The health concerns during emergency weather are myriad. Along with evacuating the flood zone, "battening down the hatches" to prepare your house for wind and water and making provisions for loss of electricity and water, there is one very important, central concern: food and drinking water.
Obviously, making sure there is enough food and water is the main issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends storing at least three days worth of food and one gallon of water per person, per day. "Enough," in a disaster, is the main food concern -- and that is a great reminder that our ability to consider food quality is incredibly fortunate.
But if you're in the store stocking up, you may still have a chance to think about the nutrients in the food you're grabbing. And good food is safer food: providing enough protein and nutrients, maintaining healthy digestion despite the sedentary task of sitting at home and sustaining energy to think and act quickly.
"It is possible to make healthy food choices even when the lights go out. There are ways to get foods from each of the food groups," Toby Smithson, RD, founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told HuffPost in an email. "A key tool to have on hand is a manual can opener."
So what should you eat? Joy Bauer, nutritionist for the Today Show, offered some tips to us earlier this year and has been tweeting about them as Hurricane Sandy approaches: think high quality proteins, whole grain crackers and canned produce.
Read on for more:
Have beans? This is a great way to pack fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates in just one bite. But don't forget to keep a manual can opener on hand.
Tuna, salmon and chicken are all great, storable proteins that can be found in individually apportioned cans.
A great snack that's loaded with fiber and can help maintain energy, multigrain bread and crackers are a good way to stay full.
Evaporated milk is a shelf-stable way to get the lean protein and vitamin D found in milk. Bauer recommends combining it with whole grain cereal for a nutritious all-pantry breakfast.
Whole Grain Cereal
Eating foods rich in insoluble fiber can help maintain digestive health, counteracting some factors that may slow it down, like inactivity and dehydration.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds don't need refrigeration, but are packed full of protein and healthful fats like omega-3 fatty acids.
Shelf stable fruits like apples, bananas and oranges make good, healthy treats that are packed with fiber and nutrients like vitamin C and potassium.