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"Choose from single buckets, bulk supplies, and gluten-free goods."
"This company carries food supplies from multiple brands."
"Get ready-to-go food pails and a la carte options."
"It's frequently praised by reviewers for making rations that are filling."
"Choose from a wide variety of vegetables and textured vegetable proteins with an extended shelf life."
"All kits come in ready-to-go pails that can be easily transported, but also stack neatly in place for compact storage."
"This emergency food supplier covers all the basics."
"There's a huge selection of products, from breakfast to dessert to soups and sides, as well as seven-day meal kits."
"It caters to a variety of dietary needs and offers tools, like a cooking kit."
"This one is largely aimed towards backpackers and camping enthusiasts."
In case of emergency, it doesn't hurt to have a stash of shelf-stable, non-perishable food on hand to keep you fueled and focused. While you can certainly curate your own collection of canned soups, dried fruits, and grains to ensure your supply suits your dietary restrictions and preferences, some preppers opt to purchase items in bulk or bundles instead.
For storage and survival kits for any disaster, here are the best food survival companies.
Legacy Food Storage
Variety of food types and serving sizes
Low cost per pound
Life span of 25 years
Limited snack options
Some options sell out quickly
Formerly wisefoodinsurance.com, Legacy Food Storage specializes in emergency supplies for disaster scenarios: food storage, survival gear, water filtration, and fuel. The freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed food offerings come in heavy-duty buckets that stack for easy storage and have a shelf life of up to 25 years.
Choose from categories including bulk meal packages, gluten-free, and single buckets. You can also shop by food type (proteins, fruits, dairy, veggies, grains, and specialty items), dish (breakfast, entrees, and side dishes), and serving size. From 16-serving sample packs to bulk bundles with a whopping 4,320 servings (enough to feed someone breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for four years).
*Due to increased demand, allow five to ten business days for shipping.
Carries several different food brands
Mix of freeze dried, canned, and breakfast bars
Also carries survival tools and PPE
No options designed for dietary restrictions
Price per meal relatively expensive for some options
Survival Frog also carries food supplies from multiple brands, like Legacy Food Storage, Mountain House, ReadyWise, and Survival Cave, so you have plenty of options. Mix and match canned meats from Survival Cave with a Legacy's breakfast bucket and Mountain House's meal pouches. This is great because you and your family will have a variety of options in case of an emergency, and you won't have to visit multiple retailers to get them.
While you're at it, grab some survival tools, radios and energy sources, and first aid kits. Survival Frog is a one-stop-shop that delivers on its tagline, "Preparing Made Easy." Our main gripe is that there doesn't appear to be options designed for different diets, whether gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan.
*Shipping delays could take up to seven days or longer.
Sells a variety of emergency food brands
Offers a la carte options
Not all food options have the same shelf life
Offering a variety of ready-to-go food pails along with a la carte options to stock up on emergency rations, you’ll find a good selection from major brands when you shop BePrepared.
There are plenty of choices from brands like Mountain House, Augason Farms, Emergency Essentials, and more. Find the combination of breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare that works for your appetite and your budget.
You can also shop for deluxe bags stocked with rations that meet QSS standards for calories and protein intake, like the Emergency Essentials Deluxe 72-Hour Food, Water & Gear Pack.
*Some back-ordered items may have shipping delays of two weeks or more.
30-year taste guarantee
Lightweight pouches for easy transport
Available at multiple retailers
Limited meal choice for bulk buckets
3-year shelf life for military rations
Mountain House has a long history of producing emergency food supplies for the U.S. Special Forces and today is a top retailer of long-lasting food rations to the civilian market. Frequently praised by reviewers for making tasty rations that are filling and easy to eat on the go, Mountain House is a top brand to consider when shopping for emergency food supplies.
The brand has expanded across all categories of meals, with breakfast, entrée, side, and dessert options. The wide selection of meals makes it easy to build an a la carte food stash for your emergency go-bag. Most of these options are available in pouches that are easy to transport or 10-pound cans that are good for long-term storage.
