient - you can carry them

a variety of options: meat, veggies, complete meals, soups

usually pretty tasty

will fill you up and give you energy

no need for refrigeration (until you open)

not very expensive


need a can opener - consider there may be a power outage

not very healthy (sodium, calories)

once you open it, you have to finish it (except for single-serve size)

sometimes can be heavy

limited options

There are a lot of good canned foods out there besides beans or broth. You can get chicken breast, corned beef, whole potatoes, tamales, roast beef etc. While the quality may not be that great, many of these options offer a variety when it comes to cuisine and the convenience of a standard dinner- you can have roast beef, potatoes and a vegetable for example.

Of course, some of these are better served hot, and if you have access to a kitchen, you might want to give these a try. You may, however, be stranded somewhere without power and access to certain amenities and the canned goods could assist you.

Instant foods

Rices, Pasta, soups and oatmeal
Rices, Pasta, soups and oatmeal
Some good options
Some good options

Instant foods

The instant foods are items you can just add water too - usually hot water. They are a nice option if you are looking for a warm meal, that doesn't take too much effort to prepare.


A nice variety

Meals for any time of the day

No refrigeration required

Tasty and filling

Provides energy

Sometimes quite healthy

Light and easy to carry and store

Easy to dispose of containers


You will need hot water or a microwave

Can get boring after a few meals

High sodium in many varieties

Overall there are some good choices here. Rices and pastas have a lot of carbs which may provide you with high energy levels when you need them the most. Then again, there are people who are trying to avoid carbs.

Samples include: Ramen soup, macaroni and cheese, pasta, mashed potatoes, oatmeal.

Keep in mind that in times of crisis, your options are limited and you can't be too finicky. You may need to be mobile as well so foods that are easy to carry or store are going to be most useful. You may have to eat some things cold, which isn't preferable, but when your survival is important, you have to learn to rely upon your greater instincts.

Potein Shakes

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A shake can provide you with needed nutrients
A shake can provide you with needed nutrients
A shake can provide you with needed nutrients

Protein shakes

Shakes are a good way to consume all what your body might need.

They don't require refrigeration, come in a variety of flavors and are portable. They can be refreshing, filling and a good combination with other snacks you might eat.



This can include:

Nuts, granola, pretzels, chocolate covered almonds etc.

You are going to want something tasty with you and often these resemble a desert. Be cautious about getting things too salty as you don't want too much sodium to make you thirsty. Water might be scarce.

Also, the sugar content of some of these might be a concern.

You might want to opt for granola bars, dehydrated fruits or raw nuts in the event you may have to rely on these for a prolonged period of time.


Dehydrated meats

Well, there is a lot to be said for this staple.

Beef jerky is one of the most popular examples and you can get teriyaki flavored, peppered, sriracha, etc.

There are other sorts of meats (and non-meats) as well: chicken, turkey, salmon, alligator. Use your imagination.

You can purchase items which cater to your palate.

A few things to be cautious of:

Jerky is salty and may make you thirsty.

Sometimes the fine pieces of meat may cause dental discomfort.

Spicier flavors may upset your system.

You can also get dehydrated meat sticks, summer salamis, or small chunks which they call bites.

They are healthy because of their high protein, low-fat content.

Easy to carry and are non-perishable, although sometimes refrigeration is recommended after opening.

A Note:

This is designed to be for information only. I am not a health professional and the opinions expressed are only mine. I am hoping to share some ideas - and I know you probably already have many of your own.

I wish everyone luck out there and hope you found some of my suggestions useful. Please feel free to comment or criticize, I look forward to your opinion.



One of the most important elements to any living being is water. Without it, we cannot survive. We need it to drink, cook, and clean.

I normally stock up on bottled water but ran low right before the pandemic hit. And when I went shopping - everyone had bought up the water. Literally every store was out of water.

(There were a couple of places that had distilled samples, but they were expensive and I have heard contain a strange electric taste).

So I am having to make due:

I have a Pur water filtration device - actally, two of them.

I am filtering extra water and storing it in containers which I will then keep in the fridge. One thing to keep in mind - water really doesn't store indefinitely and you want to keep it out of the sun. It can become stagnant or even encourage algae. Often it can take on the taste of the container it was kept in since water is sometimes slightly acidic (or basic) and reacts with the surface of the container.

For temporary purposes, it good to have some in storage you can access immediately if you should need.

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