During an emergency your first priority is to grab your Go bag and go to somewhere safe. Once the initial excitement is over you'll realize you're really hungry. Food is far more important for your family than just calories and energy though. People get really cranky when they expend a lot of energy quickly, and there's no quicker solution than something to eat.
The food you store in your Go bag should be shelf stable. Look for foods that are dried or in sealed containers that will keep for a long time. Consider variety when you pack your bag. You can't eat the same energy bar every time you're hungry. You should also think of food as mental relief. A favorite snack or a warm drink can provide great comfort when you’re stretched to the limit.
It's ok to put foods in your Go bag that give you quick energy like candies and chocolate. In cold weather there's nothing better than a hot cup of tea or warm hot cocoa. Think healthy as well. You need proteins and fat from foods like nuts and jerky. Don't forget to consider people with special needs like nut allergies, or formula if you have a baby.
Remember that food sitting in your bag, especially in a hot garage, will expire. Check periodically and replace as needed, preferably before it’s inedible.
Food you pack in your Go bag should…
- Be lightweight and small enough to fit in pockets
- Have sufficient calories to last you several days
- Be able to withstand friction in your Go bag
- Support your nutrition goals, especially if you’re diabetic, gluten intolerant, allergic, or just a picky eater
- Be shelf-stable, and easy to prepare
- Not require cooking (You can use the sun to help steep your tea in a pinch)
- Provide familiar comfort in crisis (and possibly even boost morale)
- Include caffeine and instant energy components
A few ideas on what food you could include in your Go bag
- Breakfast/energy bars
- Dried fruit, nuts, and granola
- Food for infants
- Hard candy
- Tea bags
- Tuna pouches (especially the seasoned variety)
Don't forget to browse your favorite global markets. There's some really fun, shelf stable foods to be found in Asian, Indian, or Middle Eastern groceries.