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Hurricane Food Ideas

Updated on November 22, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness: Disaster Foods for Hurricanes and Other Emergencies

One of the most important things for preparing for a hurricane is food and water. During a hurricane you can live without a home, lights and other necessities but you can't live without food and water. Water is actually the most important but food comes second.

When preparing a hurricane or disaster food list it is important to plan for enough food and water for at least a week for each person in your family or group. Government assistance and Red Cross will usually help during a hurricane but it can take 2 to 3 days for them to get everything ready to disperse. Downed trees, power lines, and other road conditions can delay their response even longer.

The key to survival is preparedness. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worse. The more prepared you are during a hurricane or other disaster the better you will fare.

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hurricane water
hurricane water

Hurricane Food: Water

Water is the Most Important Item for Hurricane Preparedness

An adult human can live about two days without water during perfect conditions. Add injuries, poor health and heat to the equation and the time is lessoned. An infant usually cannot survive more than 24 hours without water (or formula containing water). The younger the person the quicker dehydration can become fatal.

When preparing for a hurricane, store enough water for everyone in your family or group for a week. It would be safe to consider one gallon of water per person per day. You can purchase a gallon of water for about $1 at any grocery store. You can also buy cases of bottled water which is fine but keep in mind if you are on a budget that the gallons will be cheaper.

Water that is purchased for drinking and preparing foods should only be used for consumption. Don't waste your water on bathing and washing supplies unless it is something that must have sanitary water such as baby supplies, wounds or other risk factors.

Just prior to the hurricane coming on shore clean bathtubs, sinks and other containers thoroughly with bleach water and rinse well. Fill those large items with normal tap water. This water can be used for washing, cooking and other uses. Always use a clean ladle, cup or other utensil to dip the water out. This same water can be used for drinking and cooking if it is boiled prior to consumption.

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Portable Stoves - Portable Stoves Can be Used to Cook During Hurricanes

Portable stoves, camping stoves and outdoor stoves are fantastic tool to have during a hurricane. They can be used to cook food, heat meals, boil water and sterilize supplies.

Coleman Classic Propane Stove
Coleman Classic Propane Stove

Easy, convenient and a must-have! Coleman Two-Burner Propane Stove is perfect hurricanes, emergencies and recreational use. It has two burners for a combined 20,000 BTU capability. Rust resistant aluminum-steel makes it weather resistant and the WindBlock shields the flame for maximum temperatures.

Icetek Sports Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves with Piezo Ignition, Butane/Butane Propane Canister Compatible
Icetek Sports Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves with Piezo Ignition, Butane/Butane Propane Canister Compatible

This outdoor stove is perfect for emergency kits. It weighs less than 4 oz in it's case. Pack it up in your emergency kit and store it away until needed.

Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart 2-Burner Stove
Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart 2-Burner Stove

20,000 BTU with two burners. No need for matches with the InstaStart matchless ignition. Uses cheap propane cylinders that can be found at any department store in the camping section.

Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove
Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove

The champion of portable stoves! The Camp Chef camping stove has two burners PLUS an oven. Not to often do you have the leisure of baking pizza, bread and quick meals in an oven with no electricity.

Portable Butane Gas Camp Stove Camping Burner Range
Portable Butane Gas Camp Stove Camping Burner Range

This one burner stove is perfect for emergencies. It only weighs 4 poinds, packs up tightly in an emergency kit and runs off butane. Plus, it's budget friends at less than $20.

hurricane food
hurricane food

Canned and Dehydrated Meats

Sandwich Meats for Hurricane Preparedness

Canned meats such as spam, potted meat, tuna and other canned meats are perfect for hurricane pantries. Dehydrated meats such as jerkies are another great meat source that is high in protein. These meats will last and can be used to make sandwiches, eaten with crackers and other quick and easy meals. They also do not require refrigeration unless opened. Most of these meats are in small proportions so there will not be much waste if the whole can is not eaten.

Keep in mind that canned meat is like most other canned foods. It needs to be consumed within an hour or so after being opened or it can cause food poisoning. If there are left overs that you would like to keep store them in sealable containers or even Ziploc bags and put on ice or in the fridge.

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hurricane food
hurricane food

Crackers and Bread

Hurricane Preparedness Food

Crackers and Bread are great for hurricanes because there are several uses. They can be eaten by themselves or used to make sandwiches. Peanut butter makes a great addition because the protein in the peanut butter is an essential nutrient needed for survival.

