How to Prepare for Food Shortages

There is a difference between ensuring that your family has enough food for rough times and preparing for a food crisis in case TSHTF. Having a backup plan in case of an emergency is extremely important, especially if there is a food crisis.

Although you are probably not a novice to all things prepping, in this article, we will give you a full guide on how to ensure that your friends and family do not face a crisis if the economy fails.

There are numerous reasons and situations in which crops do not grow or you are unable to purchase food to feed your families.

Though this article may help those who go through these situations, the information provided below is written mainly for those who are prepping for a long-term food crisis.

Food Shortage Causes

Knowing why a food crisis is happening is just as important as preparing for it. It will give you an edge on ensuring you are ahead of the “game”, as well as know which items are top priorities to have.


The main cause of a food crisis is poverty. This happens quite often in the poorer countries. Many Americans believe that poverty is not an issue within the United States; however, it can be one huge issue when TSHTF.

If the United States economy falls apart, then food will become extremely scarce due to the lack of importation.

A good example of this is during the attacks of 9-11. The impact was almost immediate and included long-term effects.

These attacks caused the Dow to fall over 600 points, resulting in the implementation of “The War on Terrorism”, a massive government-spending program.

Natural Disasters

There are many different natural disasters that can cause a food crisis: flooding, drought, tsunamis, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. Larger natural disasters can cause a large disruption to the commercial ways of feeding civilians.

You may have the money to purchase food, but if there is no food available to purchase because of the commercial collapse from a natural disaster, then you will have to endure a food crisis.

A prime example of this type of situation is Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane hit in 2005 and stranded many people who had to endure hunger, scarce water, and limited emergency supplies for many days.

Though this was a big hurricane, an event even larger in size could happen and render a huge amount of our country defenseless against hunger and shortage of resources.

The climate change during an event of this nature will increase the impact on production of food caused by flooding. Natural disasters are one of the top causes of a food crisis.

It is important that you prepare for these, especially if you live in an area that is prone to enduring them. For example, if your family happens to live in what is known as “Tornado Alley,” then you will need to prepare for these tornadoes to ensure that you family survives.

Government Issues

In the event of war, stock deliveries become far more difficult when workers are attacked and supplies are stolen. Government conflicts cause people to leave or lose their homes and food supplies.

They can’t afford to buy food or just stop anywhere and plant food. One of the deadliest wars was the African war that killed over five million people due to starvation and disease.


Food crises can also happen due to a widespread epidemic. Many disease outbreaks, like the Ebola epidemic in 2005, put pressure on food supplies in the parts of the world that experienced it.

The deliveries ceased because drivers did not want to travel to those areas and opted to stay away. If the United States were to get hit by one, we’d see similar consequences.

Ebola Mk 1: How The Marburg Virus Terrorised Africa (2005)

Dollar Collapse

Just like a domino effect, a dollar collapse can bring with it a bunch of other disasters, a food crisis included.


An EMP can stop the entire transportation system, which means food trucks will stop delivering food.

hungry child

Preparing a The Food Crisis

The obvious tihng to do is to ensure that you have sufficient food storage, because without food it’ll be hard to survive for long. In this section, we are going to cover several ways on building a food and water stockpile should SHTF. You need to get started straight away to grow it as much as possible before it hits.

Food and Water

Food storage should be viewed as an investment. Although you will need to stockpile food that is non-perishable, you should also hoard things you’ll enjoy eating. If the SHTF, you will be eating them for a very long time; so, you will need to get food that you actually like.

One of the main issues people face is how and where to store food. You will need to make enough space to keep your food safe from intruders, along with a plan for perishable foods and non-perishable foods.

You need enough space for your food: pantry, root cellar, basement. On top of that, you also need to control the humidity and temperature within the space to prolong the foods shelf life.

When you begin to stockpile food, you will need to decide on the types of food that you will want to store while also looking at the products shelf life. There are food staples that should be placed, including:

