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Hurricane preparedness: A guide to healthy eating

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
dried apricots

Hurricane Florence is expected to arrive sometime late Thursday night. In this last minute frenzy of filling the car with gas and picking up extra batteries and candles, Duke Healthy Lifestyles Dietician Jenny Favret, has provided a list of non-perishable food items to buy--for those who are brave enough to venture into a grocery store! These items may be consumed “as is” if you have no way to heat them up.


  • Canned beans of all types (pinto, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, etc.)
  • Canned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.)
  • Canned, flaked chicken
  • Fully cooked bacon or turkey bacon
  • Peanut butter (other nut butters such as almond butter)
  • Nuts and seeds of all kinds
  • Jerky
  • Bean based soups


  • Canned veggies (all varieties)
  • Dehydrated veggies (all varieties)

[Note: Fresh tomatoes, peppers and whole (unpeeled) carrots may be left out of the fridge for several days but WILL go bad and will need to be tossed.]


  • Canned fruit
  • Dried fruit

[Note: Whole, unwashed fruit may be safely consumed for up to several days, but will obviously go bad more quickly when not refrigerated.]

Milk/Milk Alternatives

  • Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk, sold in unrefrigerated cartons
  • Canned milk
  • Nut milk alternatives (almond milk, cashew milk), sold iin unrefrigerated cartons
  • Soy milk, sold in unrefrigerated cartons

"Do Ahead" Snack Ideas

  • Cheese Crisps
    Simply put a handful of shredded cheddar cheese onto a microwave safe plate. Press to flatten the pile of cheese. Microwave on a power of 80% for just under 2 minutes or until lightly browned. When the plate is cool enough to handle, simply remove with a butter knife. These delicious high protein snacks do not have to be refrigerated.
  • Popcorn
    Prepare a big batch of popcorn on the stove using a healthy oil such as olive oil. Lightly salt when done. After cooling, place into large zip lock bags (do not add butter since this will require refrigeration). Eat some nuts or seeds with the popcorn for a more satisfying snack.

Related Resources

Hurricane Preparedness: A Guide to Eating Healthy in an Emergency
[Everyday Health]

Prepare for Hurricane Florence: 18 Crucial Foods and Health Supplies You Need Before a Big Storm

Health Checklist: What to Buy Before a Hurricane