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Pantry Preparedness | Stocking your Pandemic Pantry

Be prepared with an emergency food storage by stocking your pandemic pantry. A pantry preparedness guide allows you to provide for your family during unknown times. A well-stocked emergency pantry is necessary for not only a pandemic crisis, but also during tough times and a natural disaster.

well-stocked emergency pantry

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The homesteaders of the world are not necessarily preppers, but preperationists. We initially enter this life to live simply and consume a clean food source. However, as the years progress the importance of an emergency food storage becomes necessary to the life we live.

A well-stocked emergency pantry allows you to place your worries elsewhere. One should not have to worry about food during troubling times. Hence, it is necessary to talk about why stocking your pandemic pantry is necessary during this troubling time.

This pantry preparedness guide will allow you to get a jump start on ensuring your family has the basic necessities to make it through any form of hardship. Preparing for a pandemic (the first, second, or potentially, a third round) is not an easy topic to talk about. But in order to ensure your family has what is needed, preparing now is necessary.

Stocking Your Pandemic Pantry

I write this article as WA state prepares for a potential lockdown for a second time in October, due to the second wave of Covid 19. But Washington will not be the only state which prepares for a lockdown, other state will quickly follow suit as we head into the fall months.

What does this mean?

Many individuals will once again be furloughed, warehouses which store nonperishable items will have difficulties filling orders to big chain supermarkets and many small family owned businesses. This means many will panic buy to ensure their families are cared for. Many will rush to establish an emergency food storage, often missing out on adding essential items.

emergency food storage

We will begin to see shelves emptied and potentially, meat will become hard to come by in many cities. Also be prepared, eggs will also disappear for a short period of time. The worse case scenario will have many markets stripped to bare bones with very little items to restock over the next few weeks to months.

Justin and I sat down on YouTube to discuss what we witnesses living at ground zero. Especially what happened to the local markets, and what people were snatching up. You can find the link to watch the video at the end of this article.

In talking to many individuals worldwide about pantry preparedness and what it means to them, I have been able to compile a list of the basic items which will help you to get by during any difficult time. It is time to learn what a well-stocked emergency pantry looks like.

Well-Stocked Emergency Pantry

This article will cover not only food based items, but other important necessities for preserving, personal and household products, and medicinal items (both holistic as well as over the counter).

Again, a well stocked home is one which is prepared for anything. And in truth, you do not have to homestead to keep these supplies on hand, you simply need to be in the state of mind of always being prepared.

How to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle

Living a sustainable life requires you to be prepared regardless of the circumstances. Whether you are living on acreage or in town, you have the ability to learn how to preserve foods. You simply need to have the knowledge as to how grow a sustainable garden and learn how to preserve the harvest.

Learning how to can foods allows for food freedom and a skill which can be passed down to whomever wishes to learn. For this reason the Sustainable Canning Course was created. Learn the necessary skills needed to stock your food pantry and to how to live a sustainable life.

Pantry Preparedness Guide

Let’s begin with non-perishable items. A lot of the items on this list are items we use on a daily basis, however, it is best to always have 6 months worth of food items on hand at any given time.

The items found below are not bulk freeze dried items. I am not here to support a company which sells these items but instead a lifestyle which teaches you how to become sustainable with an emergency food supply.

A few tips on storing goods long-term:

  • store dried goods in 3 or 5-gallon food grade containers, add oxygen absorbers to minimize moisture within the containers
  • date the containers
  • rotate inventory regularly
  • check dried goods for bugs and pests often
FlourBeans Coffee & Tea
Real Salt 10-gallonPastaCanned Fish
Dried MilkCous CousCanned Meat
Eggs (see below)QuinoaVegetables (canned, frozen, dried)
YeastHoneyFruit (canned, frozen, dried)
Baking SodaButterBottled Water
Cooking Oil or Coconut oilVinegar (raw apple cider and distilled white 5% acidity)Vodka (medicinal)

Keep in mind, individuals who preserve foods will have many of the items listed above on hand. However, if you do not there is still time to begin preserving these items.

Regardless of how quick you are to build your emergency food storage substitutions are often required. Learn how to ensure your family has what they need by making appropriate substitutions.

