Skip to content

15 Best Foods to Stockpile in Case of a Natural Disaster

Skip the extra stress by stocking up on these nutrient-dense foods that won't spoil quickly and leave you scavenging.

Whether you've just heard news of a hurricane's plans to hit your town or you're brushing up on disaster preparedness skills in the wake of recent unfortunate circumstances, preparation is half the battle won. When shopping for survival foods in case of a crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends stockpiling at least three days' worth of meals. No one ever wants to think about the potential threat of a natural disaster, but when you find yourself in the situation, suddenly hurriedly scanning the grocery store aisles, choosing the right foods may present itself as an unusually difficult task.

That's why we've rounded up a list of the best foods to stockpile during an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, you name it, to cut through that emergency-induced brain fog. These healthy and nonperishable picks are bound to keep you nourished, energized, and alive—and don't require any cooking or refrigeration via the electricity you may lack. Here's a list of essential foods to have that will help get you through a natural disaster.

Bottled Water

bottled water pouring into glass

The CDC recommends using bottled water during an emergency, especially if your water is contaminated, as bottled water is safe for drinking and any and all other uses. You should have about a gallon of water per person (and per pet) each day, as well as ideally aim to store two weeks' worth of H20.

Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

Canned Light Tuna

Canned tuna

Canned light tuna is one of our best proteins thanks to its low mercury content and high protein and belly fat-blasting DHA payout. This fish just also happens to make our list of best foods to stockpile during a natural disaster because it's easy to eat and has a super-long shelf life.


Assorted nuts in bowls

Although nuts retain their body-loving benefits best when refrigerated, they can last long when stored in an airtight container, too. We recommend going for raw oven-roasted and tossing these best nuts for weight loss into a quick homemade trail mix.


apples bunch sliced apple seeds showing

Ever noticed how that bag of apples you bought almost a month ago tastes almost as fresh as the day you purchased them? We especially love this crunchy fruit because it has a long shelf life and will provide you with long-lasting energy and tummy-filling fiber.

Turkey Jerky

beef jerky

Unlike raw meat, the dehydrated chewy versions won't go rancid and don't require heat to become edible. Snack on some of the lower sodium options in our list of best protein-packed meat snacks so that you won't have to guzzle down an extra gallon of precious water.

Protein Bars

Chocolate protein bars on table

Portable protein bars are a solid snack to have on hand when you can't make the trip out to the grocery store. Many bars are brimming with essential vitamins and nutrients in addition to offering a solid dose of—you guessed it—protein. Not sure which to choose? We've tested 11 protein bars and chose the best one to help you out.

Peanut Butter

Creamy peanut butter in jar

Peanut butter does not necessarily require refrigeration, and when slathered on hearty whole-grain toast, with some cracker, or even just eating some by the spoonful, it can serve as a filling snack or meal that will hold you over until the electricity returns.

Boxed Pasta

variety of pasta

Pasta is another one of those foods that simply lasts, so it's never a bad idea to stock up on some boxes. There are even bean-based pastas out there that serve as are a good source of protein. Speaking of…

Canned Beans

Canned black beans

Yep, canned beans are great to have on hand, too. Beans pack a ton of nutrients, but you do want to make sure you're going for the low-sodium option.

Canned Vegetables

open canned corn carrots peas green beans

Since the option of buying fresh vegetables isn't really practical, canned veggies are a smarter route to go, as these don't need to be refrigerated and will last for quite some time.


Canned soup

Don't be scared of canned soup! While you do have to read those nutrition labels closely, it's worth it. Be sure to choose soups that are low sodium and are made with simple ingredients. For some help when you're shopping, check out these healthy canned soups, and which ones to avoid, too.

Canned, Boxed, or Jarred Tomatoes

canned tomatoes

Not only will these pair nicely with all that pasta, but tomatoes are packed with vitamin C. When you're dealing with stress-filled situations, vitamin C is one nutrient you want to make sure you're consuming, as it will help boost your immune system, something stress can mess with.


Seeded whole grain bread

OK, we know bread doesn't last forever, but it will get you through a few days of not being able to go shopping, and that's what you should be preparing for, after all. You can slather some peanut butter for a quick sandwich or have a slice alongside some soup. Just be sure you're picking up a bread free of any added sugars—yep, unnecessary sugars can sneak in bread!

Plant-Based Milks

oat milk

From almond, oat, soy, macadamia, to coconut, there are plenty of plant-based milks out there that will last longer than regular milk. Be sure you're choosing the best one out there, though.


rolled cut oats being measured

"Regular and quick-cooking oats can last in the pantry unopened or resealed for two to three years," Laura Burak MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, told us in a previous article. Most likely, you might just have some that are still good to eat! But even if you buy a new box of oats, it's a great investment as it's a fiber-filled food that is great for lowering cholesterol. And hey, there's nothing like a bowl of hearty oatmeal to keep you full.

Eat This, Not That!
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more about Eat This
Filed Under