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Survive Hurricanes Tastefully with Foods That Last

FitGal's picture

Hurricane Irene is knocking at the doors and quite a few States in the country,  including New York, are preparing to face the nature's wrath, once again. Only yesterday, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued recommendations to residents in the states which are likely to get affected by this hurricane. Hurricane Irene will mean power outages, flooding and other problems. Therefore, it is the right time to be Hurricane-ready. The first thing that comes to mind while preparing for a hurricane is food.

You need to stock up on food for a long time. Read on to learn a few tricks and tips that will help keep your family and you food-ready during a hurricane. So, here is a list of hurricane-safe foods, which can be eaten cold, don’t need to be cooked and will stay good for days without refrigeration:

  1. Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables: The canned variety comes in sturdy containers, which do not require additional storage and in case of flooding, you can even pick up cans from within the water and consume them safely. You do not need to cook these items and don’t need to store them inside a refrigerator. These can be eaten cold or without being cooked. 
  2. Canned juices, milk, soup: Once again, cans, and not the tetra packs, are the ideal choice because canned varieties last longer even when opened. 
  3. Food staples like sugar, salt, pepper, condiments, etc: Store sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, jam, etc in waterproof packaging. Once you are in the middle of a hurricane, having a regular meal will be the most difficult thing to garner. Having staples such as these at hand will give you and your family some semblance of a regular family meal. You can also store ketchup, mustard relish, hot sauce, pickle sauce etc to give your food an extra zing, when you need it the most.
  4. Infant food or foods for elderly or special diets: There is no reason why the elderly members of the family or the infants should suffer because of unavailability of food. Just like you do it for the rest of the family, you can store food specifically meant for the infants, elderly or those on special diets. The storage rules will be just like as mentioned before.
  5. High energy foods: To keep your energy levels up during these trying times, keep some peanut butter, crackers, granola bars or trail mix or vitamins handy and safe. When you don’t have the energy to rustle up a full meal while waiting for the hurricane to pass, you can just pick up some crackers and slather them with peanut butter or pick a granola bar to munch upon and you will feel energized in a jiffy. 
  6. Comfort foods: Yes, you read it right! Locked inside your house or basement during hurricane is probably the most trying time you will ever face, therefore, it is necessary to keep your spirits up. And what better way to do that than having some of your favorite food items like cookies, candies or instant coffee? You don’t need electricity or gas to prepare this and will be able to munch upon it without going anywhere. So, load up on those twinkies or nutter butters.
  7. Preserved meat: Preserved meat not only helps you receive a steady supply of protein during hurricane, it also lasts for a long time without refrigeration, so you can load it up in your pantry without any worry.
  8. Pet foods: Don’t forget your pets during a hurricane. Just like you are loading up stuff for your family members, keep a corner of your pantry secure for your pet foods and vitamins/medications etc, which can be used in time of emergency.

We bring you a list of non-perishable and perishable food items, which will help you when you go grocery shopping before a hurricane. Buy nonperishable foods because they can last without refridgeration:



Salad dressing, jelly/jam, mayonnaise, honey, sugar

Butter, margarine

Canned pudding, instant breakfast drinks, evaporated milk, infant formula

Half gallons of milk, liquid dairy products, cheese, yogurt

Canned tuna, baked beans, chilli, bean soups, canned chicken, canned salmon

Frozen or fresh meat (excluding venison), eggs

Baby food vegetables, spaghetti sauce, vegetable soup, V-8 juice

Fresh and frozen vegetables, fruits

Fruit leather, baby food fruit, applesauce, dried fruits, raisins

Rice and rice mixes, cold cereals, macaroni and cheese mix, shredded wheat, flour, etc.



How to Store Food Items Needed During Hurricane:


  • Store the food in a dry and cool corner in your home.
  • Breads, cookies, crackers should be kept wrapped in plastic bags or in tightly closed containers.
  • Keep clean plastic containers handy to store enough clean, drinking water for each member of the family. To calculate how much water you would need, follow this simple rule – Stock up on one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
  • To keep water clean during a hurricane, you can use purification tablets, since it would not be possible for you to boil the water.
  • Keep food stored inside a special section of the food cupboard, which should be easier to pick in case you need to rush to evacuate out of the house.


What To Stock To Prepare Meals during Hurricane:

  • Disposable plates, knives, forks, and spoons
  • Disposable hot and cold cups
  • Paper napkins or towels
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Manual Can opener
  • Sufficient supply of trash bags and zip-lock bags
  • Sterno heater/hibachi/camp stove with 5-day fuel supply
  • Matches stored in waterproof container
  • Propane tank for the grill
  • Hand sanitizer 




Experts say that ideally, you need to keep a stock of two weeks’ of food supply of non-perishable food items to help you and your family stay away from hunger during a hurricane. Although, it is unlikely that the emergency will last that long, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially during a hurricane.

Ask Karen


“Ask Karen” is the FSIS’ virtual representative, who is available here 24 hours a day to answer the general public’s questions about safety during a hurricane.



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StuartRebDonald's picture
Folks, I've been through more hurricanes than I care to remember. The storm itself is frightening but mostly because of the unknown. The after-math is where survival becomes an issue. When was the last time you went a week without electricity or a hot shower? No matter how hard it sounds; it's actually harder. . . for about two days. After that you will settle into a groove. Be on the look out for MRE's (Meals Ready To Eat). You can find them at Army surplus stores and sporting goods stores carry them for hunters/campers. They range from meh to pretty darned good and keep for years so if you don't need them save them for winter. Once the power goes you'll have about six hours of refrigeration left if you don't open the door so if it doesn't look like the lights are coming back anytime soon find someone with a grill and cook everything you can. Better to eat like a pig on lamb, steaks and chicken than to let it go bad and lose it altogether. I swear sometimes we eat better after a hurricane than before. This is the most important advice I can give you - help your neighbors. How do you think we rebuild on the Gulf Coast? We help each other. We don't wait for FEMA or any other part of the Government to rebuild - it is NOT their job. If your house gets damaged fixing it is your job. If you want your neighbors to help you, help them.
TheHealthNut's picture
This is a great article to help those that don't have much time to get all of the proper food and important survival items together.I hope that everyone will remain safe in all of this natural disaster ordeal. God bless and we will keep our fingers crossed for your safety.
FitGal's picture
We all are praying TheHealthNut.
thot4food's picture
Timely article and extremely helpful for ppl affected by the recent Hurricane
sumer's picture
very quick! great!
Anonymous's picture
A true friend.....
Priam's picture
A lovely article...definitely helpful for those on the East Coast...
Gourmet.lover's picture
Hurricanes are truly devastating...glad u came up with this interesting write-up on foods that wud last thru the crisis
chockyfoodie's picture
Yes, this is a very timely article.
Gossip.Goddess's picture
good one!
foodietweetie's picture
great article at the time when hurricane is creating havoc in many lives. Truly a helpful write up!
FitGal's picture
Thanks everyone for your encouraging words. I really wish that the hurricane has not affected people too badly. And if it has, I wish for them to find the strength to recover from the disaster soon.
Survive Hurricanes Tastefully With Foods That Last