What Should I Store For A Pandemic?

food storage for a pandemic

Pandemics are a special breed of emergency, as we all now are well aware. But planning adequate food and supply storage isn’t as hard as you think, and can happen without leaving the grocery shelves bare of essentials that everyone needs. With regular planning along with your normal grocery runs, you can always feel secure and prepared in the event of another lock-down or shelter-in-place advisory should they happen again. 

Planning For A Pandemic (Checklist)

As with all possible emergencies, being prepared at all times can bring peace of mind and save your life and the lives of your loved ones. We all hope circumstances won’t become dire, but as we’ve learned from this current pandemic, a lot of us were left scrambling for food, water, and other basic necessities of life when shelter-in-place took effect. Such situations are not common but they do happen and could happen again as Covid-19 and the mass of variants keep cycling through. So preparing today for the possibility of another shelter-in-place occurrence is not only practical but will offer you safety and peace of mind. Here are some steps to help you get prepared today:

  1. Figure Out How Much Food You Will Need For Everyone In Your Household.

    1. Make a list of everyone in your household (pets included!) and what they eat for each meal and snacks for one day. 
    2. Account for family members and friends that frequently visit, as you all wouldn’t want to be caught off guard if a situation arose where you had visitors but no one could leave for the time being. This will ensure everyone is cared for and household shortages will be unlikely to happen.
    3. Look at your food list--find any perishable items on it and see what non-perishable replacements you can purchase instead. If there are no adequate replacements (even when stretching your creativity!), eliminate that item from your list.
    4. Then multiply the food items by three to get started on your three-day emergency food kit, and so on and so on for longer-duration emergency stockpiles.
  2. Assess Your Household’s Potential Need For Food.

    Look in your cupboards, what’s in your fridge and freezer, will what you have now keep you fed and healthy for the next three days? What about the next three weeks? A month? Here are some good things to consider when buying food in preparation for a potential shelter-in-place situation:
    1. Get foods with a long shelf life.
    2. Foods that don’t require a lot of preparation work, water, or refrigeration.
    3. Foods that you will actually eat! Just because something is on case-sale doesn’t mean you need to get it if you never even eat it on normal days. And don’t forget about everyone’s favorite nutritious snacks and comfort foods to offer some normalcy to the difficulties of an emergency. 
    4. Keep everyone’s specific dietary needs in mind. Babies and toddlers will require more specific foods than even older children, and any food sensitivities and allergies need to be accommodated as well. And don’t forget about the needs of your pets! That’s an often-forgotten necessity when emergencies hit.
    5. Prepare and store enough water for everyone in your household. The standard equation is 1 gallon per person or pet per day ( 
  3. Purchase A Few Items At A Time.

    To make building your stockpile manageable and stress-free, just get a few extra items each time you get groceries until you have enough for everyone in your household for three days, then two weeks, three weeks, a month, and so on. In the event of a shelter-in-place situation, we’d like to think they won’t last long, but, again, as with the beginning of Covid-19, it cannot be assumed that you will only be in lockdown for a few days or a week. Be certain to be prepared for worst-case scenarios and you will feel stable and confident in the supplies you have available. 
  4. Organize Your Stockpile And Rotate It Frequently.

    The idea isn’t to just have all that storage food sitting there untouched, but to rotate it into your everyday use as well so you always have the freshest, most nutritious foods available for when the unexpected occurs. 

Food To Store During a Pandemic 

Preparing your emergency storage is an ongoing endeavor, but one that if executed and maintained properly and regularly won’t cause much of a headache. Here are some of the best foods to always have on hand and to incorporate into your emergency food supply:

  • Produce with a long shelf life: Store apples and avocados (once ripened) in the fridge, and potatoes, yams, onions, garlic, can be left out on countertops or other safe places for a few weeks, and citrus fruits can be stored likewise as well until ripened enough to be stored in the fridge.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables can be great to have a few extra on hand, provided electricity stays on 
  • A large pack of meat and other proteins, such as tofu, you can split up and freeze
  • Eggs are a great protein to have on hand as they can last for a while in your fridge
  • Hard-aged cheeses: parmesan, sharp cheddar
  • Shelf-stable milk and milk powders, both dairy and nondairy
  • Peanut, nut, and seed butter and/or powders
  • Protein and fruit bars
  • Dried pasta and tomato/pasta sauce
  • Canned fruit and veggies not packed in syrup or extra salt
  • Infant foods and formula
  • Pet food
  • Canned and dried beans
  • Baking supplies: wheat, gluten-free all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda
  • Healthy cooking oils: olive, avocado, coconut
  • Balsamic vinegar, honey, maple syrup
  • Hot cereals: oats, buckwheat
  • Low-sodium snacks, as higher salt content will dehydrate you, making you require more water
  • A few sweet snacks and indulgences: chocolate, shelf-stable cookies, hard candy, fruit snacks
  • Hot and cold beverage mixes and powders: instant coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hydration drinks, and powders

Supplies And Essential Items To Store During A Pandemic 

Along with adequate food and water, the following list offers some excellent items to have stowed away in emergency bins for when you need them:

  • Handheld or countertop water filtration system
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Manual can opener, utensils, and plates/bowls
  • Garbage bags
  • Whistle
  • Dust masks
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kits
  • Medications: anti-fever, anti-diarrheal, vitamins, prescribed medications, and supplies
  • Thermometer 
  • Toilet paper
  • Hygiene: soap, feminine products, wipes
  • Cleaning supplies and disinfectant wipes
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Supplies for pets
  • Wrench, pliers, or Leatherman to turn off utilities or make necessary repairs
  • Mini propane stove or access to an outdoor grill
  • Books, games, activities for everyone, especially small children!

hibernate food storage for pandemics

Let Hibernate Help With Your Food Storage Needs

Planning ahead and being prepared with adequate food and water and essential emergency supplies for another potential lockdown is certainly daunting, and Hibernate knows and understands the stress that comes with that level of preparedness. That’s why we’ve made it easy on you (and your wallet!) to get started on the path of being prepared when shelter-in-place happens, because it no longer seems it’s a matter of if, but when, and it’s important to be sure you feel secure when it does. 

Prepare for the unexpected and order a 1-month food supply from Hibernate today!


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