Healthy Hurricane Preparations – Storing, Preparing, and Eating Well When the Power Goes Out!
It’s important to take the necessary precautions and store water and food (and have an emergency plan for medication and medical supplies), during hurricane season on the east coast.
In the unfortunate event that you lose power during an emergency–such as a hurricane or tropical storm, keep an eye on your freezer and refrigerator temperatures. Be sure the freezer is at or below 0 degrees F, and the refrigerator is at or below 40 degrees F, before consuming any of the food inside. Tip: before the storm arrives, set both the freezer and the refrigerator to the lowest temperature, and if you experience a power outage, keep the doors of both closed as much as possible, to maintain the cold temperatures.
Eating healthy during this hurricane season can be very simple, it just a little bit of planning ahead. It is best to try and plan meals that contain foods from 3 of the 5 food groups. Each meal should always contain a healthy source of protein, consumed along with foods from at least 2 other food groups (ie: fruits, vegetables, grains). Don’t forget to have bottled water available as well!
Here is a list (by food group) of healthy foods that you can have on hand that require no cooking, water, refrigeration, and very little preparation, when preparing for the next storm.
Protein: canned tuna; canned salmon; canned chicken; nut butters; nuts; seeds; boxed tofu; beans. For those on a sodium-restricted diet, be sure to rinse canned items before consuming.
Dairy: boxed and canned milk and milk (skim) powder
Grains: whole grain breads; cereals (which can be very versatile!) – for breakfast, snacks, trail-mix; whole grain corn chips; whole grain crackers.
Fruits & Vegetables: be sure to consume the fresh fruits and vegetables first, if power is lost. Frozen fruits and vegetables can keep in the freezer for 24-48 hours (when power is lost); canned fruits (unsweetened); applesauce; dried fruits.
Check out the link below for government recommendations for hurricane preparations