6 Best Emergency Food Supply Kits: Your Easy Buying Guide

emergency food kits and survival food

123RF (Aleksandar Kosev) Items of emergency on wooden table

Much like emergency car kits, emergency food supply kits are easy to forget about when you don’t need them. The second you do, you’ll very much regret not making time to put something together to help keep yourself and your family safe. While most situations don’t call for a huge stockpile of food, emergency food is good in a pinch when the power is out, roads are blocked, or local infrastructure has been impacted. Below, find our picks for the best emergency food supply kits to ensure you have everything you need at the moment of crisis.

What is the best emergency food supply?

Augason Farms 72-Hour 1-Person Emergency Food Supply Kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Five meal types
  • 25 year shelf life
  • 72-hours of over 2,500 calories per day
Price: $25.28 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wise Company Long Term Emergency Freeze-Dried Food Supply Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Huge supply for worst-case scenarios
  • Good variety of meal types
  • 25 year shelf life
Price: $4,599.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Survival Tabs Emergency Food Ration Amazon Customer Reviews
  • High nutritional value in a small package
  • Multiple flavors
  • 25-year shelf life
Price: $158.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Z-Ration 24-Hour MRE Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ten menus to choose from
  • Comes with flameless ration heater
  • 2,900 calories each
Price: $31.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
SOS Food Labs, Inc. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Calorie dense
  • Requires no water
  • Five year shelf life
Price: $21.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Good-to-Go Dehydrated Backpacking and Camping Food Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Gourmet recipes
  • Very lightweight
  • Five year shelf life
Price: $153.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Augason Farms 72-Hour 1-Person Emergency Food Supply Kit

    Pros:
    • Five meal types
    • 25 year shelf life
    • 72-hours of over 2,500 calories per day
    Cons:
    • Portions are not individually packaged
    • Not dairy or gluten free
    • Only works for one person

    For a sense of normalcy in survival rations on a restricted budget, consider this offering from Augason Farms. There are 42 servings across five different meal types, which works out to about 2,667 calories per day for 72 hours.

    The included meals are: Maple brown sugar oatmeal, creamy chicken-flavored rice, creamy potato soup, hearty vegetable chicken soup, and banana chips. To make any of these, you’ll just need to add heated water and stir – occasionally with a whisk, so make sure you one or something like one in your go bag.

    You may also need to have some resealable food storage bags to make the best use of this as the portions are not individually packaged. This is likely a cost-cutting measure that keeps the overall price quite low, but if you’re expecting parceled out meals, you’ll be disappointed in this option. Having bags to make your own portions, even after initial cooking, will help.

    If you want more meal types or have more than one person to feed, consider the 72-Hour 4-Person Emergency Food Storage Kit. You could also go the individual ingredient route and assemble your own meals using options like black bean burgers, vegetable stew blend, or even simple rolled oats.

  2. 2. Wise Company Long Term Emergency Freeze-Dried Food Supply

    Pros:
    • Huge supply for worst-case scenarios
    • Good variety of meal types
    • 25 year shelf life
    Cons:
    • Extremely expensive
    • Pouches contain four servings each
    • Requires quite a lot of storage space

    If you want to get serious about your survival food stores, you may want to look into a product that ships in not one, not two, but 18 buckets (or more). You can order this particular offering in a range of sizes from two buckets (240 servings) up to 36 buckets (4,320 servings) to suit your preferences.

    The 18-bucket size contains 2,160 servings. Assuming two servings per meal, three meals a day, this would provide four people a meal supply for 90 days. Of course, you can make it stretch any number of ways, if needed, though each pouch contains four servings, so you’ll have to be a little bit judicious in your preparation.

