Food storage

Aim to have enough food in your cupboards that you can feed you and your family/household for at least seven days, in addition to your normal supplies.

Store enough food for 7 days

Store extra long-life or non-perishable food (tinned or dry food), and avoid foods that have to be cooked unless you have a portable cooker or barbeque.

In a major disaster, electricity may not be working. Ensure that you have alternative cooking equipment, as you may not be able to use your stove or microwave.

A camping stove or barbecue (gas or charcoal) is useful to boil water and cook food. Gas barbecues are a relatively inefficient use of fuel, but they will do if you haven't got anything better. Team up with your neighbours to make things more efficient.

If anyone in your house has special requirements you need to consider having extra supplies e.g. children/babies, pets, special dietary requirements, medication, etc. 

If the packaging doesn't have a clear "best before" or "use by" date, write the purchase date on the package with a permanent marker. Things like tinned food, dried fruit and rice have a shelf life of about 2 years. Remember to use old stock first, and replace expired items.

Pantry checklist

Ready to eat canned/bottled food

  • Meat - corned beef etc
  • Fish - tuna, salmon etc
  • Fruit - tinned peaches, fruit salad etc
  • Juice
  • Vegetables
  • Baked beans, spaghetti and other meals in a can (and can opener)
  • Soup
  • Pasta Sauce

Dried and long life food (don't forget to store extra water for cooking these!)

  • Ready to eat meals
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Flour
  • Milk powder/UHT milk
  • Soup mix
  • Dried vegetables
  • Rice and pasta¬†
  • Long-life cheeses
  • Tea/coffee/drinking chocolate
  • Sugar
Snack food
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Biscuits
  • Spreads
  • Crackers
  • Snack Bars


  • Bottled water
  • Water sterilising tablets
  • Concentrated juices/sports drinks

Baby supplies

  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Nappies and wipes

Pet food

  • Pet food (canned/dry)

Toiletries/cleaning products

  • Toilet rolls
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Hand sanitizer¬†
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Rubbish bags
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • House and laundry cleaning/disinfectant products