The Best Emergency Food Supplies to Stock Up on Right Now

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At a Glance: The Best Emergency Food Supply Kits

Emergencies happen — be it a flood, a tornado, or (*shiver*) an epidemic. One of the best ways to stay prepared is by stocking up on emergency food supplies.

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The best emergency food supplies take the legwork out of stocking your own supply of canned or dried food. The best emergency food supply kits usually take the form of a bucket filled with individually packaged meals that can be cooked easily and quickly. That means no researching individual items, better-tasting emergency food, and less work if you need to prepare anything during an emergency. Plus, the streamlined packaging of survival rations lets you easily stash them in a car, closet, or garage.

However, picking up an emergency food supply doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Because they offer high-calorie meals in a compact, easy-to-cook package, emergency food supplies also make great choices for long camping trips, backpacking, and other such adventures.

The Best Emergency Food Supplies

You don’t need to be experiencing an emergency to stock up on emergency food supplies. Pick up these items online now and stash them in your pantry, closet, or car to stay prepared just in case the unthinkable occurs. After thoroughly researching which brands people like, and sampling a few ourselves, we think these are the best emergency food supply kits worth buying right now. All are available on Amazon with at least a 4/5-star rating.

1. Mountain House Classic Bucket

best emergency food supply mountain house
best emergency food supply mountain house

Mountain House is one of the best emergency food supply brands, delivering nutritious freeze-dried foods in easy-to-store buckets. One of the brand’s major draws is a guaranteed 30-year shelf life, letting you set aside the bucket for decades without a worry. This Classic Bucket, weighing just 5.7 pounds, includes 24 servings and five meal varieties such as chicken fried rice and beef stroganoff. These meals are also packed with nutrients including protein, iron, and potassium. To prepare a meal, fill the bowl-like package with hot water and wait ten minutes — that’s it.

$109.00 $126.00 13% off

Buy mountain house bucket at Amazon

Promising Customer Feedback: “I tried two packages of the food so far just to test out the quality (beef stroganoff, and chicken with rice). I’ve had some stored for 2 years now. I was very impressed with the flavor and quality of the food. It tastes very fresh and close to a home-cooked quality and probably better than what most restaurants would serve you.” — SJ

2. ReadyWise Emergency Food Supply

readywise food supply review
readywise food supply review

If you’re stocking an emergency supply for a large family (or just want to be extra prepared), check out this bucket from ReadyWise. It contains 120 servings of freeze-dried meals and packs it all into a bucket that weighs just under 20 pounds. With a 25-year shelf life, you won’t need to restock any time soon. ReadyWise also includes a plentiful range of 13 meals from lasagna to tortilla soup to teriyaki and rice. These all offer fairly well-balanced nutrients without any trans fats. To prepare the meals, just add hot water and wait 12 to 15 minutes.

$134.95 $279.99 52% off

Buy readywise food at Amazon

Promising Customer Feedback: “If you’re camping, on a survival trip, or planning for the next emergency this is exactly what you need. The price is a little bit on the high side but not outrageous for the quality of food you get.” — Darrel

3. Mountain House Essential Bucket (Gluten-Free)

survival food gluten free
survival food gluten free

Whether you’re celiac or gluten-free by choice, there’s no need to break your diet in an emergency situation. This gluten-free Essential bucket from Mountain House includes four meal varieties such as rice and chicken and scrambled eggs with bacon — all made without any wheat, barley, or rye ingredients. You get a total of 22 servings, which is roughly enough to feed one person (heartily) for four days. Like all of Mountain House’s survival food supplies, the gluten-free bucket has a guaranteed shelf life of 30 years.


Buy mountain house gf at Amazon

Promising Customer Feedback: “Easy to make and very tasty. The only thing I would recommend differently is to put less water in the scrambled egg pouch. All the others were perfectly measured and tasted great.” — Dragonfly

4. 4Patriots Emergency Food Supply

large emergency food supply
large emergency food supply

Want to be extra prepared for a long-term emergency? Get one of these emergency food supply kits from 4Patriots. Besides the usual one-, two-, and four-week supplies, the highly-rated brand also offers massive three-month, six-month, and one-year supplies. We also like that these huge supplies have variety (24 recipes in the three-month supply), so you won’t get as bored. All of 4Patriot’s meals have a shelf life of 25 years, letting you stash these large supplies without worrying about them going bad any time soon.


Buy 4Patriots food supply at Amazon

Promising Customer Feedback: “Absolutely love this product. Love the container that comes in because it’s easy to store and carry. The only complaint that I have is I wish they come in smaller portions for a family of two and once you open it you have to eat it so I plan to repackage it into smaller portions.” — Amanda

5. S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bar

emergency food bars sos
emergency food bars sos

These emergency bars from S.O.S. Rations are a great utilitarian pick. The package contains nine fortified food bars for a total of 3,600 calories. They don’t require any preparation and deliver fast, easy-to-transport energy. This makes the S.O.S. bars ideal for taking on hikes, supplementing a larger emergency food supply, or stashing in your car or boat. The shelf life is five years, but, unlike the options above, that rating is for “climatic conditions.” This means the bars will survive for five years in harsh weather and possibly quite a bit longer in ideal storage conditions.


Buy sos bars at Amazon

Promising Customer Feedback: “Each bar is individually packaged in a thin wrapping. The outer wrapping is vacuum sealed. Great taste, quick shipping, and affordable.” — LeatherHead

Emergency Food Supply Buying Guide

Here’s what we considered while making this list, and what you should keep in mind while choosing the right emergency food supply for your needs.

Shelf Life: Ideally, emergency food supplies sit on the shelf until they go bad. But, depending on which supply you choose, they might need replacing sooner than later. Shelf life differs quite a bit, with emergency food lasting anywhere from five to 30 years. Some brands also guarantee a certain shelf life while others give a range.

Servings: The amount of servings in an emergency food supply is especially important if you’re feeding a whole family. Of course, more is usually better, but that also means the food will take up more space while in storage.

Prep: The best emergency food supplies have meals that can be prepared quickly and easily. Be sure to check how each meal is prepared and what other gear is needed (usually this is just hot water).

Nutrition: Calories are what’s needed in emergency scenarios. Look at how many total calories are in the food kit, as well as how many calories are in each meal (this should be around 200 to 300 calories a meal). Also, check nutrition facts for each meal in the kit; some skimp on nutrients such as protein or vitamins.

Taste: Even though nutrition is the main concern in an emergency, food should still taste good. Emergency food supplies have come a long way over the past several years with better-tasting meals, so kits with good flavors are worth seeking out.

How We Chose the Best Emergency Food Supplies

With the above in mind, we thoroughly researched and tested the top emergency food supply brands. However, we couldn’t see what emergency food brands tasted like after years of storage, so we also paid special attention to customer testimonials from people who ate the food after years of being shelved. After researching and tasting for ourselves, we

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