• By Deborah Balzer

Hurricane preparation: Food and nutrition tips

June 18, 2020
a box of donated foods and essential items needed in an emergency, with the hands of people placing items in the box

Hurricane season is officially underway. For those who live in high-risk areas, planning ahead is crucial. This year due to COVID-19, it's even more important to consider ways to lower spread of infection, for instance, if you need to check on neighbors or go to a shelter for safety.

Preparing for hurricane season during COVID-19

In an emergency, it's crucial to ensure you and your family have plenty of food and water. Mayo Clinic nutritionist Debra Silverman offers some suggestions on how to keep your food and water safe during a storm or hurricane.

Food safety reminders

"Having a plan for basic food and water, particularly if power outages occur, will ensure proper nutrition, energy and long-term wellness," says Silverman.

When an emergency strikes you should:

  • Keep refrigerator/freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Refrigerator will keep cold for four hours if left unopened.
  • Freezer will keep food cold for 48 hours if full.
  • The temperature danger zone –41 degree Fahrenheit to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If refrigerated food greater than 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours, discard the food.

Foods to store are:

  • Bottled water (3 gallons per person per day)
  • Shelf-stable boxed drinks (e.g., fruit juice and powdered milk)
  • Canned goods (vegetables, fruit, meats and beans)
  • Peanut butter or other nut butters
  • Crackers
  • Trail mix/dried cereal

Watch: Nutritionist Debra Silverman discusses hurricane preparations.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites are available in the downloads. Please courtesy "Debra Silverman / Nutritionist / Mayo Clinic."

Silverman also recommends keeping disposable cutlery, paper plates and cups on hand. Gel-based hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes are also helpful.

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