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Generators for Hurricanes - Keep Your Power Going with a Generator

Generators are a must have for hurricanes and other disasters. It is an instant power supply when the electricity goes out. Their are dozens of different types of generators. Some run on gas, some solar powered, some are portable and others are installed as an appliances.

With a generator you can keep your fridge cool, take hot showers, run appliances, keep freezers cold and maintain a home to some degree. What you can run really depends on what type of generator you purchase.

REMEMBER: Generators are meant to be ran OUTSIDE. Never run a generator inside your home. Generators put off carbon-monoxide which can be fatal. Always leave your generator outside and hook to your power supply or run extension cords inside.

All Power America APG3004, 800 Running Watts/1000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator
All Power America APG3004, 800 Running Watts/1000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator

All Power America APG3004 1000-Watt 2-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator is lightweight and compact for easy storage when not in use. It can run up to 1,000-Watts and has a 1- 1/5 gallon capacity tank for holding gasoline so that it can run up over 8 hours without refueling.

Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter
Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter

The 1,600 Watt rated AC output of the Yamaha 2,000 Watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator makes it perfect for emergencies. It includes and inverter system with PWM control and is fuel efficient.

hurricane food
hurricane food

Hurricane Drinks

Drinks to Have During a Hurricane

While Water is the only drink you need during a hurricane not everyone will be satisfied with it. You can pack any kind of drink but bottled or canned water, sports drinks, juices and other healthy drinks are the most beneficial. If something were to go wrong and you were in survival mode for an extended period of time or lost your food supply from weather, theft or contamination then you could survive longer from the nutrients found in these types of drinks. Sodas, teas and coffees can actually dehydrate you and work against you during a catastrophe.

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Snack Foods

Snack Foods Are a Quick and Easy Food Source During Hurricanes

Snack foods are another must have during a hurricane. Granola bars, Fruit Roll-ups, other snacks such as these are great to have for a quick fix.

While some of these snacks are not always the healthiest they are quick and easy food sources that are great for kids, comfort food and to be eaten with other foods.

A few snack ideas:

Granola Bars

Trail Mix




Fruit Cups

Veggie Cups



Snack Cakes such as Little Debbie Cakes

Lunchables (Must be kept on ice or other cold storage.)

hurricane meals
hurricane meals

Canned Meals

Canned Meals Do Not Have to Be Heated and Have a Long Shelf Life

Canned meals such as Ravioli, Spaghetti-O's, Mac-n-Cheese, and other canned meals are quick and easy alternatives to trying to cook a meal without power and water. These meals can be eaten cold or hot. Consider them much like an M.R.E. without the heat source.

A few canned meal ideas:

Ravioli and other Chef Boyardee Type Foods





Corned Beef and Corned Beef Hash (Also great on crackers or bread for a sandwich.)

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Emergency First Aid Kits - Every Home Should Have an Emergency First Aid Kit

Every home should have an emergency first aid kit, especially during a hurricane or other disaster. Even if you or someone you love is not injured during the hurricane itself you could be injured afterwards...when EMS and rescue crews can not get to your because they are tied up with hundreds of injuries, blocked roads and downed power lines. Having a first-aid kit can help with injuries such as cuts, burns, stings, bites and other non-life threatening injuries. If you don't need during this hurricane season you will still have it for other emergencies.

Coleman Expedition First Aid Kit Soft Box - For Car, Survival or Home, 205-Piece
Coleman Expedition First Aid Kit Soft Box - For Car, Survival or Home, 205-Piece

Contains over 200 pieces! Includes bandages, gauze, finger splints, metal scissors, antibiotic ointments, sting wipes and more. Comes in a compact case for easy storage. Also includes emergency snap lights for signaling help.

The Complete First Aid Kit Ansi First Aid Kit, White
The Complete First Aid Kit Ansi First Aid Kit, White

Meeting the 2012 ANSI Standards, this first aid kit includes bandages, alchohol, cold packs, rescue blankets, pain relievers,, antibiotic creams, antiseptics, gloves, burn creams, medical tools, and much, much more. A must have for any disaster. It even includes a kit for knocked-out teeth!

