Volunteers prepare meals for storm survivors

Storm prep: Filling the food chest

Buy early and stock up. Sage advice, when it comes to disaster preparations… especially stocking up on food. Whether you heeded that advice or not, there’s never a bad time to check your supplies. That’s especially true as we near the “season within the season,” that mid-August to mid-October stretch that historically has seen the most storms formed during our June-November hurricane season.

Here’s a list of food and food-related items you’ll want to have on hand, in case of a storm. Use these items, and buy in enough quantity to plan for three to five meal menus for the number of people who will rely upon them. We’ve tried to make it a little easier for you by organizing items in food groups.

Protein Group
  • Canned beans: lima, kidney, black beans, etc.
  • Canned chili, ravioli
  • Canned meat soups
  • Canned meats: tuna, ham, salmon, chicken, sardines
  • Packaged nuts (best: unsalted)
  • Peanut butter, bean spreads
Dairy Group
  • Cheese, processed (best: low-sodium varieties)
  • Milk, non-fat (powdered, canned or shelf-stable)
  • Puddings
  • Protein drinks and nutritional beverages (shelf-stable)
Bread Group
  • Breads, cooked: loaves, flatbreads and tortillas (best: whole wheat or multi-grain)
  • Breads, dried: Melba toast, taco shells, bread sticks, etc.
  • Breakfast cereals (best: single size-servings)
  • Breakfast/nutrition bars
  • Crackers: saltines, graham, etc.
  • Muffins
  • Pasta (dry)
  • Rice cakes
Fruit Group
  • Apples, fresh
  • Applesauce (best: unsweetened)
  • Fruit, canned (in its own juice)
  • Fruit, dried
  • Fruit juice (best: 100 percent pure)
  • Packaged raisins, apricots, cranberries, etc.
  • Trail mix with fruits
Vegetable Group
  • Salsa
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Three-bean salad, canned
  • Vegetables, canned and soups
  • Vegetables, fresh: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. (before storm)
Extra Items to Consider
  • Water, bottled (extra supplies)
  • Infant food and formula
  • Foods for special diets
  • Coffee and ice tea mix (instant)
  • Condiments, packaged (ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise)
  • Creamer, packaged
  • Granola bars, fruit bars, nutritional bars
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Tea bags
  • Water flavorings

Need more help getting yourself and your home ready for storms and other natural disasters? In addition to our “Hurricane Preparedness” classes (visit UFSarasotaExt.Eventbrite.com and search on “hurricane prep”), which we offer before and early into our storm season, you can contact our office by email to sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu or phone at 941-861-9900. And, the UF/IFAS Electronic Data Information Service (EDIS) is a great place to find information. Get started with these pages:

Stay safe!

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