Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Sep 3, 2005 06:48 PM

Canned food for emergecy kit

  • s

I won't state the obvious - I'm ready to put together an emergency kit for the first time. We have no children and we both enjoy good food, but we haven't been big fans of canned food so far.
Therefore I ask for advice: what should we buy? it doesn't have to be organic, but that would be a plus. Taste matters. Are there canned foods with less preservatives than others? Would they hold as well as others?
Thanx in advance for any advice you have.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This website will tell you what you need to know.

    click on Ready America

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leslie

      Thanks so much for all the insight. I am familiar with the .gov site, got the stash of water, will have some supplement bars in the kit.
      Maybe I haven't been clear about my question, I was looking for brands/types of canned food. Will look into some soups and maybe baked beans, stuff like that - and I wanted to know if anyone has any favorites.

      1. re: SoranaF

        You'll probably get a better response if you repost to the General Topics board. Since you are asking specifically for recommendations for brands of canned foods, the General Topics board is the place to discuss that topic.


    2. You might also want to look in to freeze dried food from camping/outdoor suppliers. We try to keep various canned goods in the house, but we also have a stash of freeze dried stuff (light weight, takes up little space) and keep extra bottled water. After 9/11 I also made up first aid kits for each of our cars, which include a water bottle with a built in purification filter and a disposable mylar blanket.

      If you take prescription medicines on a recurring basis, you want an extra supply of those also.

      Don't forget flash lights, portable radios and extra batteries.


      1. MRE's, Meals Ready to Eat. I use them when I am backpacking, staying at the RV, or boating. I get mine from Major Surplus in San Diego; they have a website,

        Their prices are VERY reasonable, service is lightening fast and they are very helpful over the phone. The official government issue MRE's include a magnesium heating unit, which are NOT included in the MRE's packaged by Mil-Spec. I prefer the government issue surplus because they include the heating units which can get two entrees extremely hot. The MRE's are shelf stable, depending on conditions, can last 10 years.

        Different companies are contracted to assemble them, but typically they contain an entree, side dish, dessert, a treat (some type of candy), crackers, a long handled spoon, an accessory packet that includes gum, a miniature bottle of tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, powdered beverage base, teabag or instant coffee packet, toilet paper and water resistant matches.

        For us, the MRE's are much tastier than canned food or dehydrated food; the latter can have such an unpleasant texture and after effects. The MRE's are closer to frozen foods in terms of texture and taste.
        I have several at work, many more at home, a few in the boat and several in the RV.

        They also carry extensive survival/outdoor/disaster preparedness gear.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MKatrinaToo

          Don't forget Duct Tape.

        2. s

          I would be sure to put in some sardines (I like Bela Olhao from Portugal), some anchovies and good Italian tuna (Flott or Genova), and some Herdez Salsa Casera. While not exactly survival food, they can comfort a Chowhound soul if you also pack up some sturdy crackers to go along. Other things that come to mind are Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes, and some cannellini, black, garbanzo, and kidney beans. I find with beans you get what you pay for - higher priced brands have more beans in proportion to liquid. My daughter-in-law sometimes buys organic soup for the baby with vegetables and barley and I've been surprised at how tasty it can be. I'd also want to have some fruit - peaches or apricots. Good luck, I hope you never need any of it!

          1. Having lived in earthquake country and hurricane country I have gone through this exercise. I stock water, pet food, canned tuna, canned fruit, canned soups, peanut butter, crackers, cookies, canned milk, nuts, granola bars. It pretty much is a case of going up and down the aisles in a grocery store, picturing what your circumstances could be, and deciding what shelf stable items you think you'd feel like eating. Also, pick out items you will be content to work into your regular diet as they need to be rotated to keep up with sell by dates. Paper plates, plastic cutlery, wet wipes, paper towel, candles, batteries. After a couple of days without power, I found the craving for hot food a huge problem. My solution is to make sure the gas grill has adequate fuel, charcoal ready for the Weber, and my fondue pot is ready to go using sterno. Including some treat items, chocolate, brandy, whatever works for you to feel special, is a good idea.