Prepping Essentials – Emergency Food Supply List



We have talked about preparing a 72 hour emergency kit and what to pack, but what happens if the incident is longer that 3 days?  Living in a big city has major advantages with easy access to grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and other essential services, but what happens when a major disaster occurs and these easy options are no longer available to us?  Preparing an emergency food supply list is an essential step to being prepared for large scale emergency situations.

Storing Your Emergency Food

Urban dwellings tend to be smaller, and for high rise residents, this is especially true.  You may not have space in your apartment to store your emergency food supply, so I would recommend renting a locker in your apartment building if there is one available, or investigating leasing a near by  storage unit.  Or, if all else fails, you can hide your supplies in the back of closets and under the beds.  Considering that space is at a premium, make smart choices when purchasing your non-perishable items and focus on foods that pack the most nutritional punch.  Aim for high protein, high fiber canned goods and stay away from the junky stuff.

Create a Budget

Your list could be quite long, and expensive, but not to worry, you don’t have to break the bank and purchase all at once.  I would suggest, however, storing at least three days of water (1 gallon/4 litres) and food for each person in your household to start.  From there, you want to work at building your stockpile with each grocery shop, keep an eye out for sales and coupons, and budget a weekly amount to invest in your supply.  If you only have $10 a week to invest, that’s OK, you can make good progress if you are consistent.

Shopping List

  • Instant Oats
  • Canned Fish/Chicken/Turkey
  • Peanut Butter/Nut Butter
  • Canned Chili
  • ChickpeasStockpile
  • Kidney Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Powdered Milk or Nut Milks
  • Granola bars and trail mix
  • Rice
  • Protein or meal replacement powders
  • Canned soup
  • Sugar, salt, pepper and seasonings
  • Cooking oil
  • Sports Drinks
  • Crackers
  • Dried Fruits
  • Water – lots of water! Remember, each person in your household needs 1 gallon, or 4 litres per day.

Ideally we are shopping for foods with long expiration dates based on nutritional value vs personal tastes.  You can still eat tasty meals, but stocking up on Zoodles and Cheese Whiz is probably not the best choice.  A good variety of foods covering the main food groups is key to staying healthy during an emergency situation.  The good news is, these foods are affordable, easy to store, and widely accessible.  Be sure to review your stockpile every 6 months to check for expired goods.

Don’t neglect the other essentials too.  Toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, tampons, toothpaste are all important stores to have on hand and should be worked into your preparedness budget.

Have any questions, or items to add to the list?  Let me know in the comment section below.





  1. This is a great list. I can say from personal experience, I wish we’d had something like this put together when we had a big earthquake in 2011 (Christchurch, NZ). I might bookmark this and check our current emergency supply against your list. Thank you!

    • Let me know if you have any questions! This is something you can put together fairly quickly 🙂

  2. Love your website and your advice it will be more and more important to acquire survivalist habits, especially in these days of economic turmoil. Nice job !

    • Yes so true! It’s a learning process and these are skills you build over time. Just being a little more prepared then you were can a make a big difference!

  3. Love the expansive list. The detail and research is impressive. I don’ think anything has been forgotten. Living in Asia, this list is worth keeping handy. Thank you.

    • Glad you found it helpful! You can also investigate ordering freeze dried food which easy to store, and packs a nutritional punch. We ordered a 3 month supply for each of us, on top of the canned goods and water we stocked in our apartment’s storage locker.

  4. This is an awesome write up, me and my family have a small survival kit that should last a few days as we live in an area where both earthquakes and flooding are a reality.

    We have just been hit with a huge flood no more then a week ago, and although we were unaffected, it’s always nice to be ready.

    I have army ration packs, but your shopping list is amazing, might use the list for a few more survival kits just in case.

    • Thanks Michael! I am glad to hear that your family is prepared for at least a few days. Don’t forget to stock up on that water! We had a major flood in Toronto due to an extremely large rain fall. I know some of my friends had to leave their homes for a few days until things dried out. It was a total nightmare! A few cars were destroyed as well!

    • This looks delicious. I'm made chicken chili before but have lost the recipe, so I'll have to make it again now that I have a trnar-eid-tdue one to use.

  5. That is a wonderful list! I’ve been trying to build my stock pile for quite a while. Luckily I live in a suburban setting so storage space really isn’t a problem. I do dry my own foods from the garden and I do a lot of canning as well which helps keep my cost down. Another item to stock up on is medicine, if anyone in your house hold has a disease such as type 1 diabetes or a heart conditions you will want to have enough meds. Thanks for all the information!

    • I love that idea! I have been meaning to learn how to do my own canning as I it so cost effective and natural. Yes, you need to have meds for everyone set aside as well, just in case!

  6. Hi Krysten,

    When I lived in the city we never had any supplies such as this. Honestly I never really even considered it. We did have candles and a radio and such in case the power went out.

    But when we moved to a much more rural area, we have everything you need to last two weeks easy. And that includes enough fuel to run a generator for that long as well.

    We are not in an area of real crazy weather – but we do live on an island. So we could be cut off is something goofy happens.

    So like my mom always says “it better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it”
    Great info


    • Wow, it sounds like you have a nice set up! I bet you have access to fresh water which is a great during this type of event, but you should consider working on getting some non-perishable foods set aside for this type of event.

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