ThisOver This
Lard or Duck fatCooking Oil
Sourdough StarterYeast
Homemade Zucchini (squash) FlourFlour
Homemade Egg NoodlesPasta
Water Filtration SystemBottled Water

Make Homemade Bread without Yeast

Many would not believe that a no yeast bread could be delicious, but in truth, it really is! Think about homemade Irish soda bread or sourdough. Both are absolutely delicious and extremely easy to make.

No Yeast Recipes

Storing Farm Fresh Eggs Long-term

Let me preface this with, storing eggs can be achieved whether they are farm fresh or from the market. However, one of the methods listed below can only be achieved with farm fresh eggs.

  • Dehydrating Eggs – gently scramble eggs, add them to a dehydrator tray lined with parchment paper. Follow the instructions found in the dehydrator’s manual for drying time. The eggs are dried when they crumble between your fingers.
  • Freezing Eggs – using a large silicone ice-cube mold gently hand whisk two eggs per cube, place into the freezer. Once the eggs are frozen from them from the cube and store in a vacuum sealed bag to prevent freezer burn.
  • Freeze Drying Eggs – the process of freeze drying eggs allows them to be stored for up to 10 years. This process for preserving eggs is the longest available and necessary for those who seek the ability to establish a well stocked emergency food storage.
well-stocked emergency pantry

I wrote an article for Backyard Poultry Magazine on how to water glass eggs for long-term storage. This method allows the eggs to be preserved in their whole, fresh form for up to roughly 18 months. Meaning, water glass eggs can be prepared for consumption as fresh eggs would normally be.

Additional Food Items for a Well-Stocked Pantry

The following list consists of fresh produce which are found in many preserving pantries because they store well long-term. I have also included tomato products and bone broth in the list. These items are not necessities, however, they do add flavor to items such as beans or canned meat.

Keep in mind, the fresh produced mentioned store best in a root cellar or cold storage space. An ideal cold storage space would be the garage or room which has no access to heat and maintains 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tomato Products (home canned tomatoes)Root Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets)
Canned Bone Broth (nutrient dense food & medicinal item)Cabbage
Apples and Citrus fruitCauliflower
Winter Squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, blue hubbard)Onions and Garlic

Emergency Food Storage Consisting of Home Preserved Goods

Food ownership is on the rise, and that’s a great thing! However, with so many individuals new to gardening and preserving foods one needs to know where to begin. For this very reason I wrote, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest.

The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest is a comprehensive book covering multiple methods for preserving foods in the comfort of your home. Learn how to safely can, dry, ferment, cure, freeze, and store foods fresh as a sustainable homesteader would. The tips, tricks, and recipes within this book will provide you the confidence and knowledge needed to own your food source.

emergency food storage

Pantry preparedness begins with having preserving supplies on hand. You know this, I know this, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry knows this. The desire to own our food source increases during times like this. And because of the 2020 pandemic many preserving supplies are no longer available.

However, substitutions can be made for the items which are no longer available.

Substitute ThisFor This
Disposable Canning LidsTattler Lids (reusable)
Hot Water Bath Canner (boiling water bath canner)Steam Canner or Pressure Canner
New Mason JarsPurchase Used Mason Jars
Distilled White Vinegar (for canning)White & Red Wine Vinegar, Rice, or Balsamic Vinegar (not aged balsamic) – 5% acidic
Pectin (for Jams and Jellies)Natural Pectins found in Fruit

A tip on locating mason jars, used and new mason jar can often be purchased at local thrift stores, yard sales, and from Craigslist. In addition to the locations mentioned, check small town hardware stores and feed stores which carry canning supplies.

Other Preserving Methods

In addition to canning, here are additional home preserving methods.

MethodToolsFood Items
Dehydrating/DryingDehydratorfruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, fruit leather, jerky, make yogurt
FermentationFermenting Crocks, Lids, and Tools krauts, pickled items, wine, natural probiotic beverages
Freeze Dried FoodsHome Freeze Dryermaintains 97% of the nutrients found in the food item while storing foods between 10 to 30 years

There are many dehydrators on the market, selecting the right one for you is based on how much you seek to spend. I use an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator and swear by it. The rear mounting fan allows the foods to dry simultaneously and efficiently, minimizing the time it takes to dry food.

