What Kind of Foods Should You Have During an Emergency?

WASHINGTON — The back-to-back hurricanes that slammed Texas and Florida sent thousands of people to emergency shelters and stranded many others at home without power.

The storms also served as an important reminder to people who weren’t affected by the storms: Always have sufficient food and water around for emergencies and power outages.

Sally Squires, who writes the Lean Plate Club™ blog, says if you truly want to be prepared, you’ll need to a keep a few key numbers top of mind.

First, zero in on the caloric content of the food you store away.

While the average adult needs about 2,000 calories a day, if you have teens, they’ll probably need a couple hundred more, she said. Meanwhile, smaller children need about 1,000 calories a day and infants typically need between 500 and 800.

“So, as you you’re thinking about what food you pack, you want to make sure that you’re meeting some of those caloric needs,” Squires said.

Second, you want to think shelf-stable.

“And that means that … until you open them, they’re going to last pretty much for years,” she said.

There are now shelf-stable cheeses and whole prepared meals that don’t need to be refrigerated or heated up.

If you opt for canned foods, look healthier choices, such as low- or no-sodium options, Squires suggested.

Don’t forget the H2O. “The rule of thumb is that you want a gallon of water (per day) for every individual in your household and that includes cats and dogs,” Squires said.

Also, don’t skimp on the snacks. Nuts and dried meat offer plenty of protein and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are a good source of nutrients.

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