If you’re a Florida native, chances are you’re a seasoned hurricane pro. This doesn’t mean you don’t panic every time you hear that there’s a potential tropical storm off the coast of the Bahamas, but it does mean you’re used to preparing quickly. Because hurricanes tend to occur during the end of summer, there are usually a good amount of part-time residents or vacationers stuck here to ride out the storm. There are certain must-do’s to prepare for a storm, including protecting your A/C unit and purchasing non-perishable “hurricane food.”
Why Are Non-Perishable “Hurricane Foods” Necessary?
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones with a generator, your power will most likely go out due to the storm. In this case, your refrigerator should remain shut so your refrigerated food won’t spoil and smell. You’ll lose electricity which prevents you from using your microwave or electric stove. So, it’s important to keep non-perishable foods in your emergency kit!
This is great to know before hurricane season is in full swing, so you know what food you can get. Nowadays, gas stoves are often still dependent on electricity to light the burners on a typical day. However, on some models, you can bypass the electrical ignition during a power outage by using matches to light the burners instead. You can check your owner’s manual to see if your stove top has an interlock, which would prevent you from being able to use your gas stove without power. Here’s what you need to do to use your gas stove with no electricity:
1. Turn Your Stove Off
2. Light a Match
3. Put Fire to the Flame Ports
4. Make Sure the Stove Is on Low Heat
5. Put out the Flame
6. Heat Your Food
What “Hurricane Food” Should I Get?
Getting the right food items can be tricky. While the random food and toilet paper shortages of 2020 have prepared Floridians for hurricane season, it’s also made us more resistant to the thought of canned foods. That’s why the experts at Home-Tech wanted to provide a list of healthy, tasty non-perishables you can keep on hand from June 1st to November 30th.
It’s important to stay hydrated during a storm, especially if you have no electricity. As the temperature begins to rise after your air conditioning stops working, reach for these drinks instead of drinks high in sugar.
- Sports drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde
Protein can be hard to eat when you don’t have the ability to use a stove or oven. These items are high in protein and can be eaten without preparation.
- Nuts and nut butters
- Beef jerky
- Canned tuna, salmon and other fish
- Canned chicken
- Bean salad (mix of canned beans) with oil, vinegar and seasonings
Everyone loves fruit, right? Well, during a hurricane you may crave it even more because it can be refreshing. Opt for these foods rather than fresh cut fruit that you’d need to keep cold.
- Fresh fruits like apples and oranges stay fresh for a week or two without refrigeration
- Dried fruits
- Canned/jarred fruits
Canned veggies are popular during a hurricane. These vegetables are the most common to eat without heating. Many brands now have “snacking” vegetable packs as well, that make eating vegetables even easier.
- Green peas/green beans
- Artichoke hearts
Bread is a great staple for hurricane season, because it can stay fresh for a couple weeks. Keeping whole grain bread on hand is perfect for PB&Js.
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain cereals (you can eat this with boxed almond milk)
- Soak oats or whole grain couscous overnight for “cooked” grains
Healthy Snack Foods
Reaching for chips and candy will leave you feeling lethargic and thirsty. These snack foods will leave you fuller for longer, so you won’t have to snack as much.
- Energy/snack bars
- Trail mix
- Rice cakes
- Pita chips
- Dark chocolate