Illness is currently taking the world by storm so we thought that since Alex has a degree in Emergency Management it may be helpful to provide a guide on how to prepare for an emergency with your dietary preference (Keto) in mind whether that’s due to illnesses or other natural or man-made disasters. Here are our recommendations:
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Shelf-Stable Keto Foods
We already have a comprehensive guide on How to Build a Keto Pantry along with a FREE printable PDF at the bottom of that post so our first recommendation is to start there. After that we would, and are, focusing on the following:
Broth – we keep a stock of bone broths and stocks for easy soup recipes as well as sipping. Broth is a great source of nutrients and electrolytes and a staple ingredient in many recipes. Make sure to choose broths and stocks that are made with the highest quality proteins and vegetables. We love Pacific Foods since they are shelf-stable and made with healthy Keto-friendly ingredients!
Canned Meat – tuna, salmon, chicken, anchovies, sardines, etc. If it’s important to you, make sure that these are sourced via sustainable sources and packed in either water or a healthy oil like olive oil. Homemade canned meat is also perfect to keep on hand.
Frozen Meat – this can either be meat that is already frozen or meat that you purchase and freeze in freezer-safe containers. Meat will keep in the freezer for about a year. If it’s ground meat the recommendation is 4 months. The proper way to freeze meat is to vacuum pack it or store it in freezer-safe Zip-Loc bags or our personal go-to, Stasher Bags. Here’s a chart that shows exactly how long each food product will last in the freezer.
Salsa – great for adding to the top of meals as a source of flavor or adding to soups and stews as an ingredient, salsa is always something we have on hand. We also keep a stock of canned green chiles to add to stews, soups, or even hashes as an easy way to up flavor.
Hot Sauce – we keep a trio-pack of Yellowbird hot sauce on hand in our emergency food kit for adding flavor to dishes.
Canned Tomatoes – tomato soup? Butter chicken? Curry? Canned tomatoes are a simple but essential ingredient to any emergency pantry! We keep crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, and diced tomatoes, as well as Rotel on hand at all times.
Frozen Fruit – Fruit is definitely A-OK on a Keto diet as long as you steer clear of high sugar fruits. Berries are a great thing to have stashed in the freezer. Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, and Huckleberries are all great options. You can add them to the top of Whole Milk Yogurt, eat them by themselves, add them to a Keto Cobbler, or even cook them down with a bit of Keto-friendly sweetener like Swerve to make preserves or jams.
Freeze-Dried Vegetables – we love zucchini chips or other dried vegetable snacks. Freeze-dried fruit is typically not worth your effort (34g of freeze-dried raspberries contain the same amount of sugar as 312g of fresh raspberries)
Soups – there are a few brands like Kettle and Fire that have shelf-stable Keto-friendly soups.
Meal-Prep Fresh Ingredients
You don’t just have to stock up on shelf-stable ingredients. You can definitely purchase normal ingredients like fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats and meal prep them for easy grab and go meals. Most recipes on Cast Iron Keto can be frozen to be used at a later time (we know this because we cook SO many recipes on a daily basis and have lots of leftovers that we freeze for easy meal options).
To freeze food safely follow these recommended guidelines:
Cook all food before freezing – cook all food to the recommended temperatures:
- Chicken: 165°F (73.9°C)
- Ground Meat: 160°F (71.1°C)
- Beef: 145°F (62.8°C)
- Pork: 145°F (62.8°C)
- Fish: 145°F (62.8°C)
- Casseroles: 165 °F (73.9 °C)
Use freezer-safe containers
Reheat all food to its appropriate temperatures listed above.
14-Day Shelf Stable Keto Meal Plan
You can read the full post here or download the FREE eBook below!
Health and Safety
Masks – for ONLY if you yourself are sick! PLEASE DO NOT hoard medical supplies, this prevents people who actually need them to not be able to have them. We keep two N95 masks per person on hand. Want to go a step further in case of a chemical disaster? You may want to look into a respirator or gas mask as well.
Gloves – again, please do not hoard these items but we have a few boxes of medical grade gloves.
Hand Sanitizer – We use natural products like Everyone, EO, and Dr. Bronners. We also make our own by filling up small amber spray bottles with 70% rubbing alcohol and a few drops of essential oils. Lavender and Thieves are our go-to for essential oils.
Feminine Hygiene Products – a is your best option here as it is sustainable and lasts 2-4 years. You can also keep organic pads on hand which can also make a makeshift bandage if necessary.
Puppy-Pads (in case you can’t leave your home or it is unsafe to walk your dog) – If it comes to not being able to leave your home at all and you have pets grabbing some puppy pads isn’t the worst idea.
Bleach – Bleach makes a great disinfectant, see this printout for ratios and guidelines. You can also use bleach to make drinkable water if you can’t boil water or do not have bottled water on hand. We don’t plan to do this as we talk about our water solution below, but if needed see this page on the ratios could a literal life-saver. One thing to keep in mind is to avoid scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners.
Hydrogen Peroxide + Wipes – kills more than 40 microorganisms, including 13 antibiotic-resistant organisms, and norovirus (feline calico virus), rotavirus, hiv, and tb.
Prescription medications for you and your pets – our cat is epileptic and takes medication daily so we plan out for that.
All of the recommendations listed at Ready.gov that we discuss below
While we are definitely not preppers, we are prepared for emergencies, blame it on Alex having a degree in Emergency Management or being an Eagle Scout #BePrepared, or living in an area that could have a major earthquake that disrupts our daily way of life. We recommend visiting Ready.gov for great information to get you started on your emergency preparedness kit and a family emergency plan.
You can print out a supply list by clicking here.
We expanded on it just a bit by adding the following:
A way to cook food regardless of whether or not utilities are still up and running. For this, we chose to invest in a BioLite that can not only cook food with just sticks, leaves, bark and other organic material as the fuel source but also charge our USB devices.
We use our BioLite when camping but it also provides peace of mind if we encounter an emergency situation. It boils water lightening fast and packs up into an easy to carry bundle making it great for travel and emergencies.
LONG-TERM FOOD STORAGE
While definitely NOT Keto, we went with a Gluten-Free Emergency Food Bucket from NuManna, they are also non-GMO, free of soy, MSG, and Aspartame, and HFCS.
If you do want a low-carb solution to long-term food storage here is what we’re planning on doing in the future when we have more space:
Invest in a freeze-dryer – this will allow you to freeze-dry just about anything and store it for 20+ years when stored correctly in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber. You can freeze-dry your favorite foods and recipes, not only will this be perfect for long-term food storage but also camping, backpacking, and other sports outings as well. Freeze-dried food also retains 97% of its vitamins and minerals. Harvest Right has multiple great options including a unit that will fit on a countertop.
We currently live in an apartment with limited storage space but if we had the room we would use these WaterBricks to store about a month of water for each of us and our pets.
FEMA recommends just 3 days of water supply for each person but experts say that in case of certain emergencies, water supply could be down for much longer than 3 days. This will depend on your location and water disasters you need to plan for.
It is easy to be overwhelmed before, during, and after a disaster. Talk with your family, share your concerns, and come up with a plan. Different emergencies call for different actions, so take the time to discuss the most likely disasters you need to be prepared for. Right now is the perfect time to discuss a plan for your home or office, and while you are thinking about it go ahead and make a plan for an emergency in which you may have to evacuate (i.e., severe weather, house fire, chemical spill, etc…).
We’ll continue to update this page with our recommendations and other helpful tips as our own emergency plans morph and change.