There’s nothing like trying to eat when the refrigerator and kitchen lights don’t work. That’s what some will face this hurricane season. University of Florida experts urge everyone to stock up on non-perishable food so you’ll have plenty to eat if the power goes out.
Electrical outages and contaminated water are just two reasons to buy plenty of canned and pre-packaged food, says Keith Schneider, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Most people wait until the storm is just off the coast before buying food that won’t spoil, just as they rush to buy bottled water and batteries, Schneider said. If you wait too long, stores my run low on these supplies.
“Most people don’t think about having food in a container that can be opened when the power is out,” he said. People will buy canned food, but they may only have an electric can opener. Buy food you can open without electricity or invest in a manual can opener. “People also don’t necessarily think of food that can be eaten without cooking. Many shelf-stable foods may need added water and cooking, like rice and noodle products. After a hurricane, the water may become contaminated and if the power is out, the microwave isn’t going to work.”
As you prepare for hurricane season, Schneider gives a few other tips about food and water:
Nan Jensen, a family and consumer sciences agent for UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County, gives these pre-hurricane food recommendations: