If you live in a place where hurricanes are a possibility, keep a hurricane supply kit in your pantry or closet containing all of your nonperishables. You should have a minimum of three days' worth of supplies. Bear in mind that you may be without power and therefore without use of your stove, microwave or refrigerator.
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It's fine to keep your fridge stocked. Drop by the store to pick up some fresh veggies and meat, but realize you may be without power. If you lose power, eat from your fridge first, then your freezer, then use your nonperishables. Focus your efforts on gathering nutritious foods that will last, like bread, granola bars, cereal, preserved meats and dried fruit. Fresh fruits and vegetables that don't need refrigeration are great, healthy options, too.
Make sure these go-to items are things your family will eat. You can eat things like canned soup and chili straight out of the can, so if you lose power, no big deal. And, you're still getting your vegetables. Look for low-sodium, or no-sodium-added canned goods; these are more healthy for your heart than traditional options. Plus, salty foods will make you more thirsty -- not good when you have a limited water supply. Other nonperishables you might include: bottled fruit juices, peanut butter, crackers, instant oatmeal, trail mix and canned meat like tuna and chicken. Don't forget a can opener.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, you should keep at least seven days' worth of water on hand. Store a gallon per day per person. So a family of four would need to have 28 gallons. Store this water in containers that won't degrade or break. You may also need water for your infant, to mix in powdered formula. During a hurricane, always use bottled water when making formula. Pets will need water, too.
Other Items to Consider
Chances are you won't be washing the dishes during a hurricane, so keep a stock of paper plates, cups and bowls, as well as napkins and plastic silverware. You'll want to reserve as much of your water for drinking as possible, so invest in some sanitary wipes or hand sanitizer. Plastic storage bags may come in handy. And if you need them, don't forget baby formula, baby food or pet food. Remember, for safety reasons, don't cook indoors using a gas camping stove or barbecue.