Best Disaster Food Kits

If you’re looking for the best disaster food kit ffor emergency survival, check out this list of the best emergency food supplies you can buy. We’ve researched and consulted survival experts and scientific literature to bring you the best deals on emergency survival food supplies that have a long shelf life, are convenient to store and provide sufficient nourishment to get you through at least a 48 hour interruption of food supply in weather emergencies, natural disasters and man made disasters. You should also have some other important tools like the best survival knives to make sure you are prepared for anything.

Our top pick, the SOS Food Lab bars, are among the best deals in emergency food kits around, consisting of high calorie long shelf life bars that require no heating and consume no extra water.

Top 7 Best Disaster First Aid Kit Compared

 #1  SOS Food Lab Bars – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: With a five year shelf life and compact, easy storage, these bars are must have emergency food supplies, providing a quick and nutritious meal substitute when access to supplies is cut off.

Pros
  • US Coast Guard approved
  • BPA-free packaging
  • 400 cal per bar
Cons
  • Somewhat dry consistency
  • Artificial fruit flavorings
  • Not as much variety as with the Sustain Supply Co Emergency Food Kit

These vacuum packed survival bars are a convenient and low cost way to stock up on emergency food supplies. They make a great addition to any earthquake kit, tornado kit or other natural disaster preparedness kit. The SOS Food Lab Millennium Assorted Energy Bars comes as packs of six bars with different flavors. The bars themselves are crunchy and generally considered pretty good tasting, though castaways may tire eventually of the fruity flavored ones.

Not just good for at home emergency kits, these emergency bars are a good idea to have with you in a travel kit as well or to have when camping or hiking, exploring the wilderness or even on road trips where you might be far from service stations and have a long wait to get picked up in case of an accident or breakdown. It is an essential outdoor gear.

 #2  Sustain Supply Co Premium Emergency Food Kit – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This two person emergency preparedness kit comes ready packed in a portable 16 x 20 inch bag and includes food for 72 hours as well as water, water filtration straws, a basic first aid kit and various other survival tools.

Pros
  • Includes 72-hours worth of meals
  • Comprehensive disaster kit
  • Five year shelf life
Cons
  • More expensive and complex than simple ration packs
  • Somewhat heavy

This deluxe emergency food kit not only contains 72 hours worth of sealed, 5-year shelf life meals for two people, but a range of must have emergency supplies. It includes water and filter straws good for up to 396 gallons of water, emergency blankets, 4 snap lights, an LED lantern, fire starters, a survival knife and a first aid kit. This makes it one of the more comprehensive emergency kits on the market. It comes packed in a backpack for easy storage and carrying as well, making it handy to have when camping or with you in your car on long road trips. The Sustain Supply Co Emergency Food Kit also includes a portable emergency stove, folding bowls and portable cutlery.

Fully loaded, the backpack weighs about 17 pounds. The disaster food kit comes with 12 servings of dehydrated meals which you can rehydrate and eat using the included portable stove. While not as convenient as the survival bars and rations, the dehydrated meals do have a 5-year shelf life and may be among the more palatable disaster food kit options. It is a good addition to your camping and hiking gear.

 #3  NuManna INT NMGNG – Best Quality

WHY WE LIKE IT: Among the highest rated disaster food kits on the market for taste and nutritional quality, this NuManna emergency food pack contains 76 servings of MSG free, non GMO food, and is designed with a 25 year shelf life

Pros
  • 25 year shelf life
  • More variety and less sugar than other disaster food kits
  • Non-GMO
Cons
  • Servings are 1/2 cup
  • Not suitable for vegans–contains dairy

Noted as being among the only non-GMO options in terms of disaster food supplies, the NuManna dehydrated 76-serving disaster food kit includes relatively tasty meals like habanero chili with pineapple, cheddar broccoli soup, beans and rice, enchiladas and pastas. It’s billed as having the lowest ratio of breakfast of any disaster food kit on the market, meaning you get less sugar and oatmeal type rations and more hearty servings.

These emergency meals are easy to prepare, though you do need boiling water, unlike with the simple “survival bars” like those from SOS Supply Co (our top pick.) Pack them with the best sleeping bags. Or the best sleeping pad.

 #4  NuManna INT NMFP 144 meals – Best Freeze Dried

WHY WE LIKE IT: The same high quality freeze dried emergency food supply rations as with the INT NMGNG, only more of it, this bucket comes with 144 servings of soy and MSG-free, nutritious emergency food.

Pros
  • 7-day supply for two people
  • Tasty meals like black bean soup
  • Soy free and with vegetarian options
Cons
  • Contains dairy
  • Requires hot water to serve

Much of what applies to the smaller, 76-serving NuManna emergency food kit applies to this larger version as well– you get freeze dried emergency rations that are rated highly for taste and that aren’t overloaded with sugar or low quality starches. These disaster preparedness meals are nutrient-rich and GMO-free as well as being free of soy and high fructose corn syrup. Some of the meals include rice pilaf, classic chili, cheesy potato soup and oatmeal.

As with the other freeze dried emergency foods on our list, these come in sealed packets whose contents turn into recognizable food when you add them to hot water. The plus side is that you get to eat a real meal, but the caveat is that you have to have water a heat source. Another important bit of gear are the best water purification tablets for camping.

