Hurricane Food Guide: 9 Essential Options for Stockpiling

Storm Surge During Hurricane IAn Naples Park 108th Ave

When a hurricane is looming, preparing is essential. Stockpiling the right food is a critical aspect of this preparation.

We’ll discuss the best hurricane food options to have on hand, storage tips, the importance of rationing during disasters, and answer common questions about hurricane food supplies.

1. Energy-rich foods: Beans, Apples, Dried Figs, and Whole-Grain Cereals

Shelf in the kitchen with various cereals and seeds

Stocking high-energy foods like beans, dried figs, apples, and whole-grain cereals ensures you have sufficient sustenance during the storm.

These foods are rich in essential nutrients and fibers that keep you full longer, reducing the need to eat frequently. Moreover, they have a long shelf life, making them perfect for emergency situations.

2. Healthy Fats: Salmon, Almonds, and Walnuts

Tin or aluminum rectangular can of canned salmon with a key on a dark concrete background

Canned salmon, almonds, and walnuts are excellent sources of healthy fats and proteins. They provide long-lasting energy, support brain function, and help maintain overall health during stressful situations.

Remember to store these items in a cool, dry place to extend their shelf life.

3. Crackers and Protein Nut Butter

Crunchy snacks and ready to eat food including chips, nuts etc

Crackers, when paired with high-protein nut butter such as peanut or almond butter, make a nutritious snack that is easy to store and can last for months without refrigeration.

Choose whole-grain crackers for added fiber and nutrients.

4. Dried Fruit and Fresh Fruits That Don’t Require Refrigeration

Organic Healthy Assorted Dried Fruit on a Plate

Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, and figs are a great source of energy and can be stored for long periods.

Additionally, some fresh fruits like apples, oranges, and grapefruits do not require refrigeration and last for weeks, providing essential vitamins and hydration.

5. Trail Mix: An Energizing Snack Food

Healthy vegan trail mix of dry fruits and nuts of strawberry, blueberry, black currants, dates, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, almonds, coconut, walnuts, pistachio, raisins, sesame seeds, and pine nuts..

Trail mix, a combination of dried fruits, nuts, and sometimes chocolate, is another excellent non-perishable food option.

It’s lightweight, compact, and packed with energy-dense ingredients, making it a perfect snack during emergencies.

6. Bottled Water: Essential for Hydration and Cooking Needs

Large Number of Packed Bottled Drinking Water with Blue Caps

Water is vital for survival. During a hurricane, your regular water supply may not be safe for consumption.

Therefore, it’s important to stock up plenty of bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes. Essential recommendations suggest at least one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days.

7. Emergency Food Supply Kits: Ready-to-Eat Meals

Photo of soldier in camouflaged uniform and tactical gloves holding canned food MRE on black background, close-up view.

Ready-to-eat meals and emergency food supply kits are specifically designed for disaster situations. They have a long shelf life, require minimal preparation, and provide balanced nutrition.

These kits usually contain a variety of meals, ensuring you don’t tire of eating the same food.

8. Canned Soup: Nutritious Meal Option Safe to Eat Cold

Tin can of carrot soup with spoon, standing on kitchen towel  and clay board over old rusty iron background. Dark rustic style. Top view

Canned soup is another excellent food item to include in your emergency supply.

It offers a variety of nutrients and can be eaten directly from the can if heating is not possible. Remember to pack a manual can opener too!

9. Essential Baby Food Items

Stacks of different flavored baby food

If you have babies or toddlers in the household, their nutritional needs should be a top priority during emergency planning.

Let’s see what baby food essentials you should stockpile.

Why Baby Food Is Crucial in Emergencies

Babies and toddlers have specific dietary needs that must be met for their healthy growth and development.

In emergencies, their regular feeding routines may be disrupted, leading to stress and health complications.

Therefore, it’s crucial to have an ample supply of baby food items on hand.

Types of Baby Food to Stockpile

Milk powder in spoon on can for baby and wooden table background

Stock up on formula milk if your baby is not entirely breastfed. Make sure to have enough formula to last at least a week.

Jarred baby food, both fruits and vegetables, is also good to have.

They are non-perishable and easy to serve. Also, include baby cereals and snacks like rice cakes or baby-friendly biscuits.

Storm-Proof Food Storage Tips

Storing your emergency food correctly is as important as selecting the right type of food. Improper storage can lead to spoilage and the wastage of food.

Here are some tips:

How to Store Food Safely During Hurricanes

Use airtight containers or sealable plastic bags for storing dry goods to prevent water damage. Keep your food supply in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and sunlight.

Don’t forget to mark each container with the date of purchase to keep track of the shelf life. If you have canned goods, check regularly for any signs of bulging or leaking. The Florida Department of Agriculture has these suggestions:

  • A full refrigerator will maintain safe temperatures for 4 hours without power. A full freezer will maintain safe temperatures for 48 hours.
  • Prepare in advance by freezing containers of water and ice packs. Buy dry ice to place in the freezer and fridge to keep cool.
  • Transfer fridge items to the freezer that need to stay cold. Move some frozen items to the fridge to maintain cold temps.
  • Keep perishable foods towards the front of the fridge for quick access if power goes out. Limit opening fridge to reduce temperature loss.
  • If power is out for a long time, transfer perishable fridge items into coolers with ice. The longer items stay cold, the lower the contamination risk.
Florida Department of Agriculture

Suggestions for Emergency Cooking Methods

In situations where electricity is unavailable, remember you can still cook or heat your food using alternatives like charcoal grills, propane stoves, or even canned heat sources like Sterno.

Note that these methods should only be used outdoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Food Rationing During Disasters

Rationing food is crucial during disaster situations. It ensures the available supplies last for the maximum duration while meeting the nutritional needs of all family members.

Guidelines for Rationing Food in Emergency Situations

Create a meal plan for each day, prioritizing the dietary needs of children and elderly family members.

Consume perishable items first and save non-perishable foods for later. Avoid overeating and limit portion sizes to ensure the food lasts longer.

Ensuring Essential Vitamins and Minerals Intake Through Rationing

When rationing, focus on maintaining a balanced intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Include a variety of foods in your meals to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Remember, even during emergencies, proper nutrition is crucial for health and well-being.

FAQs about Food During a Hurricane

Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about food supplies during hurricanes.

What is the best food for a disaster?

The best foods for a disaster are non-perishable, nutrient-rich items that don’t require refrigeration or cooking.

This includes canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, whole-grain crackers, high-protein bars, and ready-to-eat meals.

What food should I stockpile?

You should stockpile a variety of foods to ensure balanced nutrition.

Include items like canned vegetables, beans, fruits, canned meats, dry cereals, peanut butter, and non-perishable dairy products.

Also, consider baby food if you have infants in the household.

What are the most purchased items before a hurricane?

Typically, people tend to purchase bottled water, canned goods, batteries, flashlights, and first aid supplies before a hurricane.

These items are essential for survival during and after the storm.

How do you grocery shop for a hurricane?

Start by making a list of essential items based on the dietary needs of your family. Focus on non-perishable foods and drinking water.

Shop early to avoid the last-minute rush and empty shelves. Remember to buy supplies like a manual can opener, disposable utensils, and garbage bags.

Being prepared for a hurricane or any other natural disaster is crucial.

Stockpiling food and other essentials will not only provide comfort during the storm but also ensure survival in its aftermath.

Plan ahead, stay informed, and stay safe!

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.