Why MRE Food Is Crucial For Emergency Planning

by Billy Brown

You don’t have to be a doomsday prepper to be prepared for an emergency. With so many tornadoes and hurricanes it just makes sense to be prepared to evacuate your area at a moments notice. You’ll need to have a food supply, shelter and method of transportation during a disaster. How prepared are you?

Too Bulky

Most people have canned foods prepared to grab at a moments notice in an emergency, but many of those foods require special preparation in order to eat them. Additionally, you’ll need to have a can opener in order to get into canned foods.

Packing canned foods along is also tricky since they can weigh you down and require plenty of storage space that you may not be able to spare. If you’re traveling on foot you’ll be very limited in how many cans of food you can carry with you at a time. For this reason, many are turning to MRE food stuffs to have on hand for an emergency situations.

MRE Meals Ready Eat

MRE means meals ready to eat originated with the military. These handy little packages have one to two servings of a meal in them. Perfect for campers, survivalists, disaster preparation and others who want to have a food supply stashed away.


MRE meals are very convenient to carry. They are all wrapped up in a single pouch that is easy to put in a back pack or carry in ones car or emergency pack. This pouch is lightweight and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your pack, car or home.

Nutritional Value

MRE are made using exact standards for nutrition. Meals can vary from 1200 to 2000 calories per day depending upon the type purchased. Most MRE’s contain a full days ration of 3 meals and a snack.

They also have an eating utensil (generally a plastic spoon or fork) and a flameless cooking method. For a camper or survivalist this means less bulk when packing and that all of your nutritional needs will be met.

MRE Self Heating Meals

There is also a variety of MRE meals that are self heating. When opened a heat action pack is activated that will heat your pre cooked meal. You’ll have a hot and ready meal shortly after opening with no cooking and no need to build a fire and give away a position if you’re in hiding.


Some MREs will require fresh water so you will want to either have some on hand or know of a safe drinking water source. You can purchase MRE water as well if you so desire. These portable packages of water are ideal for camping and emergency supplies if you aren’t sure of a water source.

Being prepared in an emergency is crucial to survival. Keeping MREs on hand is a great way to begin your preparations and be ready at the drop of a hat for any emergency that may arise.

Author : Michael has been working in safety supplies and emergency kits industry for more than five years. As a product manager for EDisasterSystems, he knows his merchandise and all the requirements from OSHA. He likes to write and share his ideas about the importance of safety and emergency prevention.

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9 thoughts on “Why MRE Food Is Crucial For Emergency Planning”

  1. You’re right on as far as it goes, Michael. But for long term preparedness MRE’s just don’t
    cut it (not criticizing your message, just adding to it). For long term storage MRE’s just
    don’t cut it. I’ve been prepping since the 80’s for “who knows what” and have had to go
    through (eat or throw away) three or four batches of MRE’s because they just don’t have
    the shelf-life.
    I wish the author would have elaborated on the impact of excessive heat or cold on having MRE’s kept in your emergency GHB or bug-out bag when left in the car for periods of time.

  2. re MREs. We have had them since 1998.Used some, donated some, Some people love them ,some don’t.Now many cans have pop tops and its great for canned fruit.We also stock dried fruit in bags and they have kept for many years when stored in three plastic bags (their own and two more) in a metal garbage can in a
    cool basement.
    Its important with any change in diet to always have a
    fiber- laxative available. We use Prunelax tablets-one a day does the job well. Miralax is also good. Lots of water helps also .

  3. MRE’s were not and are not to be eaten for more than 21 days. After a couple days of eating them you will be constipated.

  4. read an interesting article on MREs- some are loaded with MSG- the folks that were eating them had severe allergic reactions, and became very ill. I have also heard that 7 days worth of them will block you up bigtime. . . .

  5. Great, been thinking about getting some MRE’s and now I read they will constipate you if used for more than 7 days.
    Plus with all the companies now selling this type of product, who in the world do you trust for best value, etc ? Any recommendations on best vendors for MRE’s, freeze dried, etc ?

  6. Mike, We have found that Mt House and Provident products are good. We buy from Emergency Essentials-they are fair about the cost of shipping and sometimes shipping is free.
    We have some Wise products also that we haven’t tried yet. It makes sense that yes because these products do not have water (de-hydrated or freeze dried) That water must be added for the product and for our bodies. Companies have sales and promotions. Try a small size first to see if you like it.
    I would advise trying to have a combo of food supplys.Ex. Canned goods, frozen foods, fresh and long term storage items (FD and Dehydrated). Tuna and hash are good standbys .Arlene

  7. MREs are better for “Bug Out” than “Bug In”. They are much lighter than canned food. One MRE is ONE complete meal, NOT “a full days ration and a snack”. You can break the packages down into 3 meals, but they would not be the complete meal as designed. Most meals have a main course, a side dish and a snack, plus crackers or bread with some sort of spread (cheese, peanut butter or jelly). The accessory packs have been enlarged to include candy, like M&Ms, or Tootsie Rolls. You can stretch that one meal out for a full day. I have done it countless times. I would eat the crackers and peanut butter/jelly/cheese for breakfast. Around lunch time, I would eat the side dish, which is normally rice or pasta. For dinner, I would eat the meat. I have eaten just MREs for weeks straight. Constipation is common. It is not definite. It is wise to drink a lot of water. In the military, if we had water (resupply), we drank a lot. That’s just routine. When I enlisted in the Army, we were still eating C-Rations. The MREs started showing up around 1982 or 1983. I think the MREs were an improvement in taste and portability. Initially, MREs were not issued with a heater. We ate them cold, often on the move. The C-Rations lasted forever, literally. In the early 1980’s we were eating C-rations made in the late 1960’s. MREs do expire. I think they are an important part of your survival supplies, mainly if you must leave your home in a hurry. They will fit much better in your backpack or Bug Out Bag if you open the MRE bag and separate the pieces.


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