Canned Foods to Stock for Emergency

Jacob Moore

Last updated April 16, 2021

There are moments in life when we are not able to choose what will happen next; therefore, we have to adapt to any given situation. In the best-case scenario, we prepare ourselves in the best way and fight through it, whatever the struggle. Emergencies occur anytime, without any announcement, and we have to be ready to react.

Sometimes natural causes, like earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, or different types of diseases (an actual example is the current COVID-19), force us to lock ourselves inside and push through the circumstances. In this article, we will explore the best canned foods to stock for an emergency so that we are prepared for any event.

It is important to underline that the top solution might be to dehydrate the products you want to stock up on. It is better from both an economical and health point of view. In case this method is not handy for you, buying canned foods is a second-best option.

In case of an emergency, you won’t be able to prepare everything by yourself, for sure, so you have to buy and store all your canned foods. Being easy to stock and having longer expiration dates make canned food a great option.

There are various options for meat-eaters, vegetarians, or vegans. We put together a list of the most important canned foods to stock for any type of emergencies.

Canned Vegetables and Legumes

A must-have when it comes to canned foods related to veggies. These are indispensable for a healthy diet, and you can buy as many as you think fit.

What is more, you can use the liquid inside for a delicious soup. It is essential to stock up on nutritious foods, such as beans and chickpeas, as they offer a higher protein and caloric content and will keep you full for longer. Other options include peas, corn, mushrooms, and any other basic product you enjoy.

Canned Fruits

You can find any kind of fruit that you can think of in a canned state. They are important because they are full of vitamins and they are suitable for most diets. Some examples include apples, pears, bananas, mangos, oranges, grapefruits, cherries, apricots, pineapples, berries (raspberry, blueberry, strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, grapes, etc.).

Meat and Fish

You can also find frozen meat, which is why it takes third place on this list. However, in the case of no electricity, canned meat will last much longer. For those who consume meat on a daily basis, these are a must-have: chicken, pork, turkey, sausages, and even different types of fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and others).

Other Non-Basic Canned Foods to Stock for Emergency

Luckily soup is easy to make, but on the assumption that you can’t, the canned soups are your savior. Almost all sorts of soups are findable, including cream soups. You can choose mushroom, broccoli, tomato soups, vegetables, and many more.

Although sauces might not seem as mandatory, they could actually help you create a quick meal. For instance, you can quickly boil some pasta and mix it with a canned, ready-made tomato sauce. You can stock any sauce that goes with rice, pasta, potatoes, and any other sides you enjoy.


Canned Foods to Stock for Emergency

How to Choose the Best Canned Foods

Simply decide for yourself or those you live with (family members, friends) which products you need. Every person differs from another, so the preferences will vary too. It is important not to miss the basic foods we listed above, such as veggies, fruits, and some meat options.

Storing Your Canned Foods for Emergency

Furthermore, you should also know where to store the items and how long to keep them. You will want to buy canned foods that have a longer life span, and then keep them in a dark and cool space.

The cans should be checked at least once every 6 months to make sure they didn’t expire. We all tend to forget when we bought things, so just double checking might be a saver when the time comes.

A piece of truly important advice is to pay attention to any signs of spoilage. In case one can is spoiled, the other may be affected too, becoming very dangerous for your health. Considering this, it is best to consume your canned foods before the expiration date.

A great help would be labeling your cans. Some will last many years, but the label or markings on the can might deteriorate.

If you label them yourself, and check your cans to make sure the name and expiration dates are still readable, you won’t risk opening something you actually didn’t want. Sometimes a few extra minutes spent on details can make a big difference later.

You should also own at least one can opener, but maybe even better if you have two. In case you lack this opener, you can always use a knife. This is a messier and more dangerous way of opening a can, so you’d better not rely on it. Make sure that kids do not attempt to open cans by themselves, as this can be very dangerous.

Wrapping Up

Canned foods might not be our No. 1 priority, and we might not even consider them at all. Nonetheless, if we really think about it, they are our best alternative in case of an emergency.

As for now, we have enough reasons to stock our cupboards with canned foods, given the global uncertainty. In the end, canned food is great for everyday use, too, so don’t overlook its value.

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.