This ready-to-go bucket of emergency food supplies includes a three-day supply. There are also breakfast, classic, or essentials buckets with anywhere from 29 to 32 servings depending on the variety. The Mountain House Classic Bucket includes fan favorites like Beef Stroganoff and Lasagna with Meat Sauce, along with easy-to-eat granola. One other unique offering from Mountain House is their MCW military rations. These are nutrient-dense meals that are intended for consumption under adverse environmental conditions. They have a more limited shelf life compared to conventional emergency food supplies (only 3 years), but they offer upwards of 500 calories and 40 grams of protein per ration.
Mother Earth Products
Can mix and match based on needs
Affordable price points
Snack options available
Less convenient for on-the-go
Can take up a lot of space if bought in bulk
Mother Earth Products offers freeze-dried and dehydrated foods that you can use in your everyday life, on a camping adventure, or store long-term for cases of emergency. Choose from a wide variety of vegetables and textured vegetable proteins with an extended shelf life so you can be sure you have nutritious sustenance on hand. There's also freeze-dried fruit (like blueberries, mangoes, and apricots)—with no additives or preservatives—that's perfect for long-term storage, a hiking trip, or for using in your daily smoothie. The quantities are fairly small, so you can purchase exactly what you want without the huge financial commitment.
Buckets are stackable
All products made in-house in Salt Lake City
20-year shelf life shorter than other emergency food brands
If you’re looking for sustaining and appetizing emergency food supplies, then Augason Farms is a great place to start. This company has been delivering preparedness kits since 1972 and can boast total control over the manufacturing process since all products are made in-house in their Salt Lake City, Utah facility.
Augason Farms produces emergency food supply kits designed to sustain you anywhere from a short 72 hours to a year or more. All kits come in ready-to-go pails that can be easily transported but also stack neatly in place for compact storage. A selection of Augason Farms products meets the qualifications for Quality Survival Standards (QSS) products. These products provide a minimum of 1,800 calories and 40 grams of protein per day.
You can shop for Augason Farms emergency food kits directly on the company’s website, but items like the well-equipped 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Pail are available through Amazon. This kit packs 29 pounds of food into an 8.5-gallon pail. It includes 307 total servings and 54,670 calories. This is enough to sustain one person for 30 days at 1,800 calories per day or 4 people at 1,800 calories per day for 7 days.
Gluten-free and organic options available
Variety of foods for all three meals
Stackable for easy storage
Large financial investment
Could be sent different flavors than listed
For an emergency food supply that covers all the basics, check out ReadyWise (formerly the Wise Company). This Utah-based supplier offers starter kits of emergency food supplies and a 1-month food supply alongside supersized long-term food caches—like an 18 bucket kit with 2,160 total servings.
Most people will be interested in the company’s combination buckets, which include both breakfast and entrée options. The 52-serving option includes four different entrees and two varieties each of breakfast and beverages. This might be a better option for a single person looking for a kit that stretches beyond the 72-hour mark but would be somewhat limited for two people looking to intake about 1,800 calories per day.
ReadyWise includes a variety of tasty meal options, with familiar favorites like stroganoff and alfredo pasta alongside interesting options like tortilla soup and brown sugar and maple multi-grain cereal. It’s worth noting that if you’re shopping for gluten-free or only organic emergency food supplies, ReadyWise makes these specialty buckets available as well.
Vegetarian, vegan and, gluten-free options
Easy to pack
Needs boiling water
Some reviewers commented on bland flavor
High cost per meal
If you're looking for something specific to take on your next adventure or for emergency preparedness, AlpineAire offers a huge selection of products, from breakfast to dessert to soups and sides, as well as seven-day meal kits. There are also vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
The seven-day vegetarian meal kit, for example, provides two meal pouches a day for a week and all you need to add is water. The kit is designed to provide an average of 1,200 calories a day. Or you can get meals like lasagna that come in packages with two servings and have a five-year shelf life.
