Having an emergency kit of foodstuff stocked in your home, another in your car and perhaps a third at your office can give you peace of mind. The American Red Cross recommends storing enough food and water for two weeks for each family member.
Consider canned and dried foods that will not spoil. Also remember to stock a can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, waterproof matches and a small pot to heat food. Bottled water or packets of water that will keep longer are valuable additions. Include vitamins for nutrition.
Pack Dried and Canned Foods
Select low-salt dried soups, instant oatmeal or pre-cooked, dried brown rice and dried bean powder. Dried fruits, roasted nuts and crackers packed in sealed plastic will keep. Also pack beef, turkey and vegan jerky that will not spoil. Trail mix is an ideal food: it's nutritious and requires no cooking.
Canned vegetables, fruits, pastas, meats and stews are less desirable, but having a few on hand is still worthwhile.
Water and Other Liquids
Pack bottled water, a water purifier and pots in which water can be boiled. Search online or in camping supply stores for water purification tablets that kill off water-borne parasites such as giardia. (Giardia is present even in normal tap water.) In an emergency, do not drink creek or river water without purifying by boiling or using water purification tablets.
Include juice boxes and juices packed in packets. They will not keep as long, but variety is a good idea. Water is clearly most important. Pack dried infant formula if you need it.
Easy Dried Breakfast Food Ideas
Stock cereals like puffed corn or wheat or farinas that are easily constituted with hot water. Don't forget packets or canisters of protein powder drinks and dried egg packets that only require hot water to prepare. These quick sources of protein are important.
Include packets of instant coffee, espresso, hot cocoa and teas. Children and adults can benefit from a simple cup of hot chocolate or coffee.
Remember to rotate these emergency foods by checking expiration dates and replacing them every three months. Bottled or packets of water might need to be replaced earlier.