Have you ever wondered what to have in your pantry? Whether or not you’ve ever faced an emergency, it’s always a good idea to keep a few basic items on hand!
What to Keep in Your Pantry in Case of an Emergency.
When I originally published this post on August 28th, 2017, I never thought it would be useful for what we’re going through right now! I guess this drives home the importance of having a well stocked pantry year round. This Chicken Salad with Apricots can be made with canned chicken.
Every part of the country has its own special brand of disasters. The South and Eastern Seaboard regularly face hurricanes and hurricane force winds. The Mid-West is plagued with flooding and tornadoes. The North, North-East and Canada can expect blizzards and recording break snow storms every winter. The West, especially California, experiences earthquakes and mud slides nearly every year. In some cases, large parts of cities and towns might lose power.
Even your home doesn’t lose power, you might be stranded for days, unable to leave your residence. (As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.) You can read about our disaster here. We had severe windstorms in 2011. We lost a massive tree, one of our cars was totaled, the other required extensive repairs.
Most of the city was without power. We were fortunate and only lost power for a day.
We keep a basic emergency kit on hand like this one. We also have several lighters to light our gas stove or candles. Of course if you have an electric stove, this won’t work. A simple one burner camping stove is small enough to store in your garage with the rest of your emergency supplies, and is perfect for heating up, or cooking a simple meal. Don’t forget a few flashlights or camping lanterns.
12 Pantry Basics
- Steel-cut or regular oatmeal. Oatmeal can easily be made with just water, and is a hearty and filling breakfast. I like McCann’s.
- Dried or canned beans. Cannellini, pinto, black beans, garbanzo, or kidney beans. There are so many quick and easy dishes that can be whipped up with a can or two of beans.
- Canned tomatoes.
- Canned salmon, tuna or chicken.
- Pasta, either regular or brown rice pasta.
- Lentils and split peas.
- Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth, I prefer the cartons.
- Evaporated milk.
- Dried fruit like cranberries, apricots and raisins is good for a quick snack with some nuts.
- Nuts; almonds, cashews, walnuts. I keep all of these on hand for baking and snacking. They are a great source of protein and healthy fats.
With these basic items, none of which require refrigeration, you can prepare a variety of meals that require either no cooking or a single burner.
Steel-cut oatmeal…once you’ve tasted steel-cut you’ll never want to eat any other! Like regular oatmeal, it requires no refrigeration.
What to make with canned beans:
Hummus is a protein filled spread for sandwiches, veggies or with chips.
What to make with canned tomatoes:
This Authentic Italian Tomato Sauce can easily be made from carton, canned or jarred tomatoes.
Tomato Basil Soup uses canned or jarred tomatoes. If you don’t have access to cheese, omit it for a simpler version. Substitute evaporated milk if fresh milk in not available.
What to make with canned salmon, tuna or chicken:
Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad
What to make with pasta:
Pasta e Fagioli uses both pasta and beans.
What to make with lentils or split peas:
What to make with chicken or beef broth. I can’t imagine not having broth in my pantry at all times. I use it several times a week in soups, stews and sauces.
Leek and Potato Soup. Substitute onions for the leeks.
What to make with potatoes:
What to make with onions:
French Onion Soup uses lots of onions and beef broth. However, if you don’t have refrigeration, you can most certainly eat it it “cheese-less”.
What to make with evaporated milk:
You can use evaporated milk can be used on cereal or to enrich soups like Leek and Potato or Tomato Basil.
Fruit and Nuts are a quick source of energy, a snack, or add to oatmeal or cereal.
Even if you have a well-stocked pantry, this simple Emergency Backpack is designed for a family of four to survive for up to 3 days.
Remember to keep plenty of bottled water on hand as well.
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You know me, I’m not a canned or boxed food girl, but I usually do have a few cans of Heinz beans! Wish I could have tins of black pudding, too! 😉
yep…I do keep some canned stuff for quick meals…I can do a lot with a can of beans!
Great post! We get ice storms where I live. Because we’re on a well, if we lose electricity, we also lose water. It’s just not fun. We do have a gas stove, so I can make coffee with stored water and my handy Melitta coffee maker that I’ve kept since the 70’s!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
We’re lucky that we don’t get too many storms but every once in awhile we’ll get a big snow storm! (Or big enough that we can’t go anywhere, haha.) I love having bread in the freezer and plenty of beans on hand!
yes! if you can’t get out during a snowstorm, you’ve got to use what you’ve got!
This is a great list. I’m terrible with keeping these things on-hand, since we live in Arizona, but it is definitely important! Thanks for sharing!
you guys get windstorms don’t you?
Wow! This is so timely given what our friends in Texas are going through right now. I sometimes will look through my pantry and think about what I could do with what I have in case of emergency. I hadn’t really thought of making an actual plan of foods to keep. Great idea.
I guess it depends on where you live too. I live in California, so we have the constant threat of earthquakes.
Vanessa Price says
So important! And most of us don’t think about it. Great post!
yep, we don’t think about it until something like Hurricane Harvey hits!
Amy | The Cook Report says
What a useful list to have on hand!
We have a lot of natural disasters in the US unfortunately this is necessary!
It’s a great list and very helpful, shame i didn’t get it before we got hit by Harvey’s floods but i will definitely save the list should i needed for the future. There are some awesome quick recipes to go with that which i hadn’t thought of doing during the storm. We ate things mainly out of the tins when we had the power & water cuts – tuna, salmon, pineapple etc – thank you very much for posting this.
Oh no! How are you doing? The news is just devastating!
Boy, this really made me do an inventory in my head as I was reading your tips. I do have pantry items regularly stocked, but missing is a camping stove. That backpack is a great idea to have on hand too!
Yes, the camping stove is great if you have an electric stove top!
What a great idea for a post. I’ve been thinking that I really need to get on top of our emergency supplies and food storage–I’ve been slacking for far too long!
it’s horrible events like what’s happening in Texas that remind me I need to check our supplies!
What a great article. I have all of the food staples and most of the others. I’ve pinned this to my information board. A really great batch of recipes too. Yum!
What a helpful idea! Emergencies can come in the form of a Mama getting sick, so it’s great to have supplies on hand for the Hubby to whip something up!
I enjoyed reading your article, it’s given me lot of tips and ideas, thanks for sharing
Thank you for writing this post. My mom has been asking me for pantry meal ideas lately, so she won’t have to leave the house as often due to the Coronavirus. (My parents turn 80 and 85 this year so I’m glad they are being cautious,) I was able to send her your post tonight. Love that it features healthy whole foods! Thank you again!
you’re welcome! When I originally wrote it I never dreamed it would be useful for this sort of thing!