My Patriot Supply
Grown and packaged in USA
Up to 25-year shelf life
Not for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets
My Patriot Supply focuses on supplying accessible and long-lasting emergency food supplies, but also caters to a variety of dietary needs and offers tools to equip you for self-reliance, like a cooking kit, seed vault, and more.
The company offers both short-term emergency food supplies (for three days up to one month) and long-term food supplies (for one month and up to a year or more). The meals will last up to 25 years in storage, regardless of whether you’re shopping for short or long-term emergency food supplies. A good place to start is the 3-Month Emergency Food Supply, which comes in a compact bucket that’s easy to transport and stack. Inside, there are sealed, zipper-top pouches with 852 servings of food. The entrée options are mostly centered on carbs—with dishes like Creamy Chicken Flavored Rice, Buttermilk Pancakes, and Mac and Cheese. Even still, the fact that the pouches can be zipped closed combined with the affordable price point make this kit worth considering.
My Patriot Supply stands out for offering a gluten-free emergency food supply, along with gluten-free individual entrees available for purchase. The company also has a Mega Protein Kit if you’re looking for a boost of protein in your emergency food supply. The kit includes plenty of beans, as you might expect, but also has 16 servings of freeze-dried beef and 16 servings of freeze-dried chicken that you can add to other dishes or snack on for a quick protein boost.
*While most orders ship in a few days to one week, about 10 percent of orders will be slightly delayed.
High-protein meal options
Needs less water than competitors
Taste is highly favored by reviewers
Limited shelf life
High cost per meal
If you’re searching for non-GMO emergency food supplies, Peak Refuel is one to stock up on. The company doesn’t believe in compromising on quality and omits fillers and GMO ingredients. While Peak Refuel is largely aimed towards backpackers and camping enthusiasts, it can be a great option if you’re looking for a high-quality alternative for an emergency food supply. Just know that the shelf life of these premium ingredients is significantly limited compared to conventional emergency food supplies—you’re looking at only a five-year shelf life.
However, reviewers rave about the taste, and many people have made these for an at-home meal in a hurry. So if you stock your emergency food supply with Peak Refuel products, just plan to enjoy them before the expiration date. It’s also worth noting that Peak Refuel meal pouches require less water than many other freeze-dried emergency food supplies, so you can conserve your water supplies.
Valley Food Storage
Options for dietary restrictions
Basic Buckets only deliver 800 calories per day
Not packaged in individual servings
Valley Food Storage is aimed at equipping you for short or long-term emergencies with a variety of food kits to suit your situation. The company offers what it describes as Basic and Premium emergency food supplies. Basic buckets of emergency food are intended to deliver about 800 calories per day, while Premium food buckets will sustain you with about 1,800 calories per day. If you plan to shelter in place, the 800-calorie rations may be enough to sustain you, while other preppers advise you to ensure that you have plenty of calories to fuel whatever activity you may need to engage in during a disaster.
All Valley Food Storage emergency food supplies are produced without the use of GMO ingredients, fillers, and MSG. One unique feature is Valley Food’s Kid Favorites selections, which include yummy-sounding options like Mac and Cheese, Cheddar Potato Soup, and an abundance of freeze-dried fruits along with other nutritious options. If you’re building an emergency food supply for kids, it makes sense to add some of these trusty staples to your supply.
Highly rated flavors by reviewers
Options for vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free
High cost per meal
Not sold in long-term bulk varieties
For emergency food fare that includes an abundance of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options, check out Backpacker’s Pantry. The company aims to offer gourmet selections of free-dried meals, with dishes like Pad Thai, Katmandu Curry, and Hot Blueberry, Walnuts, Oats & Quinoa cereal. Your taste buds won’t be bored if you fill your emergency kit with these unique options.
