A Hurricane Food Supply Guide for Families

With Category 4 Hurricane Matthew expected to brush up the U.S. East Coast this week, residents are being advised to start making their hurricane emergency plans.

Even an indirect hit from a hurricane with rain and damaging wind has the potential to knock out power for days. So, you should be prepared in case you might not have the electricity to cook dinner or run the refrigerator. Think shelf-stable foods and fruits and vegetables which are slower to spoil.

We’ve put together a shopping guide filled with healthy options for your hurricane food kit. When making up your shopping list, be sure to consider whom you’re buying for and include diet-specific foods for family members who require a special menu. Is there a young child in the house? Someone with a gluten allergy?

Healthy Hurricane Food Guide

Water: A gallon per person, per day, enough for at least seven days. Or if you buy the bottles, that's eight 16-ounce bottles per person or 56 bottles for seven days. Sport drinks can also help you rehydrate and replenish fluid when water is scarce.

Milk: Shelf-stable milk in single-serving boxes. Sneakz’ chocolate, vanilla and strawberry milks come in Tetra Pak cartons, which remain safe and nutritious without refrigeration. Plus, each 8-ounce box also contains a nutrient-rich mix of five vegetables — carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato, spinach and beets — along with more fiber and less sugar than other leading flavored milks in the marketplace and many smoothie and juice drinks. Sneakz is available at fine retailers – including Publix and Wegmans – and online at Sneakz.com. For more information on specific locations, visit sneakz.com/pages/store-finder.

Caffeine: Instant coffee, tea bags.

Fruit: Single-serving fruit cups, applesauce, dried fruits and 100% fruit juice (not fruit drinks or punch). When a storm is a few days away, buy apples, oranges and avocados.

Vegetables: Canned vegetables and soups with vegetables. Look for low-sodium or no-sodium-added canned goods, as these are more heart healthy. Plus, salty foods will make you thirstier – not good when you have a limited water supply. When a storm is a few days away, buy fresh veggies like tomatoes and cucumber that can last a few days at room temperature. If you will have access to a working stove, also consider potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash which can be stored for a month.

Grains: Crackers, cereal, granola bars, rice cakes, nuts and trail mix. Bread can be purchased when a storm is coming.

Proteins: Beans, boxed tofu, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and canned tuna, chicken and salmon.

For more information about healthy meal plans, menus and food safety in case of a hurricane, read Everyday Health’s Guide to Healthy Eating in an Emergency.