Hurricane a’comin’: Creating a storm-ready kitchen

tumblr_lqga3kRKLN1qc7je5o1_1280

With Tropical Storm Colin about to make landfall in Florida, I figured it might be helpful to create a list of food items that are great to have around during a storm. While I’m not an emergency management professional, I do bring 30+ years of living in Florida, where I’ve weathered several hurricanes and tropical storms. I grew up on an island, so we always had to be prepared just in case.

Here are a few food items I’d suggest when stockpiling for a storm:

Peanut butter: You can’t go wrong with this calorie-dense, high-protein food. Perfect for a quick sandwich or spreading on crackers. I think Nutella or almond butter would also hold up well.

Crackers/Breads: These provide needed carbohydrates and provide a base for your sandwich or snack.

Nuts/trail mix: Again, calorie-dense and non-perishable items are your friend.

Canned meats: Tuna, chicken, salmon … maybe even Spam, if that’s your thing.

Individually wrapped cereals: Unlike larger boxed kinds, these won’t go stale as quickly and are easy to ration.

Protein bars: While pricey, these can often give you a complete meal in a small, portable package.

Canned vegetables and beans: These staple items can provide you with essential nutrients, which will help you keep energy levels up.

Spices: Even though you’re probably not thinking about your foodie habits during the aftermath of a storm, having spices around will really make your stockpiled items more palatable.

Produce: If you know you’ll have a few days before a storm, you can stock up on apples, avocados, citrus fruits, and other fruits and vegetables that won’t require cooking.

Pet food: Don’t forget your furry friends! When a storm is looming ahead, be sure to have an extra supply of pet food on hand.

Water: It simply goes without saying that you’ll need to have plenty of bottled water available. Don’t be that person who goes to Target at the last minute and can’t find anything (aka me in 2004).

Of course, there is much more to emergency preparedness than having a stocked pantry. If you live in a coastal area, I highly encourage you to visit The National Hurricane Center website for a full guide on storm preparedness. Be safe out there!