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Stop Reaching for that Bare Triscuit!

Storm-bound or fearful for the recovery time after the hurricane might slam into our shores? Here's how to stock your pantry for success.

BY September 6, 2017

Pretty much the only thing on our minds now is hurricane preparedness. But before you reach for a can of mushy peas that you’d never, ever touch under normal circumstances, here’s a quick game plan for staying nourished while supplies, water and electricity are lacking—and maybe you’ll have a decent (or not-so-bad) meal or two.

The basics:

  • Go on a buying bonanza for non-perishables, and it doesn’t hurt to play up a Mediterranean theme (see below).
  • There are plenty of things that you can enjoy, so don’t suffer through the gross stuff (no need to eat canned okra just because it’s a vegetable—if that’s your version of hell).
  • You’ll want to mix things up—throw some kidney beans in with kalamata olives, capers and/or artichoke hearts, add a little EVOO, some vinegar, a sprinkle of salt, maybe a rosemary sprig from your garden. To avoid having to do dishes, buy disposable aluminum foil baking pans and roasting pans. Publix was selling four two-packs (so eight in total) for less than $4.
  • This probably goes without saying, but dig up all of your old half-used party supplies: leftover plastic plates, cups, bowls, forks, etc.

Consider all of the things that you love to eat that often come from a jar:

  • Sliced artichoke hearts
  • Capers
  • Kalamata olives
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Any kind of canned tomatoes—whole San Marzano style, diced with herb seasoning, sauce, paste and also soups (speaking of soups, they’re not a bad idea, but think about ones that would taste good at room temperature)

Add in some protein:

  • Cured salami that doesn’t need refrigeration (Whole Foods’ carries Mike Colameco’s brand and Jimmy P’s has some great products, including some with a real kick)
  • Ditto on awesomely aged Parmesan cheese (or even the dry dust in a plastic jar can put a little zip in what you’re eating)
  • If you have a truly sophisticated palate, oil-packed sardines … but if not, go for canned tuna or chicken
  • Beans can be your new best friend; there are just so many varieties and they’re super-inexpensive to boot
  • Pine nuts—who doesn’t love these when they’re with Parmesan or tomatoes?

Pull it together with:

  • Crostini
  • Breadsticks
  • Bread
  • Triscuits
  • Crackers

Bring on the (healthy) snacks:

  • Air-popped popcorn
  • KIND bars (try to avoid ones with chocolate because of melting stickiness)
  • Any type of granola with nuts, dried fruit and seeds
  • 100 percent no-sugar-added applesauce
  • OK, OK—Oreo and Cheeto binges in times of disaster are totally warranted


  • So most water is gone from the shelves, but consider sparkling water. Publix had a ton of La Croixs and Perriers this week. If you freeze sippy cups, water bottles, plastic containers (etc.) filled with water, you can use them to cool down the bubbles in a pitcher.
  • Usually these days juice is the enemy, but if it’s relatively lower in sugar, go for it.
  • Tomato juice. V8—get your serving of vegetables and stay hydrated!
  • Parmalat used to be the norm, but nowadays Horizon Organic’s cute little cows have individual boxed servings available at every grocery store imaginable


  • Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar (especially barrel-aged)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • If you’re really feeling bold, consider buying a rosemary plant—the hardy herb will likely give you sprig upon sprig of deliciousness for at least a week or two. (A basil plant will not last as long, but it could be a good investment for the first week.)

If you know for sure you’re staying, take a trip to the grocery store and load up on fresh fruits and veggies that happen to have the half-life of oil and herbs (none need refrigeration):

  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Garlic
  • Bananas
  • Watermelons
  • Stone fruit (peaches, nectarines and plums)
  • Apples and pears
  • Pineapples
  • Oranges

Happy eating on the fly … and above all stay safe! 


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