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The Best Foods to Store for an Emergency

By Kay Ireland ; Updated May 12, 2017

In case an emergency arises, every household should have at least a three-day supply of food, recommends the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Take stock of your family's needs and preferences to figure out what foods you should purchase to keep long-term for your emergency food supply.

Canned Foods

Your grocery store has numerous canned foods that are ready to eat and highly nutritious, such as vegetables, beans, soup, tuna, chili and stew. These items can be kept in storage for many months. Just be sure to check the expiration dates and replace the items after you've eaten the ones that are getting close to the dates they expire.

Dry Good Staples

Make sure that you have dry goods on hand for emergencies. Powdered milk can be mixed with water. Oatmeal, wheat flour and sugar are other staples with which you can make baked goods. They can be purchased fairly cheaply in bulk and stored for an emergency. Keep these foods in watertight containers.

Comfort Foods

FEMA suggests storing some comfort foods, such as coffee, hard candy and chocolate. Boosting morale with comfort foods can help keep spirits high in an emergency situation.

High Energy Items

You may need to make a special effort to keep your energy levels high, so stock up on items with plenty of protein and fiber. Peanut butter, granola bars and trail mix are recommended by the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Specialty Items

Don't forget to store specialty items that you might need. If you have a baby, cans of powdered formula would be good to have on hand, even if you're nursing. Diabetics who eat certain foods and supplements will need to keep those on hand. Elderly people who use a meal supplement will need to stock that.

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