Here in Birmingham, Alabama, the residents often deal with power outages during stormy weather.When severe storms and tornadoes ripped through the state in April of this year, about 245,000 homes were without power. The metro area is in hurricane season right now with tornado season next, and then winter around the corner. Although winters here are mild, the occasional snow fall sends people running to the grocery stores for bread, milk, peanut butter, and other necessities. How does one ensure a safe and healthy food supply for these times?
The best advice is to be prepared before bad weather strikes. Here are some suggestions for planning the emergency food kit.
First of all, have plenty of bottled water on hand for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth. According to FEMA, one gallon of water per person per day is needed for emergency supplies.
Next, consider what food items are necessary for the family. Three days of non-perishable food is a good amount to have on hand. Some suggestions for the emergency kit are:
- Whole grain crackers and chips, bread, cereals (single serving boxes work well), granola bars, energy bars, bagels, and popped popcorn are good items from the grain group. These need no preparation and can be eaten as is.
- Stock up on single serving packages of applesauce, peaches, pears, and raisins. Larger cans of fruit and vegetables (baked beans are good out of the can) can be stored, also. If there are fresh fruit and veggies already on hand such as grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, and carrots, these will last for several days and can be eaten first.
- For protein, keep cans or vacuum-sealed packages of tuna, salmon, sardines and chicken in the kit. Jars of peanut butter or other nut butters are another healthy addition for protein. Individual packages of crackers with cheese or peanut butter are easy to store as are cans of nuts.
- In addition to water, juice boxes and individual milk or soy beverage boxes are easy to add to the supply.
- Keep additional ready-to-use formula and baby food on hand, too, if needed for infants.
- Don’t forget about the pets! Have a supply of dried or canned food for them, too.
These supplies can be kept in a large, waterproof container for emergency use. Remember to periodically use and replace these foods if not needed during the stormy season. And don’t forget to put disposable plates, paper towel, hand wipes, and eating utensils with the food supplies.
For more information, check out The American Dietetic Association, The Food and Drug Administration, the USDA, and FEMA. These organizations offer helpful advice on preparing for emergencies.
The articles written by Andrea Wenger, Birmingham Diets Examiner, are for informational purposes only and are not to be used in the place of medical advice. Please contact a licensed physician or other medical professional before changing any health care routine or before starting any diet, fitness, or exercise program. Although every effort has been made to include the most current information, new information is released daily and may cause some recommendations to change.