September ushers in National Preparedness Month in the United States, and as home cooks, now is the to take stock of all our preps, not just food and water but everything else we may need in the event of an emergency when we have to “bug-in” and prepare meals without electricity or clean running water, keep certain medications cold while keeping ourselves and our family warm, and handle minor emergencies when the roads to get medical help might be impassible.

Mary showing the non food items in her Prepper Pantry.

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Start with a Four Corners Pantry Inventory

As home cooks, we can do our part to be prepared by making sure we have a well-stocked Four Corners Pantry that can weather a storm or other calamity that may prevent us from leaving our homes to get supplies or may interrupt the supply chain to our grocery stories for an extended period of time.

If the term Four Corners Pantry is new to you, it includes your:

  • Working Pantry – where you store non-perishable foods that you access every day.
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Extended or “Prepare” Pantry – where you store non-perishable backup foods for restocking your working pantry.

To get started with your preparations, download and use the inventory and shopping lists I share with you in my “Why You Need to Stock Up On These Top 15 Foods NOW for Your Prepper Pantry!” video and blog post.

First, use the inventory list to go through your “Four Corners” and take stock of what you have on hand. Next, use the inventory list to prepare your shopping list that you can use to restock any food supplies you are low on.

The Emergency Pantry

In many of my previous blog posts and videos, I talk about the importance of having an Extended or “Prepper” Pantry that can help you. And when it comes to preparedness, make sure that you carve out a section of your Prepper Pantry that you designate as your Emergency Pantry.

This Emergency Pantry should contain a box or two, depending on the size of your family, containing two weeks of non-perishable foods that you can prepare without electricity and clean running water. To help get you started, I have a grocery list of non-perishable foods that I recommend you stock in your Emergency Pantry, but by all means, tailor it to your taste preferences.

Store this two weeks’ worth of food in the area of your Prepper Pantry that you carve out as your Emergency Pantry. Be sure to visit my “How to Build a 2-Week Emergency Food Supply” blog post and video to download the grocery list. The download includes a meal plan to store with your food and use if you have to prepare your emergency foods without electricity and clean running water.

Create an Emergency Water Supply

And speaking of water, in addition to the non-perishable foods you store in your Emergency Pantry, be sure to also stock two gallons of water per person in your household. You will want to create a water supply that can last you and your family for at least two weeks.

Hopefully, the utility companies will be able to restore power and water within two weeks. And certainly, you can always stock additional emergency food and water beyond a two-week supply if you have found that, based on the conditions in your area, emergency conditions might extend past two weeks.

Going Beyond Food and Water

Keep in mind that your Emergency Pantry goes beyond just stocking food and water. When you are serious about preparing for emergencies that might require you to be more-or-less “stranded” in your home, you are going to need more than just food and water.

The supplies you stock in your Emergency Pantry will depend on your particular needs, but I have a list of supplies with two videos and corresponding blog posts. I share the essential supplies and equipment I recommend you begin to think about storing in your Emergency Pantry.

To get you started, think about stocking these emergency supplies first. (View all of my recommended supplies.)

  • A portable solar power station and solar panels
  • Portable insulated cooler that can be powered by a solar power station
  • Hand crank emergency radio
  • Hand crank flashlight
  • Refrigerator/Freezer temperature monitors
  • A tub liner to capture water for personal hygiene use
  • A cast-iron trivet and a few tea candles to help you prepare hot beverages and meals
  • A few small pots and a stovetop coffee pot or teapot

And speaking of hot meals, It’s amazing how a hot beverage, like coffee, or a warm meal, can lift your spirits, sustain you through difficult times, and give you the strength to solve problems that may occur when you’re bearing the brunt of a storm or are having to go without electricity or clean running water for prolonged periods.

Healing Pantry Open Cabinet

The Importance of a Healing Pantry

In addition to creating an Emergency Pantry within your Prepper Pantry, you also want to make sure that you carve out an area that I call a Healing Pantry. This Healing Pantry is where you want to stock your first aid supplies if you have to deal with minor emergencies when you are unable to leave your home and get to a doctor’s office.

Within this Healing Pantry, in addition to basic first-aid supplies, you may also want to consider a small area that I call a Medicinal Herbal Medicine Cabinet. In this area, I store the herbs and supplies I need to make herbal home remedies.

You can learn more about creating your own Healing Pantry in my “How to Stock Your Healing Pantry and Create a Herbal Medicine Cabinet” blog post and video. And be sure to print out the checklist you can download from the blog post. You can use this checklist to start stocking your own Healing Pantry.

Where to Get Herbs

If you would like to learn more about how to use herbs to create healing home remedies, be sure to check out my shopping guide, where I share a discount coupon code for the Ditch the Drugstore course offered by Heidi Villegas from the School of Botanical Arts and Sciences.

And if you need a source to purchase high-quality dried herbs, be sure to check out Farmhouse Teas. In addition to selling a wide variety of herbal tea blends, they also sell a wide selection of dried herbs to be used in making medicinal herbal remedies. (Plus, I have a discount code for you!)

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes that shows you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to order your copy of my new book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook. (It’s on the Publishers Weekly Bestsellers List too!)

Order YOUR COPY Now!

The Modern Pioneer Cookbook

Seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques, and nourishing recipes. Over 85 traditional, from-scratch recipes! Discover for yourself how you can use simple ingredients and traditional techniques to cook the modern pioneer way.

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I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

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