Grocery Shopping for Disaster Preparedness

Grocery Shopping for Disaster Preparedness

The core of our pantry is oats

In case of natural disaster or home quarantine, the last thing you want is to be short on food.

Disaster resilience experts recommend that households keep 7 to 14 days of supplies.  Our family lived in Singapore during the SARS crisis in 2003, and ever since then, we’ve kept 14 days worth of supplies at home. 

We designed our pantry plan around:

  • providing enough energy, protein and fibre for an average person
  • not wasting food
  • easy availability and affordability at nearby supermarkets

We assumed that water, power and gas might be interrupted for a couple of days during that time, but the main risk would be home quarantine or general shortages of staple foods. We also assumed that our fridge and pantry would already contain sauces, condiments and spices.

Enough Energy, Protein and Fibre

According to Australian legislation, the average person’s daily intakes are:

  1. 8700kJ of energy
  2. 50g of protein
  3. 30g of dietary fibre

Our shopping list doesn’t represent the last word in good nutrition, but we were influenced by Professor Tim Crowe’s list of everyday superfoods.

Avoiding Wastage

We avoid wasting food by choosing mostly: 
  • what we eat normally, so we can eat through our stored items and replace them as necessary
  • items with a long shelf life

Our family shopping list: availability and affordability

Our family used the following shopping list to buy 2 weeks of supplies for a family of four at Woolworths’ normal prices.
  • 1 900g pack of Loose Tea at $10.50
  • 14 1L cartons of Long Life Milk at $1.25 each
  • 4 375ml cans of Evaporated Milk at $1.90 each
  • 2 1kg packs of Sultanas at $4.40 each
  • 6 825g cans of Canned Peaches at $3.50 each
  • 3 750g packs of Rolled Oats at $1.40 each
  • 1 5kg sack of Brown Rice at $16.00
  • 6 1kg packs of Wholemeal Flour at $2.00 each
  • 4 400g packs of Popcorn at $1.95 each
  • 5 500g jars of Peanut Butter at $3.50 each
  • 1 1L bottle of Olive Oil at $7.00
  • 3 1kg packs of Chickpeas at $3.50 each
  • 3 1kg packs of Kidney Beans at $5.20 each
  • 2 400g packs of Cashews at $9.00 each
  • 20 185g cans of Canned Tuna at $2.00 each
  • 3 240g cans of Canned Ham at $5.50 each
  • 4 180g packs of Dark Chocolate at $5.00 each
  • 1 1kg bag of Sugar at $1.00
  • 3 400g jars of Honey at $5.65 each
  • 14 400g jars of Canned Tomatos at $0.80 each
  • 8 270ml cans of Canned Coconut Milk at $2.40 each
Total cost for a family of 4 is just under $300. These items provide 100% of the average person’s daily allowance of energy, protein and fibre. You wouldn’t want to live on it for the rest of your life, but it should be enough to keep you going for a couple of weeks. 

Frequently asked questions

Why no eggs, butter or greens?

We normally have a week’s eggs, butter and green vegetables in the fridge, so we left them out of our emergency pantry list.

Isn’t canned ham very salty?

Yes, it has a high sodium content. We don’t normally eat canned ham, but we’ve always wanted to try Spam.

How about non-food items?

Personal care items and medicines have a much longer shelf life than food, and are very dependent on your personal needs.

Not everyone can afford to stockpile!

I figure that if our family can be self sufficient for a couple of weeks, it means that emergency services can focus on those who really need it. We’ve set up a fundraising campaign on GoFundme to raise money to support food resiliency across the Australian community. 

How about water?

That’s a whole other topic, and it depends on your home situation. You can find plenty of resources online about water resilience.

Get rewarded for taking photos while shopping

Aglo is a free app that offers you a fast & easy way to earn cash rewards using your phone. Get rewarded by taking photos (Missions) during your shopping trip and by reviewing photos from fellow shoppers (Tasks).

Find missions and tasks near you using the Aglo app. Get started now by downloading our app! If you have further questions, check out our FAQ or drop us a note.

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