No matter where you live in the United States, a storm’s aftermath could leave you scrambling if you aren’t prepared. Most people cover the basics in their storm preparation: fill your gas tank, flashlight, portable radio and stock up on non-perishable items.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having 3 days worth of food and water on hand. But which foods are best? And what can you buy now that will keep? offers a list of “18 Crucial Foods and Health Supplies You Need Before a Big Storm”. We’ve boiled the list down to four main categories.


Winter storms and hurricanes can sometimes make access to drinking water a tough find. It’s suggested to store 1 gallon of water per person in your home for a three-day supply. That’s because the average person drinks 1 gallon of water per day depending on age, physical activity level, and overall health. You may need more than 1 gallon per person if it’s hot outside.

And to make sure your bottles of water are used for drinking, fill up a bathtub or sink with water for washing, bathing and flushing the toilet.


Non-perishable food items can be kept on hand for weeks or months. And if you’re stocked, there will be no reason to go out in the last minute rush to fill your pantry.

Suggested foods:

  • Apples and oranges can hold for several weeks and are both more than 80 percent water, and are rich in nutrients.
  • Dried, canned fruits with no gels, syrups or added sugar are the next best thing to fresh fruit.
  • Ready-to-eat canned vegetables are a quick grab when you need a snack. But be sure to grab the “low sodium” options.
  • Canned tuna, salmon and sardines may not be your first choice, but it can make a quick an easy meal when natural disaster is looming. Not to mention the long shelf life.
  • Comfort foods aren’t very nutritious, but it’s called comfort food for a reason. FEMA recommends having some on hand to soothe you and your family during a potentially stressful situation.
  • Nut butter and nuts can help fill you up on protein and healthy fats. Just be sure to buy unsalted nuts. No need to increase your thirst.
  • Protein bars offer a big dose of calories when you can’t cook full meals.


  • A first-aid kit is a must all year round. But when disaster is looming it’s best to check your supplies. Make sure to have band-aids, bandages, and antibiotic cream.
  • Hand sanitizer is great way to fight germs when the water supply is limited. A bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer that’s 60-95 percent alcohol is recommended.
  • Body wipes are a great way to clean up when a shower may not be an option.


  • A dust mask is a good add to your emergency kit. It can protect your lungs if the air around becomes contaminated.
  • Garbage bags aren’t just for containing the trash. The bags can be used for ponchos, to cover broken windows, carry supplies and even collect rainwater.
  • A portable battery charger is a sure way to keep your phone and tablets charged when the electricity is out.
  • Paper plates and plastic utensils
  • A good book, playing cards, and board games are great ways to fill the time