Hurricane Lane dropped record-breaking heavy rains that battered Hawaii this week, but that’s likely to just be the beginning. Hurricane season is expected to run through November 30 this year, with September being the peak season for storms in the Atlantic.
It’s alway best to be prepared — if not over prepared — for disasters like hurricanes, especially if you live in a high-risk area. Because you’re going to have limited supplies in the event of an emergency, it’s important to make each item in your stash count. FEMA suggests foods that require no refrigeration, water, or special cooking. Foods can also lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress, so leave room for a few comfort items, as well.
Here are some foods suggestions that should be in your stash:
Of course water is first and foremost. FEMA recommends having one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. This covers drinking water as well as sanitation in case your water gets cut off.
2. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a great source of energy on a normal day, but on highly active days like you might experience during an emergency, it can be a lifesaver. It’s high in fats and protein, and unless otherwise noted on the label, you don’t have to worry about refrigerating it after opening.
3. Powdered Milk
This milk substitute is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D when refrigeration and fresh milk no longer are an option.
4. Canned soups and chilis
In the event of an emergency, soups and chilis can be eaten straight from the can.
5. Canned veggies
When fresh produce isn’t available, the canned stuff can give you essential nutrients.
6. Sports drinks
The electrolytes and carbohydrates in Gatorade and Powerade can help you replenish fluids when water is scare.
7. Canned tuna
Canned meats, like tuna, can last more than two years in an emergency stash as long as they’re not damaged or rusted. If your not a fan of fish, canned chicken or salmon can give you the same essential protein.
8. Dried fruits
In the absence of fresh fruit, dried fruit can give you a lot of potassium and fiber that you’ll be missing. Stock up on apricots, raisins, or whatever else interests you. Just remember, these don’t have quite as long of a shelf life as say, canned tuna, so rotate them out about every six months, suggests FEMA.
9. Granola Bars and trail mixes
Granola bars and trail mixes are a great for a stockpile because they’re high in carbs, aka energy, but also take up minimal space.
10. Whole wheat crackers
The extra fiber in whole wheat crackers will come in handy when you’re extra hungry. They make for a decent bread substitute for making sandwiches when fresh bread isn’t available. Keep some jelly and this duo will become a tasty snack.
Choose multigrain cereals in individual portion sizes, if possible. That will help them from becoming stale and extend the product’s shelf life.
12. Instant coffee, tea, cocoa
Stressful situations are no time to skip your caffeine fix. Instant coffee packets and tea bags can make for a much needed moment of normalcy during a disaster.
What yo buy right before a storm
If you’re lucky enough to have a warning before a storm him, and you can safely leave your house to pick up last minute supplies, consider adding a few of these other items to your stockpile. That way, you’ll have some additional fresh items to help carry you through a few days, so you may not need to totally deplete your non-perishable stash.
When stored in a cool, dry place, apples can last up to three months.
2. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams
These root vegetables can last about a month in cool, dark areas. But you if have access to a working stove or grill, they can provide a tasty side dish.
3. Hard meats
Your protein will probably run out fastest, so stock up last minute with a few extras. Hard, packaged sausages like pepperoni and dry-cured salamis like sopressata can stay good in the pantry for up to six weeks unopened.