Evacuating your Home 101- Box 10 – The Food Kit

Make sure to read the rest of the series, it starts here.

Please Note: I don’t have a picture for this post yet but rest assured, I’ll find a suitable pic soon. Considering all the evacuating that is going on in Utah and other states right now, I decided that the picture in the post wasn’t the most important thing, acting on the information is.

Box  #10, Portable Pantry – The Food Kit

Container Suggestions:  Ice Chest, Rubbermaid Tote, wood box

Of course we’ll assume that we’ll want to eat at some point after evacuating our home, and we’ll need food to do that.   Remember that we won’t know when we’ll have to evacuate so we can’t plan your grocery trip around it.  Even if that were possible, the whole town would be at the store with you, and probably not in a very calm, pleasant or even civil mood.  Instead, we’ll be packing up from what we have on hand in our pantry at any given moment.  I sure hope that it’s not the day before payday and the scheduled  “MOM, There is no food in this house!” shopping trip.

We want to prepare to fill a container very quickly, with canned foods, dry cereal, crackers or whatever will sustain us and can be kept without being refrigerated.  Our goal here is (hold on to something) a 30 day supply of food. I know, I know,  that sounds crazy but with a bit of planning and adding a few extra items to your cart with each trip to the store, it can be done.   If we planned correctly , this food will fit in 1 or 2 large containers.

One way to simplify this is to keep canned goods in plastic tote pans on the shelf so they are ready to grab when needed.  Designate a couple of shelves for items that are evacuation worthy and then there is no thought involved, you just empty those shelves into your chosen container and go.

Keep in mind that often in a stressful situation, your body will be doing more work than you are used to. Even if you aren’t hiking or chainsawing a tree or digging neighbors or family members out of a collapsed building, your body at rest, under stress will need more calories than it normally needs.  This is not the time to limit calories,  you’ll need that energy to function. Focus on calorie dense foods that are as nutritious as possible.  Snickers, soda and Oreos are not our main food group here…although they do indeed fit into the comfort food category for sure.

Some suggestions for shelf stable, easy to prepare foods are:

Breads and Grains

  • Crackers
  • Rice Cakes
  • Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals
  • Granola Bars
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Bread (grab any loaves that you have open or from the freezer)
  • Instant Rice
  • Cup-o-noodles
  • Dry Bread sticks
  • Pretzels

Meats and other protein

  • Canned tuna or chicken
  • Canned soups with Meat
  • Beef Stew
  • Instant re-fried beans
  • Instant soups
  • Chili
  • Beef Jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter

Veggies and Fruits

  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Veggies
  • Applesauce
  • Fruit leather (fruit roll-ups)
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit Juices
  • Fruit Drinks
  • Canned Vegetable Soup
  • Canned Chili
  • White beans (to mix with a dressing mix to make hummus for crackers)


  • Shelf stable milk (Gossner is a good brand)
  • Rice, Soy, or Almond Milk
  • snack puddings
  • Cheese (you can eat these in the first few days)
  • Milk (same as the cheese, take it out of the fridge, put it in a cooler with the ice from your freezer and use first)
  • Canned salmon or other fish with bones

You’ll notice that I don’t have MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) listed above.  The only reason is because we don’t like them. When I am stressed, that last thing I want is food battles with my kids.  If your kids will eat anything and you love MRE’s, then include them but picky kids won’t magically become non-picky kids under stress.

I do like some of the freeze-dried just-add-water items on the market.  Mountain House makes some great products, but they are a bit pricey for a family of 8 so I mostly stick with Grocery store stuff for the bulk of my food kit.  I might do 1 or 2 days worth of very simple meals because that is the time when we’ll be getting settled at our evacuation location and cooking time will be at a minimum.

Be sure to add some comfort foods to your stash, but if your home is anything like mine, you’ll truly have to hide them so they’ll still be around when you need them.  I’d add hard candies to the list because they have an infinite shelf life if you keep them dry and for those who must have chocolate, tootsie rolls can do the job if you’re out of the real stuff.

What is your favorite easy to prepare meal that would fit into this food box category?  I’m sure there are some great ideas floating around.

UP next, Box 11 – The Travelers Workshop


  1. Kathy says:

    I’m thinking we’d include a Costco sized package of pasta – penne, bowtie, spagetti and/or shells. It would be light weight to carry, fill tummies well and can be eaten cold if need be (combined with veggies or the tuna). A jar or two of spaghetti sauce would make meatless meals taste more like home and can be stretched. I know that’s still cooking, but if you are going to be away for a while, it would be good.

    We also get a lot of freebie coupons for various kinds of power bars. It would be fairly easy to stockpile them, keep them in a plastic container and grab when the time comes.

    • ready1 says:

      Great Idea, and don’t apologize for cooking, I’ll be doing that too. After the fridge stuff runs out then we are back to regular cooking…at least if you call campfire or solar oven regular 🙂
      Can you share your source for coupons for powerbars? The grab and go stuff will be so needed in the first couple of days.

      • Kathy says:

        My husband is an athlete, so of course we buy a lot of those bars under normal circumstances. We use the membership card at our grocery store, so we get printed out coupons from manufacturers trying to get us to buy their product. They are printed out at the checkout. I also emailed the companies and asked for coupons.

  2. shirlene newmeyer says:

    thanks for the info. I have most of this, its just not together. One more thing to do!!!!!

    • ready1 says:

      You are not alone, I’m right there with ya. Finding the time to gather and organize everything is the hardest part, but once it’s done it’s like a weight lifted, one less thing to worry about. Welcome aboard.


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