Long Term Food Storage In The Event Of An Emergency

 In the event of an emergency, it is important to have planned ahead for food and drink storage. Some ways of storing food and beverages, such as water, are relatively easy; others are more difficult. It is our goal to keep things relatively simple, which provides a greater chance for survival in an emergency situation.


food storage

Food Storage For Mobile Use

In a serious emergency, it isn’t always convenient to stay in your location. Sometimes a person simply has to grab what they can and move out of an area quickly. In the event of a major tornado storm, or hurricane, you may have to travel a long distance. Taking food on your journey to a safe zone will be essential. To keep food from spoiling, it is always a good idea to keep a cooler around to pack food in and a freezer full of ice.


    1. Fill the bottom of the cooler with ice packs or free ice.
    2. Pack the food on top of the ice.
    3. If you have any room left over and more ice, pack the top with ice also to create a barrier against heat.

Even if the electricity goes out, you can transfer the food and ice to a cooler and take your food with you. A separate location may provide more adequate food storage facilities than your current location. In any case, a cooler is perhaps one of the best ways to store food in a serious pinch. It is not the longest storage option around, but it might be the best option given the type of emergency one is faced with.

water storageWater Storage

Staying hydrated is perhaps one of the most important things to keep on top of during an emergency situation. One can store water in a variety of ways. Here are some ways to do it:

    1. Order and store commercial size bottles of water.
    2. Fill gallon jugs with drinking water from your faucet in preparation for an emergency.
    3. Buy 50 gallon water tanks from a specialized dealers, clean out the barrel with water and bleach. Rinse and fill with water again and put a slight amount of chlorine bleach in the tank to keep the water sanitized over a long period of time.


Dehydrate Fruits And Vegetables

When it comes to maintaining adequate food stores during an emergency, dehydrating food can often be a life saver. Dehydrating food can be done in preparation of an emergency as follows:

    1. Slice fruits or vegetables into thinly sliced pieces
    2. Add any sort of seasoning you want to the slices.
    3. Place in a dehydrator and dehydrate the slices for several hours until they get to a leathery or hard consistency.
    4. the slices from the dehydrator and store the dehydrated food in vacuum sealed bags with an oxygen absorber to improve the longevity of the food during storage. More will be said on Oxygen absorbers later.


jerkyMaking Jerky

One way to keep meat around for the long term is to make your own jerky. Beef, turkey, deer, bison, and salmon are perhaps the best meats to use.


  1. Choose a piece of meat to use. The leaner the meat the better.
  2. Remove any fat on the meat and then freeze for many hours. Next either shave into slivers of less than one twentieth of an inch, or have a butcher thin slice your meat for you.
  3. Marinate the meat for an entire day in a solution, such as vinegar, brown sugar, and olive oil. A person can add liquid smoke, if they prefer this flavor. After 24-hours, dust the meat with a liberal amount of salt and any other herbs, spices, or hot peppers, which flavor one might enjoy.
  4. Lay the meat strips uniformly separated on the trays of your dehydrator to ensure proper air flow. Dehydrate for two hours initially. Then check every 30 minutes after until the meat gets as dry as you want it. Make sure to check that the meat is not raw. The meat should look a brownish color inside.
    Alternatively, preheat an oven to 175-degrees. Put the strips of meat on an open wire rack in the oven, with something to catch drippings beneath. Let cook for an hour to ninety minutes, then check in half hour intervals. Look to make sure the inside is not raw as mentioned before. The process of drying the meat can often take longer than three hours, so be patient.
  5. Place the finished product into a plastic packing bag with an oxygen absorber. Then proceed to vacuum seal for long storage.

Note: Oxygen absorbers typically come in two types. The B and D types. B type oxygen absorbers are used when the product you are storing is not fully dry or brittle, being activated by the moisture that still remains in the food. On the other hand, the D type absorbers contain their own moisture, and hence work better with fully dried products.

Storing Dry Beans

In an emergency, dry beans can often be one of the easiest food sources to store and keep around long term.

    1. Take the dry beans and put them into a durable plastic container
    2. Remove any debris, such as rocks, broken beans, or other foreign materials.
    3. Close the container and store in a dry cool place. Try not to expose the container to any excessive heat or sunlight, if possible.

Beans should keep like this for at least 12-months, if not longer.

Though emergency may strike at any given time, it is helpful to know that one can prepare to preserve food for a long time, if needed. Of course, there are many other methods by which long term food storage can be accomplished. Consequently, it is always a good idea to learn as much as one can.


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches. 

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