Meat lovers can rejoice to know that it’s not all veggie goodness. The company also offers ready-to-go kits like a Three-Day Carnivore Kit for Two People. This meaty meal plan includes unique dishes like Chiang Mai Coconut Curry with Beef and Cincinnati-style Chili with Beef. You can customize the kit by mixing and matching the entrees to make it just right for your palate.
*Due to increased demand, allow five to seven business days for shipping.
What to Look for in a Survival Food Company
Availability of Special Diets
Even in an emergency, it’s not a good idea to ignore health concerns like celiac disease or diabetes. If anyone in your family has dietary restrictions or allergies, it’s wise to make sure your emergency food is safe for them.
Some companies sell their own branded products, while others sell products sold by external companies. Neither approach is wrong—it just depends on how you like to shop and whether you're fond of any brands in particular. Do you want to shop from several stores to get what you like, or do you prefer one purchase to stock up?
Do you want to buy full cases of each product to save money, or would you prefer to pick and choose a few of each type so you have more variety in case of an emergency? Having a variety also means that different family members can choose different meals for themselves.
If a disaster hits and your power goes out, that means your fridge will stop running (unless you have a backup generator), leaving you with a chest full of spoiled food unsafe for consumption. Shelf-stable foods, on the other hand, don't need to be chilled and last much longer. In fact, some stay edible indefinitely, including honey, salt, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Of course, you can't survive off those alone, so here are some other long-lasting grocery staples to consider: canned or dried meat and seafood, canned or dried soup, evaporated or powdered milk, canned or dried fruits and vegetables, canned brown bread, dried pasta, dried sauce mixes, bouillon cubes, instant pudding, cereals, jams and jellies, oats, nuts, snack and energy bars, peanut butter, and baby food. For all these and more, here's a helpful list of pantry items and just how long they last.
How much food do you need?
One company's version of a serving size may be much bigger (or smaller) than another, so instead of relying on how many servings you may need per day, take calorie consumption into account. Of course, this will be different for everyone, and the safest way to figure out your specific needs is by talking to your doctor. You also need to take into account the size of your family, the caloric intake of each member, and the desired length of preparedness. Experts recommend at least three days' worth of meals that require little to no water, but one or two weeks' worth of supplies is better in case of long emergency response times.
What foods have the longest shelf life?
Because survival food companies design their packages with long-term preservation in mind, certain meals can actually last around 20 to 25 years. As a general rule of thumb, Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs) have the shortest shelf life (about three years), followed by wet-packed canned foods (approximately five, not including acidic foods, like tomato). Canned dry foods can last even longer, especially when sealed with oxygen absorbers, while freeze-dried and dehydrated foods last the longest because an environment lacking moisture isn't habitable for bacteria.
How do you store survival food?
Survival food is designed to last a long time when stored properly. To make sure your inventory doesn't go bad prematurely, remember these four components: low temperature, low moisture, low oxygen, and low light. Too much of any could cause your food to lose nutrients, taste odd, or spoil. Aim for just below room temperature, and try to avoid storing your supply in the attic or basement (unless they're temperature-regulated), as they may overheat in the summertime.
For survival food that doesn't come packed in kits or buckets, consider organizing your inventory on shelves in easy-to-grab tubs and other storage containers.
What else do you need?
Ahead of a potential emergency situation, you will need water, not only for drinking but also for cooking and sanitation. At the minimum, the CDC recommends storing at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for three days in your household. A two-week supply is even better, if possible, and keep in mind that sick or pregnant people will require more, as will those in hotter climates. Keep an eye on expiration dates and replace non-storebought water every six months.
A properly stocked pantry should also include batteries, a radio, flashlights or emergency lights, matches, candles, a manual can opener, pet food for any four-legged friends, medications, and first-aid supplies, among other things. If you have space, consider storing extra clothes and blankets, and if you must have hot meals, pack canned heat like Sterno.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Erica Puisis is a writer and lifestyle expert who has also contributed to leading smart home blogs like Smart Home Solver and TechDigg. A background in legal research and a degree in business lends a practical tone to her articles. She's also done research into the best microwaves and the best countertop water filters.