It’s Time To Change The Food In Your 72-Hour Emergency Kit

September 25, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

emergency-kit-food-shelf-life-clock-ticking

I hope that you have some sort of emergency kit (72 Hour Emergency Kit) in your vehicle, at the very least containing some food and water.

Assuming that you do, then now might be the time to rotate the food that’s been in there. Here’s why…


 
The shelf life of the foods that you keep in warm or hot environments is greatly reduced. Therefore it is smart to rotate that food (eat it) BEFORE it get’s too old (in your hot car).

Although ‘Use By’ or ‘Best By’ dates are not equal to shelf life, it’s good practice to rotate foods, especially those which may have been sitting in the emergency kit of your vehicle throughout the hot summer months.

 
Here’s an example of temperature versus food storage shelf life:

A food with a rated shelf life of 1 year (at room temperature 72 degrees F) will actually be reduced to one-half year if stored at 90 degrees F.

 
This is why every year, after the summer heat is over, I remove all the food from my vehicle’s 72 Hour Kit and bring it inside to eat. I replace everything with new food. The cool and cold temperatures over the winter will actually extend rated shelf life – so not to worry about it until end of next summer (depending on your climate).

 
Here’s a short list of some foods you might consider for your own emergency kit for your vehicle.

Power-food-energy bars – 200 calories
Chocolate bars, hard candy (quick energy) – 200 calories
Canned beef stew – 400 calories
Canned meat (Turkey, Chicken, Beef Brisket) – 400 calories
Peanut Butter jar – 3,000 calories!
Beef Jerky snacks – 70 calories
MRE’s – calories depend on meal
Etc..

 
Notes:

Canned foods will freeze during winter – so maybe not such a good idea for that season.

It helps (during summer) to keep your foods in a small ice chest because the insulation helps to smooth out the temperature extremes.

The back seat in my truck lifts up and there’s storage underneath. This has been a good place to keep my food supplies – out of the direct sun, out of sight, and seems to be slightly less affected by the hot summer interior temperatures.

I also keep a couple of DATREX food bar packs in the vehicle (high calorie food bars originally designed for use on life-boats). 18 bars – 200 Calories per bar – 3600 Calories per pack