As an herbalist I keep a lot of herbs on hand. I have an entire cabinet as tall as myself full of homemade extracts, dried herbs, and other goodies. This gets used by friends and families on an as needed basis. That in and of itself is pretty good preparedness, but there are twelve herbs that I consider my "core" emergency preparedness herbs. I've talked about them in other posts, but they are: angelica, bee balm, catnip, dandelion, elder, hawthorn, lemon balm, mullein, peppermint, rose, valerian, and yarrow.
For each of these twelve herbs, I keep "everyday" stock that's part of my day to day uses, and "reserve" stock, which is for long term preparedness. I make sure to re-order or resupply that reserve stock as the "everyday" stock begins to get low, so that I can simply rotate "reserve" into "everyday" and have fresh stock in reserve.
In reserve, I make sure I have a bottle of homemade alcohol extract of each, and an unopened bag of each herb in dried form. That way I have a quick, already prepared go-to extract, and the versatility of the dried herb so that I can make whatever preparations I might need or want.
How Much to Store?
I chose 4oz as the default size for my emergency preparedness stocks because 1 oz of herbal extract will typically last for a full month at a standard serving of 15 drops, three times a day. Because these herbs are being kept on hand for acute rather than chronic needs (so they shouldn't be needed for more than a few days at a stretch), even 1oz is a fairly good supply. Especially if you are making your own extracts at home, however, it's just as easy to make 4oz as 1oz, and actually cheaper than buying a single 1 oz bottle at the store. So, why not?
The smallest bag of dried bulk herbs usually is a also a 4oz size. One oz of dried herb will usually make 5 oz or so of extract, so as long as you also have plenty of vodka or other extracting medium on hand, you are all set to make more extract as needed, and can also make teas, oils, or salves as required.
The twelve herbs are also easy to grow, so I have many of them in my garden. Because of that, I feel comfortable keeping only those amounts on hand for both myself and my significant other. It would only take one growing season for me to realistically replenish my stores from my garden. I also have plenty of other herbs on hand in smaller quantities, so can pick and chose what I need from a wider selection of stored herbs anyway. Otherwise, if I were in a situation where replenishment would mean foraging because of a fledgling or non-existent garden (such as in the event of a long term emergency that included shortages from retail sources), I would bump that amount up to one 4oz bottle of extract and a 4oz bag of dried herb per person that I expected to be in my household during such an event. It makes much more sense, though, to put in that herb garden you've always wanted- even if it's just a container garden on the patio. Herbs don't need much attention and give good yields even in a small space, so it's a good investment and won't take up much room or much of your time once they are planted.