15 Foods to Stock up on Before a Hurricane Hits
The time to prepare for a disaster is long before the storm hits. We've rounded up a list of non-perishable, no-cook hurricane food items to stock in your pantry ASAP.
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Your hurricane food kit should contain at least a three-day supply for each person in the house. To start, peruse the cupboards and see what you have or don’t have—and check expiration dates. Then, put together a shopping list with nonperishable, nutritious food (we’ve made it easy by creating the list below). Opt for food that requires little or no preparation, won’t need electricity to store and won’t spoil easily.
Plan to keep your hurricane food in a cool, dry spot, and make sure that containers are sealed tightly after each use. If you’re not sure about whether an item is still good or how to store it, reference FEMA’s emergency food guidelines.
You can make sure your pantry and family are ready to weather any natural disaster.
Access to a safe water supply is key during an emergency. Be sure to have plenty of bottled water on hand as part of hurricane preparedness. It’s recommended that you have one gallon of water per person stored away. So if you have a family of four, you need at least 28 gallons for a week’s supply.
Emergency Food Supply
An emergency food supply can’t be beat if you’re looking for a one-stop shopping option. This kit includes ready-to-eat dishes for every meal, from breakfast to dinner to snacks. Just add water and wait about 15 minutes before chowing down. For Costco members, the Costco Ultimate Emergency Kit is a good option, too.
Powdered milk is a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D during a natural disaster. Shelf-stable non-dairy milk, such as almond milk, is also great to have on hand. For more dairy-free options, don’t miss our list of the most recommended non-dairy milk alternatives.
Peanut butter is packed with flavor and protein, a versatile option for snacks and full meals. Choose a variety that does not need to be refrigerated after opening, or choose from ready-made and powdered peanut butter varieties. Peanut allergy at home? Other healthy nut butters make great hurricane foods, too.
Granola or Energy Bars
Granola bars are ideal for long-term storage and provide the carbohydrates and other nutrients you need to maintain your energy. You could also bake up a batch of homemade granola bars before a storm arrives.
Pair saltine crackers with high-protein nut butter for a filling snack when hunger strikes. Family-sized packs are typically the most budget-friendly options for stocking your pantry.
Dried fruit is a healthy, shelf-stable snack to stock up in case of a natural disaster. And fresh fruits that don’t require refrigeration, such as apples and bananas, are also a great choice.
Apples are particularly long-lasting and can be stored in a cool and dry pantry for up to four weeks or in the refrigerator for up to two months. You can also make some of your own fruit leather in advance for DIY hurricane food.
Trail mix isn’t just for the woods anymore! This energizing snack food is typically high in protein to power you up—and it sneaks in some chocolate. It’s also easy to make your own trail mix at home (you can get creative with what you put in!) to add to a hurricane preparedness kit.
For a convenient source of protein that won’t need refrigeration, look to canned tuna. It’s an easy and healthy choice when preparing for natural disasters. You can eat the tuna plain, with crackers or as part of a tasty canned tuna recipe.
Don’t want to fuss with a can opener? Try our Test Kitchen’s favorite brands of tuna in easy-open pouches.
Canned vegetables are pantry essentials for a reason. They make sure you get in your greens even during natural disasters, and they last forever—most canned vegetables can be stored up to two years past their best-by date. However, discard cans that look swollen or dented, which means they’ve gone bad.
Don’t forget your pets! Stock up on your furry friends’ canned or dry pet foods, too. You can also make homemade treats in advance so pets can have extra delicious hurricane food while you’re all cooped up indoors.
Whole Grain Bread
This isn’t something that can be stored for months, but whole grain bread is good for about a week. It’s versatile and filling, and it provides essential fiber and nutrients—exactly what you want from emergency food. Use it to make peanut butter sandwiches or top with honey for a sweet breakfast.
Fruit juice is a family favorite: not only does it taste delicious, but it’s loaded with vitamin C to support immune defense. Opt for a variety pack of fruit juice so there are different flavors for everyone to enjoy.
Dry cereal is an easy breakfast (or dinner) when the power is out. And individual boxes are ideal for long-term storage. Choose a variety pack to keep things interesting, or whip up no-bake cereal bars in advance for a breakfast that could easily be mistaken for dessert.
With your shopping list done, make sure that your house is also prepared for a hurricane.