    This is the breakfast and entree pack, which includes the following:

    • 24 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (96 total servings)
    • 36 pouches of Creamy Pasta (144 total servings)
    • 24 pouches of Pasta Alfredo (96 total servings)
    • 24 pouches of Chili Mac (96 total servings)
    • 36 pouches of Chicken Noodle Soup (144 total servings)
    • 36 pouches of Savory Stroganoff (144 total servings)
    • 24 pouches of Hearty Tortilla Soup (96 total servings)
    • 24 pouches of Potato Pot Pie (96 total servings)
    • 12 pouch of Teriyaki and Rice (48 total servings)
    • 24 pouches of Baked Potato Casserole (96 total servings)
    • 36 pouches of Tomato Basil Soup (144 total servings)
    • 36 pouches of Southwest Beans and Rice (144 total servings)
    • 24 pouches of Cheesy Macaroni (96 total servings)
    • 30 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (120 Servings)
    • 60 pouches of Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (240 Servings)
    • 30 pouches of Crunchy Granola (120 Servings)
    • 60 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (240 Servings)

    These come with a 25-year shelf life and ship in waterproof, sealed buckets.

    Naturally, Wise has other offerings, as well, including specific food supplies, like meat buckets, veggie buckets, fruit buckets, meal pouches, weekender kits, and single-bucket preparedness packs.

  3. 3. Survival Tabs Emergency Food Ration

    Pros:
    • High nutritional value in a small package
    • Multiple flavors
    • 25 year shelf life
    Cons:
    • Not as satisfying as a meal
    • Flavor not exactly spot-on
    • Day supply advertisement isn't quite right

    If you want to scale your rations down, you might consider going for something in tab form. These are aimed more specifically at providing the essential vitamins and minerals you need to survive more than they are at providing full meals.

    A serving of 12 tabs includes 100 percent of your daily requirements of the following:

    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin E
    • Thiamine (B1)
    • Riboflavin
    • Niacin
    • Pyridoxine (B6)
    • Folic Acid
    • Vitamin B12
    • Vitamin C

    This is a multi-flavor pack that includes 180 tablets each of chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and butterscotch. Each tab only provides 20 calories, though, so you may still need another source of food. This will provide the bare essentials to keep you going, but in many scenarios, you’ll need more calories.

    Still, these are easy to tote around and can provide nutrients if you’re eating something in bulk like rice, for example. You can also get smaller quantities, as well, but more is probably better in the case of this option.

  4. 4. Z-Ration 24-Hour MRE

    Pros:
    • Ten menus to choose from
    • Comes with flameless ration heater
    • 2,900 calories each
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Shorter shelf life
    • Pretty silly concept

    If you want to have something on hand but ultimately aren’t that concerned about a totally catastrophic event, you could opt for a survival food option with a little personality. These Zombie MREs have a slightly silly concept, but in practice they’re pretty straightforward, combining fairly typical fare in handy 24-hour kits.

    There are ten menus to choose from, each providing roughly 2,900 calories. In dire situations, you could probably stretch one of these to two days, if needed, but that calorie level will sustain energy enough for most people to keep moving, if necessary.

    Each is packed in a sealed mylar pouch and include a flameless ration heater. Each menu is distinct, but typical items include beef stew, muffin tops, cereal or energy bars, snack mixes, instant coffee, electrolyte-bearing beverages, fruit, cheese spreads, beef sticks, energy gum, and more.

    This is not the most serious offering, but on the whole, it’s pretty good and worth considering. Of course, there are more standard MREs available, as well.

  5. 5. SOS Food Labs, Inc. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar

    Pros:
    • Calorie dense
    • Requires no water
    • Five year shelf life
    Cons:
    • Really just a cookie
    • Not for long-term use
    • Not gluten free

    In a really dire, yet relatively short situation, you can turn to emergency food rations like these. These are simple food bars meant to provide a large amount of energy to fuel survival over a handful of days.

    In contrast to the rest of this list, variety isn’t the key here. If you need to keep yourself fueled through a few days of difficult conditions, you can use these to patch you through. These require no water, so these are good to have on hand if you don’t have a water purification solution, or access to water at all.