  • Water: A person can live up to approximately two months without food; however, without water, it is a maximum of four days of survival. It is crucial that you have water in your food storage. Keep in mind that a person that is active will need at least half a gallon per day of water.
  • Salt: Salt is extremely useful. It will help you prolong shelf life for other foods. For example, it can be used to cure meat like beef. Salt does not have a shelf life; so, it will last forever. Make sure that you have a large supply of salt.
  • Supplements: Minerals and multivitamins help you stay healthy in case you need to skip meals to make the food last. It will give you the nutrients that you need from a normal diet, even if you are unable to have one.
  • Peanut Butter: This is a great source of fat, protein, and calories. It is good for up to five years. When your meat storage gets low, you can replace the protein with the peanut butter.
  • Fish: Fish has essential fatty acids and Vitamin D that will keep the immune system up. You will need to dehydrate fish, as well as purchase a canned fish to keep in the food storage.
  • Powdered Milk: Powdered milk includes twenty-one amino acids and is high in many different vitamins and minerals. The typical amounts of nutrients included in the powdered milk are, 52% carbohydrates, 36% protein, 1.3% calcium, and 1.8% potassium. If you store the milk properly, it can last up to two years.
  • Rice: If rice is kept properly, it can stay good for up to ten years for even longer. There are many dishes that you can make that incorporate rice. It will also stretch your meals further so that the other stored foods last longer.
  • Pasta: Dried noodles will also help stretch other foods and can be stored for an extremely long time.
  • Whole Grains and Flour: Grains are very cheap, and you can purchase them by the pound. If you own a grinder, then you can stock the whole grains even better.
  • Trail Mix and Nuts: These are high energy foods that will come in handy should TSHTF. They are very healthy for you and offer a convenient snack should your food storage become low.
  • Beans: This is a high protein food that you can store for a very long time. The shelf life will depend on how you store them, which we will cover later on in this article. The shelf life for all of the dried beans is the same. They will last eight to ten years. The types of beans that you can store are as followed:
    • Blackeye Beans
    • Adzuki Beans
    • Garbanzo Beans
    • Kidney Beans
    • Great Northern Beans
    • Lima Beans
    • Lentils
    • Mung Beans
    • Pinto Beans
    • Pink Beans
    • Soy Beans
    • Small Red Beans
  • Canned Meat: Canned meat typically has a shelf life of six to ten years. They are an amazing source of protein. You should also can your own meat to keep your storage full and personalize your food storage.
  • Canned Vegetables and Fruits: This is not a good source of calories, but it is essential for proper nutrition.
  • Dried Fruits: Fruits are extremely important for potassium and fiber. They are extremely easy to store and have a very long shelf life. Good examples of this are raisins and apricots.
  • Lard: Lard will give you the needed calories during a food crisis. The cooking oils are extremely useful for other purposes, and it will keep for an extremely long time.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener and it full of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.


Even though it is extremely important to store food in case of a food crisis, you will also need to learn how to produce your own food and store it to replace the food that you and your family consume.

If you reside in a city, it’s likely that you do not have a backyard to utilize for this. You should think of purchasing an acre of property to grow your own crops. The vegetables will need to be grown, harvested, and then dehydrated.

You can also have livestock on the property. If possible, it is also a good idea to move out to a farm right now, that way your bug out location will also be your home.

Where to Store Food If The SHTF

Of course, you will need to store food in certain locations so that you will have food on the way to your bug out location.

Here are different spots you can hide food for your family. Keep in mind that these spots are for foods that will not be harmed due to temperature changes.

  • Basement: A good place to hide food in your home is the basement. You can use the air vents as a hiding spot. You will need to remove one of the vents that is on the side of the venting duct and put the preserves inside. You will need to be careful and make sure that you do not restrict the air flow in your vents.
  • Closets and Bedrooms: You can store supplies underneath your beds, inside closets, and anywhere else there is room. A great idea is to store them in rolling containers to make it quicker and easier to take the food storage when TSHTF.
  • False Walls: Many preppers install false walls to hide their supplies and food behind the wall to keep them safe from intruders.

Key Things to Remember

  • Protect your Harvest: You will need to make sure that you protect your crops from intruders. Privacy fences are the best way to keep intruders out. You can also use electric fences, guard dogs, or live on the property and guard it yourself. There are many preppers that have friends and family that take turns guarding the property using firearms.
  • Learn How to Preserve Food: You will need to learn the skill of preserving food to keep food edible. To do this, you will need to learn how to can vegetables and meat, if you decide to raise livestock. As well as how to dehydrate foods, use curating to prolong their shelf life.
  • Storing Seeds: To grow a crop, you will need seeds. Collect different seeds from different plants to keep your crops replenished. You will also need to learn how to harvest and store these seeds so that you have a never-ending supply.
  • Build an Aquaponics System: This is a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics into one so that it can keep plants alive and growing strong. This is crucial to have if TSHTF.

Final Words

No matter the reason for the food crisis, it is vital that you build up your food storage. Your family will depend on that storage during the crisis in order to survive.

Save seeds from fresh fruits and vegetables that you purchase to replenish your food storage later.

Invest in a good dehydrator, or build your own, and keep in mind that you will need to be able to acquire the food storage in case you have to get to it quickly. Prep for the worst and hope for the best.

6 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Food Shortages”

  1. I don’t store dried beans(well, a few)…because of electricity and water needs..I have canned beans of many types since 2008 and they are fine when I open them.

    Yes, more space needed..I stock by cases and stack. And of course, this is JMO.

  2. Salt – 3 types to stock.

    1. Iodised Table Salt has IODINE in it, using it will help prevent some medical conditions. You won’t need much, a single packet will last years.

    2. ‘Lite’ salt has potassium in it – useful for DIY ‘rehydration drinks’ when you can’t buy Staminade, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.

    3. ‘Cooking’ salt can be used to make ‘saline solution’ for wound care/cleaning. AND to create ‘chlorine bleach’ if you have a DC electric current – DIY ‘bleach’ won’t be as pure as commercial products, so may not be as safe for making water drinkable. Store heaps.

  3. Undercooked beans (Red kidney beans especially) can make you seriously ill due to a naturally occuring toxin in them. The toxin is destroyed/inactivated by proper cooking.

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