Food to Cook When a Hurricane Is Approaching


Anyone who has lived through a hurricane would be hard pressed to say anything positive about the experience.

In fact, I can only think of one positive connected to this life-threatening weather event. And that’s the fact that most of the time we have at least several days to prepare for it. Maybe even a week.

A hurricane’s path often changes. Sometimes it steers away when you think it’s coming right toward you. Other times it shifts toward you when you think it’s headed elsewhere.

Either way, people living in places affected by hurricanes usually have at least some advance notice.

Let’s assume no evacuation order will be given next time this happens. During those anxious days leading up to landfall, people can use the time to gather supplies and board up windows. As well as cook food they’ll need to help them ride out the storm.

Acquire the right foods in advance

Which foods make the most sense to prepare ahead of time? And which ones would be a waste of our time?

Let’s take a look at some ideas. Then next time a major storm like a hurricane is heading your way, you’ll know exactly which meals you’ll want to prepare.

The key in the meantime is to make sure you purchase these foods in advance. So that you’ll have them in your freezer, refrigerator or pantry when you need them.

There are always runs on stores when a storm is approaching. So don’t assume you’ll be able to get what you need when that time comes.

Go to your fridge first

One thing you should do during those days when a hurricane is on the way is go through your frozen and refrigerated foods. Eat them first before consuming food from the pantry.

And collect as many ice cubes as possible during this time. You will need them for ice chests to keep food cold.

Because it’s almost a guarantee that you will lose power during a hurricane or other major storm.

You don’t want to lose your frozen and refrigerated foods. And you want to take advantage of your opportunity to make ice now while you can.

Food that stays fresh without refrigeration

As far as which types of food to purchase in advance, make sure they are items your family will actually eat. Yes, you can survive on food your family doesn’t enjoy. But after a day or two, you’re going to get a lot of complaints.

It’s important to get food that will stay fresh – at least for several days – without refrigeration.

Among them are eggs, spam, canned tuna and other fish, pasta and rice. Others are butter, jerky, dried beef and sausage, fruits and vegetables, and pudding. Don’t forget about granola and protein bars.

Among the fruits that will stay fresh for a week or so are bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. Vegetables that will last include carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.  

7 more practical ideas

Here are seven other ideas from Bon Appétit regarding what to do when a hurricane or other major storm is approaching.

  • Fry some bacon, which you can use in salads and for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Once cooked, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Roast some heads of garlic. Another item that doesn’t need refrigeration, garlic can add flavor to a variety of foods. You can even spread it on toast.
  • Boil eggs. You can eat them as is or slice them up for sandwiches and salads.
  • Purchase a variety of room temperature cheeses, as well as cured meats and jarred pickled vegetables.
  • If you haven’t already canned fruits and vegetables from your garden, buy some canned goods including peaches and beans.
  • Bake some granola. It will stay good at room temperature for a week if it’s stored in an airtight container.
  • Buy several jars of peanut butter – both smooth and crunchy. Eat it right out of the jar or spread it on bread and crackers.

What not to buy

Above I’ve listed some practical food items that will keep you going during a hurricane if you’re prepared.

It’s almost as important to know what not to waste your time and money on. These include:

  • Perishable meals that won’t last more than a few days
  • Big meals that take up too much refrigerator space
  • Salty foods that will make you use up your water supply too quickly
  • Lettuce and grapes. Normally great foods, they just don’t last long without refrigeration.
  • Regular milk, no. Evaporated or condensed milk, yes.

We don’t know how bad 2020 will be in terms of hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

But we do know that it’s better to prepare for the worst. And one of the best ways to do that is to make sure your food supply is in good shape BEFORE the worst gets here. 

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