A Prepper’s Guide to Having Food and Water Reserves at Home

Natural disasters and other emergencies can happen unexpectedly. You may find yourself worried that you don’t have enough supply of water and food to provide for your family during these tough times.

To avoid being in this situation, it would be best if you start planning how you can store food and water at home. You and your family will be able to survive any crisis if you start building and maintaining your home’s food and water reserves now.

This article will serve as a guide on how much water and food you will need to store at home. You will be able to determine what types of food have the longest shelf life as well as how to maintain a clean and potable water reserve.

Building Your Emergency Supply

The first thing that you need to do is to determine your family’s size, needs, and preferences. Next, you need to store and serve food that is familiar to everyone. This will make the whole family feel a bit secure, comfortable, and happy even in stressful situations.

It is a tough time for everyone but the whole family will be happy if they can eat food that they enjoy. When choosing food for the whole family, you should also consider storing food that is high in calorie content and nutritious.

It is ideal to store foods that do not need refrigeration or any form of special preparation. It is best if you can store foods with longest shelf life such as dried beans, rolled oats, white rice, pasta products, cheese, dehydrated vegetables and fruit slices, dried corn, pemmican, as well as legumes.

Some food condiments with long shelf life that you should take note of are salt, sugar, baking soda, honey, coffee, and powdered milk. You should also pay attention to members of the family who follow a strict diet. You will also need to take note of foods to avoid that could cause allergic reactions.

If there are nursing mothers in the household, you would need to stock up on nutritious foods and even formula milk. For the elderly in the family, it would be great to store canned juices, soups, and dietetic food.

Water is very important for survival. The safest source of water that you can store for your family is an unopened and commercially-bought bottled water. It is ideal to store potable water in cool areas of the home and avoid placing them near your stored pesticides, gasoline, and other chemicals.

If you want to store water aside from those that are sold commercially in bottles, you would need to store them in safe, food-grade, and non-toxic containers. The container should have a top cover that can be sealed tight.

Always be ready with a portable water filter. This will come very useful if eventually your water supply runs low or when your water supply becomes contaminated. There are three ways you can treat your water supply – boiling, chlorination, and distillation.

Wooden shelves in pantry for food storage, grain products in storage jars.

How Much Water And Food Do You Need to Store?

A crisis is unpredictable. Hence, you don’t know when it will end. A crisis can last for a couple of days or worse, years. With this in mind, you may find yourself asking how much food do you need to survive?

It is recommended to stock up on food that would last you for at least 14 days. At first, it may look a lot but when you are stuck at home with nothing much to do, you may end up realizing that your inventory is not enough.

To lengthen your food supply, you can reduce by half the intake of healthy members of the family especially if their activity level is greatly reduced. However, if you have young children, pregnant or nursing mothers, and elderly at home, you may need to ration food appropriately.

On average, each person needs 1 gallon of water daily both for drinking and sanitation purposes. If you are living with pregnant or nursing mothers, elderly people, or living in a humid area, you should store more water.

Other Reminders

Keep in mind the following reminders when storing food and water reserves for your home:

  • Check the expiration date of canned goods.
  • Consume foods before the expiration date.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Avoid placing food in areas that are easily accessible to pests.
  • Aside from storing food, make sure you have enough cooking and eating utensils for the whole family.
  • Use durable and sturdy water containers. Avoid using breakable containers such as glass.
  • Properly label all food and water storage containers. Label your water either as “drinking water” or “water for sanitation”.


Food reserves at home should be familiar, nutritious, and high in calorie content. Water reserves should depend on the size of the family where one person is alloted a gallon of water daily. Make sure to store clean food and water reserves to keep your family hydrated and healthy during stressful times.

Don’t wait for a disaster or a crisis to strike before planning for your family’s survival. Eventually your supply will not be enough, hence, you should have back-up plans on how to look for new food and water sources.

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