Gator Nation News

What to Eat When the Electricity Goes Out

You never know when a hurricane or other storm might knock out power. Here are tips on how to survive when the refrigerator and stove stop working.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, which means it’s a good time to have emergency food on hand in case disaster strikes. It’s recommended you have at least a seven-day supply, and that you stockpile foods you and your family like and will eat.

Emergency Food Supply Ideas

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Jerky, beef sticks or hard, packaged sausage and pepperoni
  • Nuts and trail mix
  • Cereal and granola
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Comfort foods (chips and cookies)
  • Canned soup, chili and stew
  • Rice
  • Freeze-dried meals and desserts
  • Vitamins
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable milk
  • Instant coffee and tea
  • Gatorade or electrolyte water
  • At least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for at least 7 days, plus water for washing and cooking

If you know a storm is coming, stock up on fresh produce — such as oranges, grapefruit, apples, avocados, tomatoes and cucumbers — that can last a few days outside the refrigerator and be eaten raw.

• Make sure you have a non-electric can opener.
• Have at least a seven-day supply of food and water for your pet.
• Store items in a cool, dry location.

Cooking and Heating Food Without Electricity
If you lose electricity and don’t have a backup generator, consider using an outdoor charcoal or propane grill. Remember, charcoal and propane grills are not for indoors, as they need proper ventilation. If you need to cook indoors, you can use a can of Sterno to heat up small portions of food.

For information about Nelly Nelson, UF/IFAS family and consumer sciences agent, visit: