25 Essential Foods to Stockpile for When Disaster Strikes

Food is arguably one of the most vital resources to have on hand in an emergency. While you could always grow it or steal it from others, both of these alternatives can be time-consuming and put you in harm’s way. This is why preppers must start focusing on activities like stocking up on food first.

Of course, unlike other prepping essentials, food can be a rather broad term. Which foods are essential to have on hand when things turn south? More importantly, which foods might be a good idea to stock up on at home and which foods should you have in, say, your bug-out bag?

These questions are always there for new preppers, which is why we’ve taken care to research some of the top recommendations from other preppers and figure out which essentials are the most important to have on hand. If you’ve just started building up your prepper resources, here are 25 essential foods to stockpile for when disaster strikes.

1. Emergency Food Bars

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Emergency food bars are calorie-dense bars that you can often find in emergency kits as they keep you full and moving when you need it most.

While you may not want to have pallet upon pallet of these food bars in your stockpile, having at least 72 hours worth or more can help you if you need to leave in a hurry and need something portable and easy that doesn’t need to be prepared.

2. MREs

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

MREs are extremely common in the prepping industry, giving you access to freeze-dried meals that only need a little prep before they’re ready to eat. They last a long time, making them a good emergency food.

You can buy these in individual packs or you can buy pre-made meal kits that will help you survive for three days or longer using emergency rations.

3. Canned Fruits

homemade jam from freeze dried fruit
Image Credit: Canva.

Having access to fresh fruit is desirable, but the next best alternative is to have canned fruits on hand. These goods last a lot longer and will ensure that you’re able to get some of the nutrients you need from fruits with just the opening of a can top.

Try to look for a variety of canned fruit options so that you have a wide range of fruit to enjoy instead of stocking up on the same brand and choice in your stockpile.

4. Shelf-Stable Milk and Milk Powder

powdered milk
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Milk is an essential in many diets, but most preppers know that milk will be impossible to prepare for an emergency. Or will it? One thing you won’t typically find at the local grocery store is shelf-stable milk.

Shelf-stable milk lasts much longer than its refrigerated counterpart, but you’ll still have to cycle it out in regular intervals. If you want something a little longer lasting, consider milk powders that you can mix with water to make milk. They even make these products for nut milk if you’re interested.

5. Peanut Butter and Jelly

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Is there anything that’s more of a go-to combination for emergencies than peanut butter and jelly? It can be spread on anything available, from packaged bread to crackers, can be eaten right out of the jar, and quickly fills you up.

Make sure to have some peanut butter and jelly in your stockpile, and consider having a variety of jellies and jams as well as different nut butters on hand to make sure this combo doesn’t get monotonous.

6. Dried Fruits

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Canned fruits are good but dried fruits can be nice to have on hand. Like canned fruits, they can be high in sugar and calories, but they do offer antioxidants and other nutrients that your body needs.

Moreover, dried fruits tend to be easier to consume on the go, allowing you to keep a bag of dried fruit or individually packaged dried fruit strips on hand.

7. Nuts or Trail Mixes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Nuts are calorie-dense, energy-providing treats that can last a long time with the proper storage and care. From peanuts to almonds and everything in between, having cases of these in your stockpile is sure to support you well later.

You may even want to mix things up and spring for trail mixes that add dried fruit, candy, and other foods you might enjoy.

8. Canned Tuna

tuna in oil canned
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Canned fish is a great source of protein that brings something exciting and fresh to your emergency diet. The most cost-effective options for canned fish include canned tuna, canned anchovies, and canned sardines.

If you’re looking for something a bit more exciting, consider ahi tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Also, make sure that you pay attention to what your fish is canned in. Choosing oil over water, for example, may offer more benefits.

9. Other Canned Meats

chicken in a can
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Canned meats are something we might not incorporate too regularly into our regular diets. But in an emergency, they can be a lifesaver.

Some of the canned meat options that you can find in stores or online include canned chicken, the ever-popular Spam, corned beef, turkey, and beyond. If it can be canned, you can find it and purchase it!

10. Beef Jerky

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s important to make it known that beef jerky does go bad a little sooner than other meat alternatives. That said, it can last a few years and is a delicious snack that’s probably more enjoyable than some other food options.

If you’re looking for something light that will keep you going wherever you are, stock up on some beef jerky.

11. Rolled Oats

bulk oats
Image Credit: Canva.

Rolled oats are versatile, allowing you to make oatmeal, oat milk, and other goods that you might need while you’re riding out a disaster scenario. They’re also quite filling and easy to prepare.

If you don’t already have these, it’s important that you start stocking up on them as soon as possible. They’ll last you for up to 30 years if you store them properly.

12. Dry Soup Mixes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Dry soup mixes are another uncommon food product that many may not know about. Rather than putting soup in a can, a dried soup mix is essentially a large container of all the dried ingredients you need to make the soup.

All you have to do is measure out how much you want and add it to some boiling water. It’s quick, easy, and lasts a while. Just make sure you have some bouillon cubes on hand to enhance the taste.

13. Rice and Pasta

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

We’ve already mentioned oats, but rice and pasta are grains that are valuable to have on hand too. Both will fill you up and can easily be mixed with other dry or canned ingredients you have on hand to make delicious and nutritious meals.

The only thing to keep in mind is that some types of rice or pasta may go bad faster than others. Carefully look into the different types to understand which is best for your needs.

14. Canned Soups

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Looking for something a bit easier to make than dried soup mixes? Look no further than canned soups. Canned soups have grains, meats, dairy, and vegetables, making them the perfect meal to sustain you.

Better yet, they can be served hot or cold, depending on your preferences and available resources. The more variety in your canned soups, the better they may be for you.

15. Canned Vegetables

canned green beans
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Some preppers recommend having frozen vegetables on hand, but these will only last so long in a disaster where the power goes out completely. Canned vegetables are reliable, and you can find a wide range of vegetables you currently eat in canned form.

Whether you’re a fan of individual vegetables that you’d like to have on hand or you want to have a host of variety cans, make sure to add canned vegetables to your stockpile.

16. Beans

canned baked beans
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Canned and dried beans are an excellent source of protein and nutrients that you can rely on if you happen to find yourself running out of meat.

A good mix of canned and dry beans ensures that you have what you need to prepare a meal whether you have limited time or you have longer to soak and prepare your beans. As with other suggestions on this list, there is a wide range of beans to stockpile for good variety.

17. Flour

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You can’t eat flour as-is, but you can make plenty of baked goods with all-purpose flour. As such, it’s something that you should make sure to stock up on, even if it can be a little bit expensive at times.

If you’re interested in making specific recipes, identify which foods will be easiest to prepare and find the baking ingredients you’ll need alongside all-purpose flour.

18. Instant Meals

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Instant meals encompass a wide range of meal options that are quick to prepare and may help you survive with limited resources. Some of the most common instant meals or meal items you likely already know are instant oatmeal packets, instant potatoes, and instant rice.

However, more and more instant meal options are hitting the shelves, such as instant channa masala, instant mac and cheese, and beyond. They have a shorter shelf-life compared to more solidly packaged food items, but they last a while and reduce the effort you need to apply to feed yourself.

19. Honey

Lady holding a jar of honey
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Honey is a food that has a wide range of applications. From acting as an antibacterial on wounds to making sore throats more bearable. It lasts forever when stored right and can be used to sweeten dishes that are lacking flavor or are too bitter.

Put simply, a jug of honey or two is something that every prepper should have in their pantries.

20. Protein Bars

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Do you currently go to the gym? If so, you’re constantly being bombarded by protein bars. They may be slightly annoying now, but they can be a great way to get what you need when things go south, offering plenty of protein, fiber, sugar, and other nutrients that you need in one convenient bar.

Having protein bars in your stock is something you should focus on, no matter what people are saying about them now.

21. Ramen Noodles

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

We know that preppers everywhere are rolling their eyes. It’s true that ramen noodles don’t have a lot to offer in the nutrient department, especially when it comes to the very cheap brands.

However, they’re a quick hunger-fighter that can be eaten wet or dry and can easily be built upon to improve their quality. Don’t knock them until you find yourself in a situation where you’d need to use them.

22. Candy

coloured candy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Candy is a source of energy that we can rely on when we don’t have other sources of energy like caffeine. Better yet, it’s a nice treat from time to time that we can enjoy when things aren’t looking too good.

While you don’t want to commit a major portion of your stockpile to candy, grabbing a few bags now and again certainly doesn’t hurt.

23. Dried Egg Replacement

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Unless you’re raising your chickens, eggs are going to be hard to come by. One crafty alternative that people have come up with is dried egg replacement. You just add water to the powder, whisk, and end up with something that closely resembles eggs.

The flavor can be hit or miss, but it’s better than nothing. They even offer baking replacements to help you with baked recipes.

24. Hardtack

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Hardtack is an old survival resource that is easy to make and stays good for a long time. It requires limited resources and can be enhanced with jelly and jam along with other toppings.

The only downside is that it’s quite dry and bland, so it might want to be at the very end of your list of essentials after you’ve purchased some of the above.

25. Non-Perishable Guilty Pleasures

Image Credit: Shutterstock.


Many preppers are focused strictly on survival, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, you don’t want to only stock up on foods that just get you by. Having some foods that make you happy is essential to your quality of life and survival moving forward.

Whether it’s Kraft mac and cheese, cookies, or something else, don’t be afraid to add some of your guilty pleasures to your stockpile.

20 Crucial Supplies for Surviving a Societal Collapse

glass of water
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In the face of uncertainty, being well-prepared gives you at least some degree of control and security. The thought of a societal collapse, while extreme, prompts us to consider how we might endure without the conveniences of our current lifestyle. Here’s a list of 20 essential items that could prove indispensable in such a scenario. This guide isn’t about succumbing to fear but embracing preparedness and resilience.

14 Essential Canned Goods for Your Emergency Pantry

selection of canned goods
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I firmly believe in keeping a well-stocked emergency pantry. While fresh food is ideal, in a survival situation, we may not be that lucky. So, for my family, even though we grow a lot of our own food, canned goods play a crucial role in emergency preparedness. They offer a reliable source of nutrition when access to fresh produce may be limited. The goods you stockpile should be affordable, easy to store, and full of nutrition.

Best Regions in the U.S. to Escape to When Society Collapses

Alaska skyline
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Choosing a refuge in the event of societal collapse involves weighing the pros and cons of each location against your personal preparedness goals and abilities. Whether you’re drawn to the solitude of the desert or the protective heights of the mountains, the key is finding a place that offers safety and the opportunity for growth and renewal.


+ posts

Leave a Comment