How to Prepare Your Family for a Food Shortage

When any natural disaster hits, the food supply chain is one of the first things to go haywire. Roads become blocked, bridges are destroyed, and airports cease operations — all of which makes it difficult to get food from farms to grocery stores. Even if you don’t live in an area prone to natural disasters, there’s always a chance that your local supermarket will run out of stock for some reason. If you want to be prepared for such a situation, read on for advice on how to prepare your family for a food shortage.


Stay informed

One of the most important steps in preparing for a food shortage is staying informed. Make sure you have access to any news sources in your area, and be on the lookout for any weather alerts. If you have family or friends in areas that could be prone to a food shortage, make plans to trade food or make arrangements to transfer money to them. You’ll want to start beefing up your food supplies as soon as you see a potential problem coming.

Have a 3-day food supply already in your home

One of the best ways to prepare for a food shortage is to have a 3day food supply of food in your home at all times. Include basic non-perishable items like canned beans, peanut butter, dried fruit, and granola bars. Make sure you have a few gallons of water in your home at all times so you don’t have to go to the store when everything is closed.

Store extra food with longer shelf lives

If you have room in your home for a small amount of extra food, consider purchasing items with longer shelf lives. Dried herbs, spices, and baking supplies like baking soda and baking powder will last for years. And seeds for produce such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash have shelf lives of several years. You can purchase these items in bulk from online stores like, as they’re less likely to be affected by a natural disaster than fresh produce.

Make sure you have plenty of water

If your water supply is disrupted, you won’t be able to store or cook food. Make sure you have enough water stored in your home to last you and your family for a few weeks. You can find large containers of water at many grocery stores, but you should also stock up on bottled water and water purification supplies like filters, tablets, and bottles or jugs for storing water in your home.

Have a manual can opener and a coffee grinder

If your food runs out and you have no access to electricity, you won’t be able to use a regular can opener. Instead, have a manual can opener and a coffee grinder to grind coffee beans for a nice, hot drink that will warm your family and give them energy to get through the day.

Keep some cash on hand and know where to find more

If a natural disaster destroys your local ATM machines and banks, you may find yourself unable to get cash. Make sure you have a few thousand dollars in cash on hand in a safe place that is easy to access, such as a fireproof safe. When the disaster has passed, you can drive to your bank to withdraw more money. Banks will usually waive ATM fees and let you withdraw as much as you need, even if their service has been disrupted.


If you’re prepared and you head into a food shortage with the right mindset, you can actually turn it into a positive experience for your family. You’ll get to spend lots of time together, and you’ll have a greater appreciation and respect for the food you’re able to find. Being prepared for a food shortage will help you avoid panic. You won’t have to worry about finding food for your family or paying exorbitant prices for food at the store. All you need to do is prepare ahead of time so you don’t have to worry once disaster strikes.