Because I prefer small batch ferment, quart size mason jars are my go to crocks. However, for those seeing to ferment larger quantities look for crocks which are one-gallon or larger in size.

A freeze dryer is an extremely large expense. This appliance allows 97% of the nutrients to remain in the food items. Not to mention, the shelf life of freeze dried foods is determined by decades, not a year’s time frame.

Pantry Preparedness includes DIY Personal Products and Household Necessities

A well-stocked emergency pantry also covers personal products and household necessities. Aside from toilet paper and paper towels it is important to learn how to make the items mentioned below if the shelves become empty.

well-stocked emergency pantry

Build your Apothecary

Pantry preparedness does not stop at filling the food pantry, it flows into a well stocked apothecary (medicine cabinet). Homesteaders naturally reach for a holistic approach to a chemical solution, and a well-stocked emergency pantry, or apothecary, takes time to build.

Take for example, selecting the best antiviral herbs and herbal cold remedies for the 2020 pandemic. Learn how to make natural cold remedies right in your own kitchen to prevent viruses, and more.

One tool to always have on hand is a thermometer, and believe it or not many homes do not own one. Make sure to always have extra batteries on hand. The supplies listed below are natural options, build your apothecary based on the items you use to treat ailments.

Fill Prescription MedicinesThermometerFirst Aid Kit (include menstrual cycle pads for heavy bleeding)
Rosehips (vitamin C)Arnica (pain reliever)Witch Hazel
Colloidal SilverAstragalus RootRubbing Alcohol
ElderberryWillow Bark (fever, inflammation, pain)Vodka (tinctures)

The opportunity to brew colloidal silver at home allows you to be more generous on when and how to use it. Because we brew our own colloidal silver at home we utilize it for self, livestock, pets, and cleaning the farmhouse to minimize bacteria found in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Fall and Winter Garden for Fresh Eating and Stocking your Pandemic Pantry

Do not skip planting a fall garden. In truth, it is one of the easiest gardens to maintain and will provide you with an abundance of cool weather produce. Emergency food storage consists of shelf-stable items as well as fresh foods.

There are a plethora of frost tolerant plants which can be started now. Learn which seeds to select for your fall garden and how long it will take them to mature.

stocking your pandemic pantry
Leafy Greens are ideal spring and fall planting.

A fall and winter garden is essential to the homesteading life. This allows us to consume fresh greens for cooking and eating fresh. Micro-greens are excellent to grow when the ground is covered with snow, not to mention, they are extremely easy to grow.

Maintain a Sustainable Garden

Maintaining a hobby garden is a great place to begin, however, learning how to grow and maintain a sustainable garden is necessary. Remember, stocking your pandemic pantry, or any type of pantry for that mater, requires the consumption of fresh produce.

The Sustainable Garden Workbook will provide you tips and trick on how to build and maintain a sustainable garden. This workbook not only provides tips and trick on succession and companion planting as well as, which plants store the best long-term fresh. In addition to this, the workbook discusses planting fruits and vegetables which will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

No emergency food storage is complete without fresh fruits and vegetables.

YouTube – Pantry Preparedness Guide

Justin and I discuss what we have learned from the first round of the pandemic which hit in March. Because of this we want to share with you what it takes to be prepared during times of uncertainty.

A well-stocked emergency pantry requires ensuring your family has food regardless of the situation at hand. Are you prepared for this?

Additional items can be found in this article titled, Prepper Supply List for Your Emergency Pantry.

Begin your Pantry Preparedness TODAY

Do not procrastinate, get started today in stocking your pandemic pantry. There is no worse feeling than wondering if your family will be okay during tough times. When stocking your pandemic pantry keep what you’ve learned here in mind. Make sure to have a well-stocked emergency pantry for a sense of security during unpredictable times.

emergency food storage

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One Comment

  1. I live on the north Olympic Peninsula here in WA. In case of earthquakes, I put a wooden slat about 2” up from the base of each pantry shelf to help keep jars from flying off in extended shaking. If I was using quart jars I would place the slat at 3”.

    Glad you are educating people about emergency preparedness. I think many of us were taken by surprise as to what basic needs were suddenly unavailable this last spring.

    I enjoy your enthusiasm and like getting your emails! But your pantry looked vulnerable in the case of even a moderate size quake.

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