Wondering how much food to store, the answer depends on the age, activity level, and food preferences of those in your survival group, but also on how long the emergency food should last. I think you should stockpile at least 3 months of food for everyone in your family, but FEMA suggests a minimum of 72 hours.
How Much Food To Store: The quick answer
Store 2200 calories for each adult. Equally important, store one gallon of water per person for sanitation and drinking water in food-grade containers.
Of course, this is an oversimplification because everyone needs more or fewer calories based on age, sex, and activity level. For a comprehensive look at how much food to store for emergencies, read the Ready Squirrel article, How Much Food To Store For One Person. This article has charts for calories based on age, sex, and activity. Keep the following in mind when storing food for emergencies.
Grocery stores typically have a three-day inventory of food and supplies on the shelves, which is based on normal grocery shopping habits, i.e., customers picking up a few items at once. However, if there is a major emergency, like a hurricane shoppers will make a run on stores and fill their carts so that three-day food supply is gone in hours not days.Scott, Ready Squirrel
3-Day Food Supply (72 Hours)
FEMA indicates that the minimum suggested emergency food supply is 3 days or roughly 2000 calories per day per person. In addition, they suggest 1 gallon of water per person for cleaning up and drinking. Some FEMA articles now state 2 weeks which is a more realistic amount of food.
Below, I provide examples of how many pounds of beans and rice to store per person for the specified time, from One week to 365 days. Additionally, I’m not suggesting anyone can survive on just beans and rice, but these are the first foods I stored for my family’s food supply, and it’s a good place to start. Let’s learn more about one week’s worth of food.
1 Week Food Supply
For one person, a week’s food supply is a minimum of 2000 calories per day or 14,000 cooked calories. You’ll want to stockpile 7 gallons of water per person for drinking and hygiene.
Beans And Rice Stored 1 Week
- 12 Pounds of Long Grain White Rice
- 11 Pounds of Pinto Beans
One pound of cooked long-grain white rice contains 590 calories, and 1 pound of cooked pinto beans has 648 calories.
Next up, two-week food supply.
2 Week Food Supply
A 14-day food supply contains a minimum of 28,000 calories per person and 14 gallons of clean water.
Beans and rice to store for 2 Weeks (per person)
- 24 Pounds of Long Grain White Rice
- 22 Pounds of Dry Pinto Beans
1 Month Food Supply
A month of food for one person at 2000 calories per day is a total of 60,000 calories and 30 gallons of water.
Beans And rice to store for 30 Days (per person)
- 51 pounds of long-grain white rice
- 47 pounds of dried pinto beans cooked
Take a look at the two-month supply of emergency food per person.
2 Month Food Supply
A 2-month food supply for one person, at 2000 calories per day, comes to 120,000 stored calories and 60 gallons of water.
Beans And rice stored for 2 Months (per person)
- 102 pounds of white rice cooked
- 93 pounds of dried pinto beans
how much food to keep for three months
The three months food supply at 2000 calories per day comes to 180,000 cooked calories and 90 gallons of water.
Beans And rice stored for 3 Months (per person)
- 153 pounds of long-grain white rice cooked
- 139 pounds of dry pinto beans cooked
4-month food supply (120 Days)
The calories required for one person at 2000 calories per day come to 240,000 cooked calories and 120 gallons of water.
Beans And Rice supply for 4 Months (per person)
- 204 pounds of long-grain white rice cooked
- 186 pounds of dry pinto beans cooked
5-month food supply (150 Days)
Stockpile 300,000 cooked food calories for a five months supply of emergency food for one person and 150 gallons of water.
Beans And rice are needed for 5 Months (per person)
- 255 pounds of long-grain white rice cooked
- 232 pounds of dry pinto beans cooked
how much food to store for 6 Months (180 Days)
For a 6-month food supply, store a minimum of 360,000 cooked calories per person and 180 gallons of water.
Enough Beans and Rice for 6 Months (per person)
- 306 pounds of long-grain White Rice
- 278 pounds of dry-boiled pinto beans
how much food to store for 1 Year (365 Days)
Store 730,000 calories for a 1-year food supply. This many calories will provide one person with 2000 calories per day for one year.
enough beans & rice for 1-year (per person)
- 619 Pounds of long-grain white rice cooked
- Five hundred sixty-four pounds of dry pinto beans cooked.
best foods to store for emergencies
Staples (beans and rice) are the best food for long-term emergencies because they are relatively inexpensive and have decades of shelf-life when stored properly. However, they are not suitable for short-term emergencies (72-hour emergency kits) because they need to be cooked and processed and take a lot of clean water to prepare them to eat.
Next, check out the ten best staple foods to stockpile.
10 Must-Have Emergency Foods
- white rice
- dry beans
- rolled oats
- dry pasta
- wheat berries
- potatoes flakes
- powdered milk
Next up, canned foods for short-term emergencies.
Canned foods are ideal for short-term emergencies because they don’t require refrigeration, and most are ready to eat right out of the can. Also, they cut down on palate fatigue, making the emergency food menu more interesting, and finally, canned foods allow you to store foods that are otherwise off the menu.
On the downside, canned food is limited to 5-year shelf life and needs rotation out of the pantry (i.e., FIFO first in, first out). Up next are the top 10 canned foods for emergency food storage.
List of 10 Canned Foods For Emergencies
- Progresso Soups
- Dinty Moore Stew
- Chef Boyardee Pasta Meals
- Jiffy Peanut Butter
- Canned Beans
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruit
To learn more about canned meats to store, look at the Ready Squirrel article, Canned Protein: 28 Examples For the Apocalypse.
Store Packaged Food
Most store-packaged foods are a solid choice for short-term emergencies. The one downside is the shelf-life. Most will last 1 to 2 years. Compare that to dry staple foods like white rice, dry beans, and rolled oats that will last 30+ years when stored properly. Check out the list of 24 packaged foods below.
Note that some of these foods are on multiple lists, and the type of packaging determines shelf life. i.e., pasta stored in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers will last decades, but in the store packaging, it will only last a year or two.
List of 24 Store-Packaged Foods For Emergencies
- Peanut Butter
- Protein Bars
- Fruit Bars
- Canned Juices
- Comfort Foods
- Condensed or powdered milk
- Food for infants or the elderly
- Other Nut Butters
- Freeze-dried Coffee
- Beef Jerky
- Canned Meals
- Bottled Water
- Dark Chocolate
- Canned Meat
- Dried Pasta
- Canned Meals
Professionally Packaged Survival Food
These are foods packaged to store for a decade or more. Some will keep for 30 years on the shelf if stored in an excellent, dry location. These foods don’t take much preparation, and they are lightweight and ideal for bug-out bags.
- Survival bars
- Freeze-dried meals
- Freeze-dried Ingredients
- MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
Read more about survival food. Check out Ready Squirrel’s article, Eight Types of Survival Food For The Apocalypse.