As we prepare for Hurricane Irene (New England’s uninvited guest who’s about to drop in this weekend), it occurred to me that my panicked run to the warehouse store to stock up on essentials will not be in vain. Even if Irene makes a hard right turn and heads out to the Atlantic, as parents of a 1st grader and a preschooler much of my hurricane shopping should double for back-to-school lunch/snack-time shopping.
On my pre-storm shopping list are:
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, banana chips, etc.)
Single serving -applesauce, fruit cups
Cereal (cheering, rice chex)
Pre-packaged cheese and cracker snacks
Zone bars (fudge Graham, my personal favorite)
Everything listed above can be stored at room temperature, and will stay fresh for an extended period (except the bananas). And everything on the list, except for the nut-based items are perfectly suitable as lunch box items for the kids.
In preparation for the big storm, I plan to start experimenting with a few cereal-based snack mixes. We should have plenty of munchies to get us through a long day or night with no TV or power. Any leftovers will go right back to the pantry, ready to be doled out in lunch boxes next week. During the storm, we’ll keep most of the food items in a handy plastic bin for safekeeping in case we happen to get any water in the house. Hopefully it will be more of a hurricane party-stash than an emergency food stash. If any readers have recipes, feel free to send them my way!
I thought I’d share a few other food shopping tips as we prep for the hurricane. Keep in mind, an unplugged full freezer stays cold longer than a half-full freezer. Even then, your freezer will thaw within 48 hours. (Your unplugged fridge is good for only about 4 hours.) So, please do not buy more frozen meat than you can eat in a few days. Fill your freezer with enough food for 2-3 days, and consider adding blocks if ice to fill it completely and maximize your food store.
Make sure you have gas for your grill. Detach the tank from the grill during the storm, and keep it in a safe place (but not inside the house!) A good grill will be invaluable after the storm to cook all of that frozen meat during an extended power outage.
Any other tips out there? Should I be adding something else to the list?
A brief update:
As of Thursday night, there were almost no batteries to be found within 10 miles of my house. After checking several of the big-time stores (supermarket, warehouse club, Dollar Store), I finally found a few packs of Size D batteries at the local gas station on the corner. I immediately bought up his small stash!