Pac-Kit by First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit
Pac-Kit by First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit

The First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit includes 205 pieces stored in a convenient case. Includes bandages, dressings, ointments, antiseptics and much more.

Medibag 117 Piece Kid Friendly First Aid Kit for the Whole Family
Medibag 117 Piece Kid Friendly First Aid Kit for the Whole Family

The first aid kit for the whole family! Includes kid-friendly medical supplies with an assortment of kid-themed bandages, cold packs, latex free gloves, antiseptics, medical tools, thermometers and much more. This kit has actually won 7 awards and is pediatrician recommended.

Pac-Kit by First Aid Only First Responder Emergency First Aid Kit, 159-Piece Bags
Pac-Kit by First Aid Only First Responder Emergency First Aid Kit, 159-Piece Bags

Use what the First Responders use. This kit includes bandages, dressings, tapes, CPR devises, bio-hazard bags, gloves, medical tools and more. IT comes in a durable bag and includes multiple pockets and zippered pouches for excellent organization.


Fully Cooked Foods that Have Been Frozen

Don't Forget About Frozen Foods as They Thaw

Not all frozen foods can be used but foods that have been fully cooked prior to freezing can be. I'm not talking about T.V. dinners. Most of those are not fully cooked and would not be the most appealing without a microwave or oven.

Chili, dumplings, spaghetti, soups, casseroles and other fully cooked dishes can be left frozen and taken out if needed. Having these items on hand will also help if the power goes out. Since they are frozen they will thaw and can be eaten as they thaw. If you have a grill or gas cooker then you can always heat them up and make them delicious!

These items are only a good for a short time after thawing out. However, they should not be forgotten as they can be consumed first to preserve other resources for later.

milk during hurricanes
milk during hurricanes

Milk: Milk, Powdered Milk and Canned Milk

How to Keep Milk During a Hurricane

Some families have to have milk during a hurricane for small children and sometimes just because they prefer to have it. Milk can go bad quick, fast and in a hurry so special precautions need to be taken. Usually one would be advised against having milk if they don't have a generator to keep the fridge cool. You can store cold gallons of milk in coolers with plenty of ice. Milk will last as long as the temperatures are kept very cold constantly.

Another option to cold milk is to use canned or powdered milk. There may be a little difference in the taste but they are a equal substitute during a hurricane. If small children don't care for the taste consider adding a little coco or strawberry flavoring to mask the new taste.

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Hurricane Food Tips

Hurricane Food Safety and Preparation Tips

1. Non-perishable foods that are already prepared are the most convenient since chances are you won't be able to cook without power.

2. Always eat foods that are chilled first. Use ice and frozen jugs of water to keep freezers, refrigerators and coolers cool.

3. Never eat dairy, meat or eggs that have been left at room temperature after being opened. These types of products can quickly grow bacteria that can make you sick or even kill you.

4. Always use clean containers and baggies to store foods. Dirty containers can cause bacteria to set up in your food prior to eating it.

5. Have a couple boxes of gallon and quart bags with seals on them to put food in once it is opened. It's not a bad idea to place boxed items such as crackers and cookies in the bags beforehand so that they do not get wet.

6. Fill your freezers and full as you possibly can with water bottles, milk jugs, juice jugs and other containers full of water so that they have time to freeze prior to the hurricane. This will keep your freezer cool longer once the power has gone out. It will also give your cold drinking water for a few days. You can pull the bottles of water out a few hours prior to needing them so that they can begin to thaw.

2012 Hurricane Names - List of 2012 Hurricane Season Named Storms

2012 Hurricane Names
The 2012 Hurricane Season begins June 1st, 2012. The 2012 list of hurricane names have already been put to use with 2 named storms prior to hurricane season ...

Share your thoughts, ideas, tips and suggestions for preparing for a hurricane.

What are Your Thoughts on Hurricane Preparedness?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great tips! My parents, sisters ans nephews are all going through Sandy right now and I am freaking out! But hopefully the worst is over now...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      thanks for the tips, check my lens for latest update

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 

      5 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Thanks for the tips on the foods you should have in case of a hurricane. In the midst of Sandy, your list should come in handy for those of us on the East Coast.

      Angel Blessings**

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      5 years ago from USA

      Growing up on the east coast we were used to preparing for hurricanes. You have given good suggestions, some I have used.


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