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Best Foods to Store in Case of Emergency

While they are unlikely, natural disasters could happen in Richmond, Midlothian, Chesterfield County, and the surrounding areas. And if an emergency or disaster strikes in the Greater Richmond area, seniors will need to be prepared by having enough food on hand to get them through the disaster. Many emergencies will cause a loss of power and you may not be able to use your refrigerator or freezer or cook food in a microwave or oven. 

Losing power will greatly limit the foods that you can prepare in your own home. Therefore, you will need to be careful about which foods you put in your "emergency preparedness kit" to ensure that these are foods that you can eat in case of an emergency.

The following are 10 great foods that you can include in your emergency kit that will be easy to prepare and nutritious to eat in case of an emergency:

Canned Goods

Canned goods are usually edible at room temperature. Most canned goods have a long shelf life. Pay attention to expiration dates to make sure that your food supply can be eaten in case of an emergency.

  • Canned Fruits: Canned fruits can provide your diet with a source of fruit during an emergency. Peaches or pears are great sources of nutrients. Applesauce is also shelf-stable and can be eaten in case of an emergency. Be sure to find canned fruits without the high fructose corn syrup in them to avoid unnecessary calories and sugars.

  • Canned Vegetables: Storing a variety of canned vegetables can help you add nutrients to your emergency food supply. Lots of veggies come in cans like carrots, peas, corn, green beans, etc. Look for the ones with no added salt to choose the healthiest options.

  • Canned Beans: There are many varieties of canned beans to choose from when building your emergency food supply. Whether you like black, white, navy, red, pinto, cannellini, or other types of beans, there are plenty of options out there. Beans are filling, nourishing, and provide a dose of fiber to your emergency supply of food.

  • Canned Soups: Canned soups are a great meal to add to your emergency food supply. Be sure to choose soups low in sodium and that is marked heart healthy for your healthiest choices. Be sure to get instant soups in case you do not have fresh water to add to the soup before heating it. Soups make hearty meals that can be great in the pinch of an emergency. 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main staple of most American diets. Carbohydrates are the body's fuel, so having several sources of carbohydrates in your mercy food supply is critical to sustaining your health through an emergency.situation.

  • Granola: Granola is a great source of fuel for the body and is nutrient and calorie-dense. It can be eaten dry if there is no milk available to put on your granola during an emergency.

  • Whole Grain Cereals: Whole Grain Cereals can also be eaten dry in case of an emergency. Whole grains provide more nutrients than their white, processed counterparts, so aiming for whole wheat is recommended when possible.

  • Whole Grain Crackers: Whole grain chips, crisps, pretzels, and crackers will keep for longer than bread. They can reasonably be kept for up to six months if left in a sealed container. Whole grain varieties of these foods can provide more nutrients than their white, processed counterparts. Adding canned meats to any of these whole-grain options can make a quick meal in case of an emergency.

Proteins & Fats

Healthy fats are a key part of your diet that should not be neglected in case of an emergency. Healthy fats are essential to your body's daily functioning and well-being. The following are some sources of fats to include in your emergency supply kit:

  • Nuts/Seeds: A variety of nuts are easily storable at room temperature and can give you healthy fats in case of an emergency. Healthy options include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews, and peanuts. Nuts provide your diet with protein, fiber, and healthy fats during an emergency.

  • Nut Butters: There is a variety of different nut butter that you can add to your diet to provide you with both fats and protein. Whether you choose peanut, almond, sunflower, etc. butter, you will find healthy fats and protein in your nut butter to sustain you throughout an emergency.

  • Canned Meats: Canned fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Other meats including chicken, turkey, ham, or even spam can provide a source of protein to your emergency supply of food.

Fruits

Fruit provides the body with many nutrients including vitamins. The fruit is also high in fiber as well as rich in antioxidants as well as it helps reduce a person's risk of things like heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes.

  • Dried Fruits: Dried fruit will last much longer than fresh fruits will. For your healthiest option, either uses a dehydrator to dry your fruit or purchase fruits without any added sugars. Fruits like apricots, figs, pineapple, raisins, and cranberries keep quite well and can add some antioxidants to your emergency food supply.

Be sure to keep enough food on hand for at least 3 days to a week in an emergency. Also, keep 1 gallon (3.79 l) of drinking water on hand per day for each person in your home.

If you or a loved one is a senior living in the Richmond, Midlothian, or Chesterfield County areas, having a nourishing food supply on hand is a key step in preparing for an emergency in which you may lose power, water, and other utilities. For further assistance in helping prepare seniors in the Richmond area for emergencies, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help!