What Does Emergency Preparation Look Like for Your Pantry?


Pantry Essentials For Food Security

A pantry. It can be a gorgeous space that looks like a mini grocery store, or it can be as simple as a plastic bin with a lid shoved under the bed. Whatever you consider your pantry, you should always have one and keep it stocked for emergencies.

With Covid-19 upon us as a nation, it is imperative that everyone has at least some provisions. This does not mean hoarding or binge shopping just because. Having two weeks’ worth of food is a tough thing to get when everything is closed, or the stores have sold out of the basics. Building this pantry slowly may not be possible if you’re suddenly pitched into an isolation situation, but it is doable. Many online markets are available, including many local chains offering delivery or pickup.

Our pantry has evolved over the years from a small lidded box stashed under our bed when we lived in an apartment in the city all the way to our current project, an entire room dedicated to food storage, laundry and a sitting area for our kitchen. I’ve had everything in between over the years - an unused closet in a guest bedroom, a shelf under the stairs in the basement, a cupboard in the kitchen - they all served to store our daily food as well as keep us well fed and comfortable in an emergency.

Here in the northeast, we can have blizzards, ice storms, freezing rain, floods, tornadoes, heat waves and random blackouts. I have seen all of the above over the years, and each time we go through something extreme, I take stock of what we did and didn’t do in order to learn and prepare for the next time.

Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

My motto: Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

4/10/2021 9:22:40 AM

Thank you for sharing this list. It has inspired me to make a list of my own. Do you concern yourself on expiration dates? Plus may I suggest some additional items? Like, jarred cornbread mixes, Can of crisco shortening, bottled oil for cooking and baking, spices for cooking like salt, pepper etc. flash lights, extra batteries, oil lamps. We were in a severe snow storm in Feb. and we had not electricity for two weeks, Luckly I had a propane stove to heat and cook on. However many full electric homes did not. So have an alternative cooking and heating source. Matches are important. Dried eggs, shelf milk is important. And bottled water. i fill up empty milk jugs with tap water for toilet uses. label the jug. I buy drinking water to drink, make coffee, tea. I am talking gallon jugs not the individual bottles. Have extra none breakable glasses. Dish pans, buckets. tubs are important for washing dishes, infants and clothes. Set up a portable drying rack or if you can a clothes line outside. Make sure you have plenty of towels, sheets, pillows blankets. If you can hide some cots in case you need them. We have this stuff in our storm shelter. We have gone through tornados, snow storms when is not normal in Texas The winds can get so strong it will destroy a house. At last have a collection of books (one on firstaid), games, pad and writing utensils. Colors and coloring books for children. I talk too much. I forgot that this article was mainly about pantry. I got carried away.

4/9/2021 8:53:00 PM

My grandparents raised me and I was taught to always keep the pantry filled. Considering they lived thru the depression but they were dairy farmers so I suppose it wasn't all that bad for them..I Know they had issues but keeping the cellar stocked went a long way. Consequently, being raised that way, I have always kept things stocked. Even with bottled water. That gets recycled yearly. When thing went south early last year and there were shortages, I was prepared. In our house there are 4 adults and 2 children.

3/23/2020 10:56:30 AM

Enjoyed your lists of “stocked up items”, gave me some great ideas. Can you share your recipe for your homemade hand sanitizer? Thanks much Patricia

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