How Much Food Do I Need To Feed My Family In An Emergency?

How much food do i need to feed my family in an emergency

It’s important for you to be prepared to support those you love most, especially in times of crisis. And the thing about emergencies is, they can happen at any time, often at the worst times possible. So how do we make sure that we have all the food that we need to feed everyone that will be depending on us?

6 Critical Things To Consider When Planning Food Storage

There are 6 things we’ll want to consider before we make any concrete decisions, such as:

  1. How many, and what kind of people do you need to be providing for / feeding (number of people)?
  2. How many calories do each person need per day? This will depend on age, sex, and physical activity.
  3. How long of an emergency are you trying to provide for (length of emergency)?
  4. What Scenarios are you most likely planning for (what may cause your emergency)?
  5. How much water will you need to prepare & eat your food?
  6. How much water do you need per person to remain hydrated?

How Many People Do You Need To Feed- It's Not As Simple As You'd Think

Alright, let’s start with our base. How many people do you need to have emergency essentials prepared for? Your family may be a small army or it could just be yourself. But those numbers are going to greatly impact your need. When we combine our numbers with our demographics such as age, sex, and physical activity levels, we are able to start narrowing down a number of what we need. It’s important to have the correct calorie count for each individual to ensure you will have the energy you need, when you need it most. So here are some average daily calorie needs, 2according to the United States Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: 

  • Adult women: 1,600 to 2,400 calories
  • Adult men: 2,000 to 3,000 calories
  • Young children: 1,000 to 2,000 calories
  • Older children and adolescents: 1,400 to 3,200 calories (with boys generally at the higher end of the scale)

Now you’re going to need to do some math here. If you assign each of your dependents to their calorie intake and add those calorie counts all together, you will get the total number of calories per day you will want to have on hand. Now we need to determine how many days we are going to want to be prepared for. FEMA suggests at least 2 weeks of food storage per person. This is a pretty good starting point. But as you might remember in 2020, in times of panic or emergency, grocery stores can be completely emptied out for much longer than that 2 week buffer may provide. We at Hibernate recommend having at least 1 month of emergency supplies on hand for everyone you’re looking to support in a crisis. Our 1-Month Emergency Food Kit makes it easy with our set-it-and-forget-it up to 25-year storage guarantee*. We also have some family kits put together so you don’t have to worry about having the right amount of calories. Whether you are looking to provide for just yourself or a family of up to 6 people, we can help. We’ve already done the math for you! Check out our Family Kits Here.

Emergency Scenarios You Need To Prepare For- And They're Not All Tornadoes!

We’re halfway through our checklist, and we’re getting close to having everything we need. But there is still more to take into account. We need to look ahead at which emergencies we may be preparing for to make sure we have everything we might need. Possible emergency scenarios are:

  • Natural Catastrophes
    • Hurricanes
    • Flooding
    • Tornadoes
    • Earthquakes
    • Civil Unrest
  • Short Term Family Emergencies
    • Job Loss
    • Illness
    • Family Member or Friend Needs Assistance

These scenarios will cause different effects on your available resources. Play through these scenarios in your mind to determine if you will still have the items needed to prepare your emergency food storage. Luckily all of our product is sealed tightly within their containers to be able to withstand water damage and other issues. Many of our buckets also come as ‘pouch-in-pail’ kits meaning that your total servings are broken up into smaller sealed packages for freshness, a double layer of protection, and the ability to only open small amounts at a time and keep the remaining bucket contents fresh for their 25 year lifespan. When thinking about what items you may need, keep in mind having cooking supplies on hand, a heat source, and water.

Water, Without It, You're In Trouble

You will need water to prepare your emergency food storage. Many long term food storage items are dehydrated to expand their lifespan capability. The amount of water needed for Hibernate products can be found in each of the products ‘product description’ on our website. See our full list of products here. You will also need water in your regular diet to make sure you are remaining hydrated. 1The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

Hopefully you now have a better idea of what you need to be able to support your loved ones in an emergency. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help or have further questions.


More On Food Storage:

Hibernate: Changing Emergency Food Storage For The Better

Camping Food Ideas

What Is The Best Emergency Food Supply?



*for maximum shelf life, store unopened product in a cool, dry place; avoid extreme temperatures and moisture. 

1 How Much water should you drink

2 How many calories should I eat per day