An emergency supply of food and drink that you keep at home is called a stockpile. A stockpile quickly proves useful, for instance, in cases of sudden illness. It is sensible everyday preparedness for unforeseen circumstances.

A stockpile should contain enough food and drink to see you through at least 72 hours.

Having enough for 72 hours means that, in an emergency, each household can manage for no less than three days without its members going hungry or thirsty. The recommendation was jointly formulated by the local government and civil society organisations.

A stockpile is not, however, a separate store of foodstuffs; it is made of products that you use, and then restock, regularly. It makes sense to build up a stockpile of products you like and enjoy. Consider also which products can be eaten as they are, without heating or warming up, in case of a power cut. Your stockpile might contain many of the following items:

  • Ready-to-drink juice and bottled water
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables, root vegetables, tinned fruit
  • Bread, crisp bread, rice cakes, dried bread
  • Nuts, seeds, dried fruit
  • Jams, purées
  • Cereal, muesli, granola
  • Long-life juice and smoothies
  • UHT milk and plant-based drinks
  • Tinned fish, meat, and pulses
  • Baby food
  • Rice, lentils, pasta, noodles, cup soups, sauces, instant mash, soy granules
  • Foods suitable for restricted diets or food allergies
  • Snack bars, biscuits, chocolate, crisps
  • Pet food

Your stockpile should be made of foods you normally use anyway. This will ensure all products are kept in circulation, with nothing going out of date or to waste.

Although the current guidelines recommend stockpiling enough to last for three days, it is worth thinking through what your needs would be going forward.

Suggested quantities for three days and for one week, for one adult

3 days1 week
Drinking water6 l14 l
Vegetables and root vegetables600 g1,4 kg
Fruit and berries400 g930 g
Potatoes200 g460 g
Pasta and grains200 g460 g
Bread and grain products550 g1,3 kg
Milk, sour milk, yogurt, or plant-based equivalents1 l2,3 l
Cheese60 g140 g
Fish, eggs, meat, vegetable protein400 g930 g
Oils, fats150 g350 g
Dried fruit100 g230 g
Nuts, seeds90 g210 g
Sweets, chocolate100 g230 g
Sugar, honey100 g230 g
TOTAL: approximately 2300 kcal per day

Water is the key

It is a good idea to keep some bottled water at home at all times. We all need approximately two litres of drinking water every day. If water supply is disrupted or tap water becomes contaminated, municipal authorities set up temporary water supply points. It is, therefore, important to keep clean, lidded containers at home that can be used to collect and transport water. Plastic buckets with lids or large plastic juice containers would both work. For three days, you will need six (6) litres of water per person. Do keep in mind you will also need some water for washing and toileting.

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Other necessities

  • Medicines
  • Food products suitable for restricted diets and allergies
  • Tin opener
  • Radio and batteries
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Nappies
  • Cling film, tape, plastic containers
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Iodine tablets
  • Candles and matches
  • Cash
  • Food and other necessities for pets

Consider also

  • Do you have an alternative way of keeping your home warm if the current heating system fails?
  • Do you have a battery operated or a wind-up radio?