Here in Eastern North Carolina we are no stranger to hurricanes. Many of us have become quite skilled at prepping for a hurricane. However, one piece that we often overlook is a continued focus on our nutrition as we prep our pantries. It’s easy to stockpile chips, candies, and other overly processed foods, but we want to challenge you to fill your pantry with items that are necessary, but healthful. As Hurricane Dorian continues to show movement to Eastern NC, we want you to be prepared not just to survive, but to thrive!
Do You Have an Emergency Food Supply?
It is essential to create an emergency food supply within your home before hurricane season reaches Eastern NC. The most essential item you will want to have in your supply is clean water. FEMA recommends that you have at least one gallon of water per person per day. Staying hydrated during this time will greatly benefit your body. Remember, do not drink water that is unsafe and do not ration water if at all possible. Try purchasing water early as it will sell out quickly at grocery stores.
In the event of a natural disaster, you want to strive for nutrient-dense, energy-rich foods. These will help you feel satisfied longer as well as give you energy on a limited food supply. For example, consuming foods like nuts and whole grain cereals will curb your appetite while giving your body healthy fats and fiber. If you end up losing power, consume your perishable items first, ensuring that they have not gone bad. Additionally, it is recommended that you purchase a generator and a hotplate for cooking purposes during power outages.
What Should You Include in the Food Supply?
Protein-packed foods: Boost your food supply with inexpensive, high-quality plant protein with beans, legumes, nuts, chickpeas, quinoa, etc.
Canned Vegetables: Canned vegetables are a plant-based food supply saver; however, you will want to eat a variety of vegetables to obtain adequate nutrition. Additionally, choose the low sodium or no salt added cans when possible.
Fruits: Choosing fruits that do not need to be refrigerated will allow you to eat a whole, nutrient-dense item. Fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, grapefruit, etc. do not need to be refrigerated. When stored properly, apples can last up to a few weeks without refrigeration.
Breads, Cereals, Oats: Always choose whole grain options when adding these to your food supply. These will come in handy when in a pinch!
Nut Butters: If food allergies allow, add nut butters such as peanut and almond to your supply for easy plant-based protein.
Medjool Dates: Dates offer an excellent source of energy to the body without spiking blood sugar levels. Dates are best stored at room temperature making them an essential for your food supply.
Energy Balls or Granola Bars: To gain sustained energy and nutrients, you can easily make your own energy balls or granola bars to keep on hand in your supply. Don’t have time to make them? Stop by FreshVibes to grab both before the storm hits!
Plant Milk: Many plant-based milks such as almond, oat, and rice can be stored in your pantry—remember to purchase these shelf-stable plant milks and do not store refrigerated plant milks in your pantry.
Don’t Forget Fido: Stay stocked on your pet’s food as well, and don’t forget to include them in the water supply you purchase!
Prepping for hurricane season is essential in Eastern NC. At FreshVibes, it is our goal to educate the community about healthy living, including when prepping a pantry with plant-based essentials! Stay safe and keep the healthy vibes going!