The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted early on that we would experience an above-average number of storms this upcoming hurricane season. Hurricane season starts on June 1st and we are just approaching the height of the season, already having one major hurricane hit the United States, Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Irma rapidly spiraling towards South Florida. Whether you are currently expecting a hurricane or not; if you are on the list of areas most likely to experience tropical storms and hurricanes, then you should have these items in your house.
We are fortunate enough to have a generator and have the fridge and freezer stocked with eggs, dairy products, and meat. However, in the event that you are in a household without power or access to a generator, the below list contains items that do not require power to prepare or cook. If you have access to a propane or charcoal grill, make sure you have enough fuel to last at least 3-5 days and always follow the manufacture’s safety precautions when operating.
- Manual Can Opener (#1!)
- Canned meats, such as tunafish, salmon, and chicken.
- Canned beans, peas, and lentils.
- Low sodium canned soups, chili, and vegetables (can be heated over grill in a pan).
- Unsweetened canned fruit.
- High fiber breakfast cereals.
- High fiber, low sodium crackers.
- Granola bars.
- Multigrain bread, bagels, or english muffins.
- Low sodium popcorn.
- Pita chips or bread.
- Quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta (if you have the luxury of a power source to boil water).
- Instant coffee.
- Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit or trail mix.
- Natural nut butters, such as almond butter and peanut butter.
- Fruits that will survive out of the fridge for a few days, such as apples, oranges, and grapes.
- Boxed milk, such as almond or soy milk.
- Dark chocolate. Just because.
- Red wine. A glass may calm the nerves, but do not overindulge to the point where judgement becomes impaired.
- Plenty of water. FEMA suggests you should store at least a gallon a day per person for a 3 day period. Still not sure? Use this calculator to figure out how much you may need.
- Pet food. Don’t forget about your fur-babies.
- Plastic silverware, paper plates and bowls, napkins, garbage bags, and toilet paper.
- First Aid kit and any medications that you, your family, or your pets may need.
Florida Governor Rick Scott emphasized that this is an enormous storm and regardless of where the direct hit lands, everyone must be prepared. Hurricane Irma is currently tearing through Puerto Rico and is on track to affect Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, unless the storm shifts. The entire state of Florida is currently at risk as Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall by this weekend.
In the meantime, we can only hope that the storms weakens or shifts right into the Atlantic Ocean. We can pray for our families, friends, homes, businesses and everyone and everything else in Irma’s path. In times like this, it’s okay to cut corners on your diet; focusing more on choosing low-sodium canned foods and foods that are low in preservatives and highly saturated fats. The most important thing right now is making sure you and your family have adequate food, water and shelter, and are prepared for the 185 mph winds that Hurricane Irma is expected to bring.