 #5  Augason Farms Lunch and Dinner Emergency Food Supply – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: 92 servings of lunch and dinner variety foods packaged in an easy to store 4 gallon pail, it ranks among the best deals in emergency food supplies

Pros
  • Hearty freeze dried meals
  • Up to 25-year shelf life
  • 11 varieties
Cons
  • Not suitable for vegetarians/ vegans
  • Not as health-conscious as NuManna freeze dried disaster food kit
  • Only includes lunch and dinner varieties

This disaster food kit comes in a 4 gallon bucket and contains 92 servings of freeze dried lunch and dinner meals. It includes hearty selections like macaroni and cheese, stroganoff, fettuccini Alfredo and corn chowder, plus chocolate pudding as a dessert. It has 11 different varieties of meals, with an average of about 8 of each kind. As with other freeze dried emergency foods in disaster prep kits, this is a “Just add water,” situation, and you simply rehydrate the food with heated or boiling water and it’s ready to eat.

Containing 21,170 calories, this disaster food bucket has enough to keep one person fed for up to about 10 days to 2 weeks. It’s not the largest or most comprehensive emergency rations kit on the market, but it does represent a good value for the money. Don’t forget the best water purifiers for camping.

 #6  Survival Tabs 30 day food supply – Longest Supply

WHY WE LIKE IT: Simple, basic and survival focused, this ultra shelf stable disaster food kit contains ready to eat calorie cubes in a 30 day supply in an extremely compact box.

Pros
  • 100% of essential vitamins & minerals
  • Compact and easy to pack
  • Requires no reheating
Cons
  • Less flavorful than freeze dried meal options
  • No variety
  • Low in fiber

These survival tabs are about the most basic, and compact emergency food supplies available. The kit consists of 2 bottles with 180 tabs each. The tabs themselves are formulated to contain 100% of essential per FDA vitamins and minerals, as well as carbohydrates, protein and fat. They’re also gluten free and non-GMO.  Bring these along with the best disaster kit, and you’ll be ready for your next long hike.

Being cubes rather than recognizable “meals” may make them less of a first choice disaster food, but they are among the easiest emergency food supplies to pack with you and the easiest to eat in case of a natural disaster that makes it harder to access fuel, water supplies or electricity. No need to heat or add water with these, though you’ll want to have water on hand when you eat them of course. The Survival tabs make a great “back up” emergency food and are a worthwhile addition to a roadside, travel or backpacking emergency kit. Speaking of backpacking, check out the best backpacking tent.

 #7  Survival Tabs Emergency Ration Packets – Best Travel

WHY WE LIKE IT: Individually wrapped in one person/day packets, these compact survival tabs are among the most convenient to pack in any disaster or emergency preparedness kit

Pros
  • Non GMO
  • Come in high protein cubes
  • Up to 25 year shelf life
Cons
  • Less flavorful than freeze dried MREs
  • Low in fiber/ amino acid diversity

A great addition to any travel emergency kit or natural disaster preparedness kit, and great to have stashed on different floors or rooms in buildings that may get damaged in earthquakes or flooding, these individual packets of emergency ration survival tabs may not be the most interesting culinary choice but they do provide survival nutrition for one person per day per packet. The packets themselves are easy to store and are shelf stable for 25 years or more.

A bonus, these survival tabs in portable pouches come with a variety of flavors, butterscotch, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Since they’re the most compact of the disaster food kits on our list, they make a good backup plan and are a must have for storm cellars and in travel/ backpacking or roadside emergency kits. These emergency food supplies are good to have on boats as well. Just like the best disaster first aid kit.

How we decided

In order to isolate only the most effective and worth your money disaster food kits, we first made sure to include only those that promised complete daily nutrition– so they had to contain enough calories, protein, fat and carbs, as well as vitamins and minerals, for at least one person for three days as packaged.

Second, we made sure to check the shelf life ratings: after all, emergency food supplies are supposed to be there for future emergencies, so we only included those disaster food kits with a 5 year + shelf life. Many of the emergency foods on our list will be shelf stable for 25 years or more.

Finally, we chose freeze dried meals that had decent-to-good ratings for taste and that included wholesome foods and, as a bonus, offered vegetarian options and were free of MSG, soy and GMO ingredients.

Disaster Food Kit Buying Guide

Disaster Food Kit Features To Consider

  1. Nutrition Content
    To make sure your survival rations let you maintain energy levels and physical health, you’ll want to pick a disaster food kit that gives you enough carbs, protein, fat and vitamins to stay active. As a general guideline, most should include between 200-350 calories per serving, with about a third to half the calories coming from carbs, and the remaining calories coming from fat and protein.
  2. Shelf Life
    For best value in disaster food kits, look for the longest rated shelf life. Many of the freeze dried emergency foods on our list such as the MSG-free NuManna emergency meals promise over 20 years of shelf life in dry storage.
  3. Freeze Dried Meals vs Bars
    Emergency rations come in different forms, but mainly they consist of either freeze dried meals which you rehydrate with hot water and then eat, or packaged “bars” or cubes of nutritional formula. While the freeze dried meals generally taste and feel like real food, they are ever so slightly more complicated to make, requiring you to add hot water rather than just open and chew. This means some simple “cube” or emergency food bars are a useful addition to earthquake kits, natural disaster kits and wilderness/ camping emergency kits.

Disaster Food Kits FAQs

How long do these disaster food kits last on the shelf?

The best emergency food supplies are good for at least five years, with some of the dehydrated meals and food cubes being tested and found to last upwards of 30 years in dry storage.

Are there emergency food kits for those with dietary considerations like no pork products or vegetarians?

Yes, the SOS Emergency food bars, the Survival Tabs and the NuManna freeze dried emergency meals are all pork and pork-product free, and the bars and survival tabs are suitable for vegetarians. In addition, some of the meals in the Sustain Supply Co. kit are vegetarian suitable as well.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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