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Having enough water and canned goods is an important part of storm preparation. But creating a meal plan in advance also can be valuable, especially if refrigeration and electricity are unavailable.
"Whether it's a hurricane or another natural disaster, it's important to know basic food and water safety in case of power outages or flooding," says Sherry Mahoney, director of Nutrition and Food Services at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. "But having a meal plan for your family can help ensure proper nutrition, energy and long-term wellness, since most people aren't thinking about recipes during a disaster.”
“Eating out of a can or box doesn’t have to be boring,” says Mahoney. "There are many things you can mix and match from your pantry to provide healthy and delicious meals for your family.”
Annually, Mahoney’s team creates a three-day meal plan, including a grocery list, to feed a family of four. These recipes do not require power or refrigeration.
"Coconut Oatmeal Energy Bars," "Mango Tango Salad," "Balsamic Pineapple Chicken," and "Chocoholic Peanut Butter Pie” may sound extravagant, but all the items come from the pantry, Mahoney says. “These recipes are all colorful, exciting and nutritious," she adds.
Mahoney offers her top tips for prepping your pantry and planning an emergency menu:
Download additional menus and meal plans, grocery lists and recipes.
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