By Ceres Paulino Canto, M.D. Are you ready for a disaster? An essential part of disaster preparedness includes storing food good for at least 72 hours.  If you are planning to organize your own emergency stash, here are the things you should consider:

Calorie count

During emergency situations, energy demands are higher because of stress and the need to do more physical work. Include food items that have high caloric density to sustain your energy level.


Choose food with “easy-open” packaging, minimal preparation, no need for refrigeration and no cooking.

Shelf Life

Make sure your food lasts more than a few months so that you don’t need to replace them frequently.

Meets the need of all family members

Select food that can be consumed by everyone in the household, including babies and the elderly.


Emergency food does not have to be expensive. Keep in mind that you will have to replace your food items regularly before they expire.


Three days worth of food can be heavy.  In case you need to evacuate, choose food items that take up little space and are easy to transport.


Make sure to sample the food to make sure your family likes it, especially the kids. Look for food items that meet all the above characteristics, but that your family will enjoy as well.

Mingo as part of your emergency food supply

Although Mingo Meals were created for feeding programs for undernourished kids, it proved its usefulness as relief food in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. It is also a great option as an emergency food item in your home. At 400 calories per serving, Mingo has high caloric content as well as good nutritional value. It is light, easy to store and carry, easy to open and requires minimal preparation. Mingo can be given to family members across all ages, from babies who have started on complementary feeding to the elderly. For vegetarians, Mingo is an excellent food choice for emergencies. It comes in natural and chocolate flavors which are very appealing to children. Mingo costs around P5 per pack so you can stock up on a lot without worrying about your budget. Best of all, you help feed indigent children each time you buy Mingo.

Dr. Ceres Paulino-CantoAbout the Author

Dr. Ceres Paulino-Canto is a pediatrician at OB Montessori Center and is the co-founder of Yolanda Medical Relief, a group of volunteer doctors based in Metro Manila organized to provide immediate medical aid to calamity-stricken areas. Aside from medical relief, the group also donated Peter Project boats to fishermen who lost their boats to the storm. They are continuing to work with NVC by funding Mingo Meals, and providing improved livelihood opportunities to the poor through Project Joseph.