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.
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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.
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.
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
|Flour||Beans||Coffee & Tea|
|Real Salt 10-gallon||Pasta||Canned Fish|
|Dried Milk||Cous Cous||Canned Meat|
|Eggs (see below)||Quinoa||Vegetables (canned, frozen, dried)|
|Yeast||Honey||Fruit (canned, frozen, dried)|
|Baking Soda||Butter||Bottled Water|
|Cooking Oil or Coconut oil||Vinegar (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.
|Lard or Duck fat||Cooking Oil|
|Homemade Zucchini (squash) Flour||Flour|
|Homemade Egg Noodles||Pasta|
|Water Filtration System||Bottled 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.
- DIY Sourdough starter (capture wild yeast and make your own starter)
- Purchase a Dehydrated Sourdough Starter with an ebook of Sourdough Recipes
No Yeast Recipes
- Homemade no Yeast Bread
- Easy Sourdough Start to Finish Ebook
- Sourdough Apple pull-apart Bread or Apple pull-apart Bread with yeast
- Easy Sourdough Pretzels
- Easy Bread Recipe made with Limited Ingredients
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.
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.
- How to Water Glass Farm Fresh Eggs
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 fruit||Cauliflower|
|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.
For additional tip, trick, and recipes on how to preserve foods grab a copy of my book, The Farm Girl's Guide to Preserving the Harvest. Whether you are a novice or seasoned home food preserver my book has something for everyone. Learn how to can, ferment, dry, cure, freeze, and store raw the harvest as a sustainable homesteader would.
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 This||For This|
|Disposable Canning Lids||Tattler Lids (reusable)|
|Hot Water Bath Canner (boiling water bath canner)||Steam Canner or Pressure Canner|
|New Mason Jars||Purchase 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.
|Dehydrating/Drying||Dehydrator||fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, fruit leather, jerky, make yogurt|
|Fermentation||Fermenting Crocks, Lids, and Tools||krauts, pickled items, wine, natural probiotic beverages|
|Freeze Dried Foods||Home Freeze Dryer||maintains 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.
- laundry detergent – powder
- laundry detergent – liquid
- bath bars and liquid hand soap
- shampoo bars
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 Medicines||Thermometer||First Aid Kit (include menstrual cycle pads for heavy bleeding)|
|Rosehips (vitamin C)||Arnica (pain reliever)||Witch Hazel|
|Colloidal Silver||Astragalus Root||Rubbing Alcohol|
|Elderberry||Willow 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.
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.
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.
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.