Welcome to Hurricane Season, Folks! Harvey has given our friends and neighbors along the Gulf Coast a horrific time this weekend and seems bent on staying for the remainder of the week. Water measured in the trillions of gallons has inundated towns and cities in Texas leaving immense destruction behind. You have to wonder what those poor folks who were told to shelter in place have been eating during this time. What did they do for hurricane food prep?
Living just inland off the Atlantic Coast, we typically shelter in place during a hurricane as well. We prepare for long power outages, as I wrote about here, but we also have to think about feeding ourselves and any friends, family, or neighbors who may need a snack during the clean-up efforts afterwards. We have a generator, so we can cook if necessary, but who wants to fire up an oven during the heat and humidity of a hurricane’s aftermath? Here are a few things to pick up from the store to keep your family nourished and semi-content when bad storms threaten. For your convenience, I’ve added affiliate links to the products I use. You won’t pay any more if you shop my links, but I may make a small commission to supplement my own hurricane preps.
We can’t survive without this. Most emergency management sites suggest one gallon per person per day. Apparently, these folks have never seen kids washing their hands, brushing their teeth, or trying to take their toy army men for a swim. We say we’re going to watch our family’s water consumption like a hawk and ration it, but we can’t always stick to our plans on this one.
If you know you won’t have access to potable water through your own generator power, then fill your bathtubs. This gives you flushing water, water to wash up with, and water to boil for other necessities.
In addition, grab the gallon jugs and water bottle packages from the store when the skies are clear or the storm is first forecast. Water is the first to go during times of hurricane food prep, so stock up quickly. It never hurts to have some extra anyway. Keep it in a cool place in your house, and you can use it whenever you need it.
Additionally, it’s fun to have those water flavoring powders around to spice things up. Two weeks of nothing but water gets a smidge boring, even though it’s healthy and will give everyone a good cleaning out.
I’ve heard of so many people who run out and stock up on potted meat and SPAM only to find that no one in their families will eat these mystery meats. It’s good to figure out ahead of time what canned meat products you can get away with feeding your kids.
Tuna? Great. Canned chicken? Fabulous. Just remember that adding mayonnaise-based dressings to these semi-yummy products may not be possible in the aftermath of a storm. Food poisoning would be a terrible addition to all the other issues that go on during this time of roughing it. Tuna snack packs, however, come with individual servings of mayo and relish so you can pretend to have a nice tuna salad snack without the heaves.
We also like jerky. Beef sticks and Slim Jims work great, too. These will last awhile if you find a sale early in the season well before the time for hurricane food prep begins.
Carbs are a definite. Slap some peanut butter on a couple pieces and lunch is served. IF you’re feeling generous, get some Nutella or other fancy nut butter if your family likes it. Special treats always make a hurricane party better. They also provide extra energy for moving downed trees afterward.
This is a big one in our family. We love Nabs. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, these are pre-packaged cheese and crackers or peanut butter and cracker snacks. In the middle of a storm or survival situation, these are like gold. Just sayin’.
Additionally, club type crackers or round ones are great with peanut butter or the above Nutella. This is also a good time to get the huge carton of fish crackers and animal crackers. They’ll add a certain amount of class to your hurricane food prep party.
Cookies and Baked Goods
I always like to bake some cookies or brownies before a storm hits. Comfort food when the wind is screaming helps with morale. It also puts people in the mood to work when the storm passes. If you’ve got a bad wind coming, bake a few extras. They’ll keep, and you never know who might show up at your house. You want to keep people with chainsaws and a generous, hard-working heart full and happy!
Don’t forget your fur-babies! They might like a few special treats, too.
I hope against hope that you won’t need this list. I also hope that families on the Gulf have every one of these items and more for the tough days to come. Preparation is key when these situations arise-remember that these items are more geared toward a shelter-in-place scenario. If your local officials evacuate your area, then create go-bags of food to take with you. Don’t hesitate to leave if you are told to do so.
In the meantime, I’m baking some chocolate chip cookies to freeze in case this thing spinning off Africa amounts to anything in the next couple of weeks. It never hurts to be prepared—if nothing else, I’ll have a jump on my Christmas baking!