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11 Best Emergency Food Supply Kits

emergency food supply kits

123RF (Aleksandar Kosev)

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. This easy buying guide is designed to make your shopping for the best emergency food supply kits ultra simple.

What is the best emergency food supply?

Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Huge supply for worst-case scenarios
  • Good variety of meal types
  • 25 year shelf life
Price: $126.65 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: $164.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
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: $22.94 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: $25.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 30-day supply
  • Vegan friendly
  • Non-GMO
Price: $258.10 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: $21.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 252 servings per order
  • 4-weeks of food
  • Delicious
Price: $438.00 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: $14.75 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 140 servings
  • Tasty selections
  • Easy to prepare
Price: $249.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hearty meals
  • Tons of quality calories
  • Easy to prepare
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to prepare
  • Ready to carry
  • Full of GOOD calories
Price: $124.62 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Editor’s Choice: Ready 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 a massive bucket that is easy to carry and easy to store. 

    This particular size contains 120 servings. Assuming one serving per meal, three meals a day, this would provide one person a meal supply for 40 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.

    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.

  2. 2. 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.

  3. 3. 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 have 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.

  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 includes 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. NorthWest Fork Gluten-Free 30 Day Emergency Food Supply

    Pros:
    • 30-day supply
    • Vegan friendly
    • Non-GMO
    • 10-year shelf life
    • Great tasting
    Cons:
    • Limited flavors
    • Available in minimal options
    • 16 pound carry weight

    Do not let the plain Jane cardboard boxes that this emergency food supply is delivered fool you. This brand is the future of emergency food supplies and rations. The brand boasts a non-GMO, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free set of foods that have a 10-year shelf life and actually taste quite good. Obviously depending on how you ration you could stretch this supply to last longer.

    The brand is Northwest Fork and they have a durable package and a 30-day supply that you will actually look forward to eating. The entire package is only 16lbs which means it is easy to stash in a rucksack or backpack. The packages are now 25% thicker than their initial build so they will last even if they are dropped or rolled over on. The last thing you want to worry about is losing your food to everyday activities. 

  6. 6. 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 cinnamon if you want a little variety in these potentially life-saving bars, which are available in a case of 20 packs. Each of these packs provides 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.

  7. 7. Patriot Pantry 4-Week Emergency Food Supply

    Pros:
    • 252 servings per order
    • 4-weeks of food
    • Delicious
    • 25-year shelf life
    • Easy to carry
    Cons:
    • More for kitchen preparation than in the field
    • 20lb carry weight
    • Price point

    You are going to love this package of emergency food that is available in a number of flavors and comes in a 252 serving package. The biggest catch to this emergency food supply is that you need boiling water to make these meals. This means that they are better for a standing camping site or an emergency situation with easy access to a kitchen/boiling water. 

    Now, they have a 25-year shelf life which is amazing for preppers that like to be WAY ahead of the pack. The carry weight of 20lbs is easy to store and take with you but it might be more logical to carry only a few servings at a time. Each serving provides the recommended 2000 calories per day which will keep the weight on and give you the energy you need to not just survive but to THRIVE. 

    Here is a great water boiling and filtration system that will allow you to enjoy these meals even without the use of a kitchen. 

  8. 8. 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 the 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.

  9. 9. Ready Supply Foods – 140 Servings

    Pros:
    • 140 servings
    • Tasty selections
    • Easy to prepare
    • 25 year shelf life
    • Waterproof containers
    Cons:
    • 25.2lb buckets
    • 20% longer shelf life
    • Takes 3 meals to get to 2000 calories per day

    Even though the bucket is more than 25 pounds the individual packets are easy to carry and mixing and matching your meals will safely get you to 2000 calories per day which are recommended for a healthy diet. Prepping these packs is super easy and can be done in minutes. No fillers or MSG, no GMOs or added sugars or colors. So not only are you staying alive and healthy, you aren’t putting anything bad into your body just for the sake of getting something in your stomach.

    The total amount of calories in this pack is 43,280. Rationed the right way you could stretch these packets to last you a long time and with a 25-year shelf life, these could last you forever, or at least until help comes. There are flavors like cereal, chili, spicy corn chowder, chocolate milk alternatives, and much much more. 

  10. 10. Bear Essentials Survival Food Supply

    Pros:
    • Hearty meals
    • Tons of quality calories
    • Easy to prepare
    • Non-perishable
    • 25 year shelf life
    Cons:
    • Only 15-day supply per pack
    • Max 189 servings
    • Minimal flavors

    You will notice that investing in some of these emergency food kits can get pretty pricey. Luckily the good folks at Bear Essentials took cost into consideration when creating their kits. This kit in particular is good for 15 days and can last for 25 years on the shelf. Now the 15 days is based on 2000 calories per day, you could ration it differently to make it last but the big thing we were talking about is cost. This kit is relatively inexpensive compared to the other options on this list. The quality of food doesn’t lack, the flavors do a little bit because Bear Essentials is focused on saving you money while getting what is necessary for your body to continue going strong. Bear Essentials focussed on giving you the maximum out of the bare minimum.

  11. 11. Prep Basics 2-Week Emergency Food Supply

    Pros:
    • Easy to prepare
    • Ready to carry
    • Full of GOOD calories
    • 25 year shelf life
    • 45 grams of protein per day
    Cons:
    • Designed for one person
    • Only 16 sealed pouches
    • Max 146 servings

    You will notice that most of these emergency food kits are packed in buckets, this is no coincidence. The buckets allow the kits to be stored and transported easily. They are also weatherproof which makes them ideal for being outdoors or even the apocalypse. The buckets are part of the reason that most of these kits feature a 25-plus year shelf life. 

    If this kit is to feed one person then that person is going to get 3 meals per day, 1883 calories total, and up to 45 grams of protein per day. Obviously, you can stretch these rations for longer if you skip a meal a day. There is also minimal preparation as these kits come in 16 air-tight pouches. Also, these kits are easy to carry as the total of them only weighs 14lbs. If you are moving around a lot or need to trek with these kits you will hardly notice the pouches are added to your bag.

What Should I Pack for an Emergency Food Supply?

Ready.gov recommends the following items:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods - such as energy bars
  • Food for infants - formula or puree packs
  • Comfort/stress foods

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 survival 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.

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 guideline, 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 guideline 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 are 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. 

  • Water - at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Water filtration system
  • Camp kettle
  • Charcoal or propane grill - only to be used outdoors, also stock up on fuel
  • Battery-powered, solar-powered, or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask or N95 mask
  • Moist towelettes
  • Garbage bags
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone and a portable power solution
  • Warm blanket for each person