The Basics of Emergency Food Storage and Resupply

By James Barton โ€ข  Updated: 11/29/18 โ€ข  7 min read

Besides water, food and shelter rank top among the most important requirements in a time of crisis. It does not matter whether the crisis will last a couple of days or for months, even years. Once you take care of shelter and water, your next focus would be packing-up lots of food.

You can pack up lots of food but your efforts may amount to nothing if you do not know the basics of emergency food storage and resupply. It may appear obvious to many who may take this issue for granted. Imagine what would happen to you and your loved ones if your food reserves were to run out or go bad.

Why Is Proper Food Storage Important?  

food storage

In a disaster or off-grid situation, food processing industries and grocery stores are in jeopardy and may not operate. The food you have in your home could only feed you and your family for only a couple of days. If you did not put in place the right storage mechanism, you could be facing cruel starvation right in the face.

Even if you stored enough food but you did not do it properly, you could suffer from diseases caused by eating contaminated foods. Poor storage might also expose reserved food to elements such as heat. This could alter their taste and smell making them hard to eat.

Proper food storage is therefore important because it enables you to store food for long periods (6 to 12 months). It can also allow you to store your food in a way that will keep them fresh and tasty for the entire period of the emergency. You also get the chance to store food to account for the caloric and nutrient intake of everyone caught up in the SHTF scenario.

What Should You Store?

Not all foods can be store for long periods. However, you still have various options to choose from depending on your taste and preferences. Here is a descriptive list of some of the best foods for storage:

 How to Store Your Food

Three factors would determine how you store your food for long term. They include humidity, temperature as well as atmospheric oxygen. Here is a brief description of each of these factors.

  1. Vacuum packing: sealed, airtight plastic bags keep air and moisture out of the package to reduce the rate of food decay. Products such as foodsaver are ideal and inexpensive.
  2. Airtight containers with oxygen removal: A popular way to improve the shelf-life of foods is to store them dry in an airtight bucket. The bucket must have an airtight seal and with oxygen remover or absorber added into the bucket. It creates nitrogen-rich environment that discourages the flourishing of bacteria and other microorganisms.
  3. Canning: This is done in food processing industries where cooked food is heated in air-tight jars to kill and eliminate any bacteria. The method is very simple and highly effective. Canned food can last upwards of 3 years.
massive food storage


The methods of food storage we have already discussed can only last you for so long. The most assured way to ensure you full food secure for emergencies is to set up a long term, sustainable supply through cultivating it.

It may sound easy but that is far from the truth. You will have to adopt the right techniques to ensure you garden produces sufficient food all seasons. You must do everything right from deterring pest and diseases to maintaining and replenishing your soil with organic manure. The details of plant husbandry are beyond the scope of this article.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.