I've been in the emergency preparedness business for about twenty-five years. Part of that business is backpacking food or camping food. Backpacking pouched food is ideal for emergency kits. Where you live may determine on what you call these kits. Earthquake, hurricane, 72-hour, survival and emergency kits are all essentially the same thing.
The typical emergency kit is designed to provide you with basic needs like water, food and shelter. Most emphasize from three to fourteen days. In a disaster it can take relief agencies that long to come to your aid.
I'm going to focus on the food part of these kits. You can use everyday items like jerky, candy bars, granola or protein bars, canned foods like pork n beans, raviolis, fruit snacks, nuts and crackers, to name a few examples. Each of these items will have a different shelf life and is dependent on the storage temperature where the kit is kept. Foods that have a two-year shelf life at seventy-two degrees in a house can go very rancid or stale when left in the trunk of the car over the summer. A car kit is good but it's hard on the food because of the heat. Kits stored in the house should have their food items rotated according to each item's shelf life. Some of the food will need rotation every year like jerky and candy bars. Other products may last up to four years. The point is, this is a good way to go if you're willing to keep up with the food. I've seen to many examples of emergency kits where mom or dad pulls out a piece of size-4 clothing for their 12-year old. After that amount of time the food would have gone bad. My experience is most people have good intensions but rotate poorly.
This is where a product like Mountain House pouched foods comes in handy. It costs a little more than the other food you might have used in your kit. However, it has a thirty-year shelf life. You buy the Mountain House meals once every thirty years. That's as close to no rotation as you're going to get. The pouch sizes are as small as a single serve meal. A better deal is buying the slightly larger pouches that usually have two to three servings. Since this would be your entire meal you would probably want more than a single serving. (A single serving is about what would fit in the palm of your hand). Mountain house meals are freeze dried. All you have to do is open the pouch, remove the oxygen absorber, add water to the food in the pouch, stir and zip it shut. The food can be rehydrated with cold or hot water. Most people prefer a hot meal and the hot water will have the meal ready two to three times faster than cold water. With hot water the wait time is about eight to ten minutes.
You can't live long without food in an emergency and you'll need all the energy you have. Make sure your food is going to be good and able to give you the energy you need. Mountain House pouched meals are the simplest, easiest, longest lasting and best tasting food for camp, backpacking or an emergency kit.
I've sold a variety of pouched backpacking/camping meals. Mountain House was always the best seller. People really like the taste. With a thirty-year shelf life, which almost eliminates having to rotate your food, it is perfect for your kit.
It's great for backpacking too.
M. Shane Sullivan, Owner/Manager of Paracordgalaxy.com