How much food do you need?

 Emergency Food Supply Logo

The Canned Food Alliance recommends the

minimum amount of food is

two cans of food per person, per day

and one gallon of water per person, per day

For most disasters, we recommend a minimum of three days preparation. This should include a sufficient food supply and a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day.

A health crisis - like a pandemic flu - requires longer-term planning. There is a real possibility grocery stores will need to close to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The Washington Departments of Health and Emergency Management recommend preparing for these types of disaster for a minimum of one week. When you complete one week's preparation - consider preparing for two weeks.

What should your emergency food supply include? A variety of canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, grains, canned milk products, ready-to-eat canned foods, and soup.

So, the next time you are at the grocery store, pick up two extra cans of food for your Emergency Food Supply. How Much?


Remember - the minimum amount of food is two cans of food per person, per day and one gallon of water per person, per day.

Some Suggestions

Water Photo  Wter Logo

Suggested Items



  • Minimum of 1 gallon per person, per day
  • In hot weather or when vigorous activity is required, additional fluids may be required

Meats Photo Meats Logo

Suggested Items


Canned meat, tuna, chicken, turkey, chili, beef stew, soup, spaghetti and meatballs, nuts, peanut butter

  • Meat, fish, turkey or chicken, etc.: 1 can
  • Beans: 1 can
  • Peanut butter: 1 Tbsp.
  • Nuts: ½ ounce (approximately 2 handfuls)

Veggie Photo Vegetable Logo

Suggested Items


Canned vegetables and vegetable juices

  • Vegetables: 1 regular-sized can
  • Vegetable Juice: 1 small-sized can

Fruit Photo  Fruit Logo

Suggested Items


Canned fruits, fruit juices, and dried fruit

  • Canned fruit: 1 regular-sized can
  • Juice: 1 small-sized can
  • ¼ cup dried fruit

Milk and Diary photoMilk logo

Suggested Items


Canned, boxed or dried milk and shelf-stable, processed cheese

  • Evaporated milk: 1 regular-sized can
  • Shelf-stable milk: 1 box
  • Dried milk: 1/3 cup
  • Shelf-stable cheese: 2 ounces

Cereal and Cracker photo Grain Logo

Suggested Items


Ready-to-eat cereal, crackers, pretzels, instant oatmeal, other non-perishable grain products

  • Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal: 1 cup
  • Whole-wheat crackers: 5
  • Saltines: 7

What size?

Regular-sized can = approximately 15 ounce can
Small-sized can = approximately 8 ounce can
1 gallon = four - 1 liter bottles
1 gallon = two - 2 liter bottles   


~ Plan for food and water for infants, those with special needs, and your pets. ~

Don't forget - have a manual can opener available!

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