You’ve just heard the word a hurricane is approaching and your first instinct is to head to the store to fill up the pantry. Remember, you should plan for the worst possible outcome; purchase food items which do not require a refrigerator, microwave, stove or oven, as electricity may not be available for a few days should you lose power. Here are the best foods to stockpile in the case of an emergency:
Bottled water is a must-have item during a hurricane. You can also purchase Gatorade or Powerade, which are great sources of electrolytes and carbohydrates and can help rehydrate. Powdered milk is a great substitution for fresh milk if you have no power to your refrigerator.
Children can get very cranky, especially when all their resources are cut off, such as the TV and radio. Stock up on items like fruit, peanut butter, nuts, trail mix, granola and power bars to keep their moods and spirits alive.
Even though you have access to food, not eating normally can cause you to lose some of the nutrients you would be consumed on a normal diet. When out shopping for the hurricane supplies, remember to pick up some multivitamins for both adults and children.
When fresh vegetables aren’t an option, you could purchase canned vegetables as an alternative, which will provide you with essential nutrients.
Purchase individually packaged dry cereals to prevent them from becoming stale after opening. Most supermarkets carry variety packages of cereal. This way, each person can choose what they want, and be satisfied.
Sandwich bread or even burger patties make for a great lunch. Canned tuna. Canned chicken, peanut butter and jelly, etc. are great combinations for a sandwich. Don’t forget to incorporate fruit to give you an extra boost of energy for the day.
If you are lucky to have access to a grill or charcoal stove, you’ll be doing some light cooking. Be sure you have the proper ingredients such as salt, seasonings, sweeteners, etc. If you don’t have access to the stove, there are many other options such as tapas (olives, avocados, tomatoes, pita, chickpeas, etc.) which can be a light and fun family meal. You could also make hummus by mashing chickpeas and stirring in lemon juice, garlic and a bit of salt, to be served with crackers or pita. Vegetable wraps are also a healthy option if you have access to lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and other veggies. Remember, dinner won’t always be full of meat and carbs during this time, but by using your resources, you can make it special.
Remember to purchase a few large bags of ice in the case you have leftover food which needs to be kept fresh. You can purchase ice from the supermarket, gas station, convenience store, or even a few fast food restaurants at a low-cost.
Food shopping during a hurricane doesn’t have to be difficult. The most important thing is to plan ahead, think smart, and cover each food group.