    These are essentially just calorie-dense cookies. You can also get cinammon if you want a little variety in these potentially life-saving bars, which is available in a case of 20 packs. Each of these packs provide 3,600 total calories for about three days of rations for one person.

    As an alternative, SOS Food Labs makes long shelf life energy bars, which you could also use to supplement any readiness kit. For another option of food ration bars, try Mainstay.

  6. 6. Good To-Go Dehydrated Backpacking and Camping Food

    Pros:
    • Gourmet recipes
    • Very lightweight
    • Five year shelf life
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Not truly survival-focused
    • May have to buy some recipes one at a time

    If you’re not necessarily concerned with worst case scenarios and just want some good food on hand for multiple-day emergencies, you may be able to go with these offerings from Good To-Go, which make camping-focused, gourmet options that taste far better than a lot of things in this general category.

    These are sold in lightweight packages which double as the cooking and food vessel, as you’d expect. There are double serving and single serving pouches available, and in some varieties, like Thai Curry, Smoked Three Bean Chili, and Herbed Mushroom Risotto, you can get bulk packages of 12, which can provide somewhere in the realm of 9,000 calories. All are prepared by simply adding boiling water to the bag.

    Though it would be on the costly side, you could also buy these individually and customize a “menu” of sorts to get you through emergencies without sacrificing healthy, flavorful meals. In addition to the three listed above, you can also get: Pad Thai, Kale and White Bean Stew, Mexican Quinoa Bowl, Bibimbap, Classic Marinara with Pasta, Indian Vegetable Korma, and Chicken Gumbo.

    In addition, there are Weekender Three-Packs and Five-Day Emergency Food Supply Kits, though these are out of stock at time of this writing.

    These don’t necessarily excel at hardcore survivalism, but they are very good and can see you through shorter emergencies. They’re also gluten free and have vegan options, which is somewhat rare.

What Should I Pack for an Emergency Food Supply?

Ready.gov recommends the following items:

Basically, you should have a mix of foods that can be eaten as-is with no heat for worst case scenarios, but having more familiar and satisfying meals that can be easily heated, usually just with boiling water, can help reduce your stress in emergency situations.

The picks on our list combine elements of all of these suggestions, but you may wish to tailor them a bit by combining a few options. Some are for dire emergencies, while others are for relative normalcy over brief periods.

Taste isn't irrelevant either - you won't be able to keep your strength up if you can't stomach your suvival food rations. A little planning goes a long way to providing nutrition, comfort, and the necessary calories to withstand dangerous situations.

We strongly recommend owning a camp kettle as many of these require hot water to prepare in addition to the fact that you may have to boil water to survive.

For more ideas on what to stockpile, check out HappyPreppers.com list of 37 foods.

How Much Food Do I Need for an Emergency Food Supply?

FEMA.gov recommends that you maintain an emergency food kit capable of feeding your household for three days. The three day guidline, which the Red Cross also suggests, is intended for situations where you anticipate evacuation or rescue.

In the event that you don't anticipate being able to leave and are sheltering in place, or the local supply chain has been materially disrupted, that guidline can extend much further than that.

The Red Cross recommends two weeks of emergency food for the home, while emergency food purveyors Wise Company recommends up to a year's worth of food for each member of your family in the post-Hurricane Katrina era. It's worth keeping in mind, of course, that they have a vested interest in you buying more, so you be the judge of what you think is appropriate for your area.

A day's worth of food depends on your calorie needs. 2,000 calories is the average nutritional baseline for a normal diet, but you'll have to adjust based on each family member's size and anticipated activity level. You can get by on fewer calories for a short period if you're mostly resting and staying in place, but if you need to move or engage in strenuous activity, you'll need more.

What Else Should a Disaster Preparedness Kit Include?

While you're thinking about emergency food supplies, you might also want to stock up on some other essentials. Ready.gov has a full list, but here's a sample of things to consider having:

There are also kits that combine a lot of these items into one buyable item.

For more emergency items, also consider the following posts from our team:

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