FL Hurricane

Huge hurricane near Florida in America. Elements of this image furnished by NASA


This article will help you in selecting the kinds of foods for a hurricane, perishable and non-perishable your family wants and likes. I am writing this article during the height of the hurricane season which ends at the end of November.

Perishable Foods


Refrigerator full of food

These are foods that are best kept in the refrigerator, as they will become unsafe to eat, if not kept refrigerated at 40 F or frozen at 0 degrees F.

Examples of perishable foods include dairy products, fish, poultry, and leftover dinners.

You’ll want to eat these types of foods first as they cause illness, smell and taste bad if not refrigerated.

Spoilage comes 10-12 hours if these foods are not kept cold and in a hurricane, a power failure can come at any time.

The food you store in a closed refrigerator remains cold and safe for up to 24 hours. That is why you eat these foods first.

Fruits also have a shelf life, however, some like apples and oranges can last 2-4 weeks in cabinets and 1-2 months when refrigerated.

When you think of perishable foods it’s any food that has a short shelf life like:

  1. Dairy products
  2. Fish
  3. Poultry
  4. Meat
  5. Leftover dinners that you have cooked
  6. Vegetables


Non-Perishable Foods


Canned food

Those foods have a long shelf life.

These foods are good for up to a year and don’t require refrigeration. Foods like:


1 Canned goods: This includes meats such as chicken, tuna, and beef. All types of vegetables like beans, peas, carrots, and mixed vegetables. Fruits packed in their own juices. All can be used as a meal, a snack, or a portion for a meal.

2. Dry Foods: Nuts, oatmeal, grits, cereals, rice, boxed potatoes, and soups. All can make a good meal without much preparation.

3. Dehydrated Foods: These are “Ready to Eat Meals” which are called MRE’S. You cook them They’re fully cooked and ready to eat. You rehydrate them with boiling water. Lots of campers and hikers use these meals and they are great items to add to your emergency kit.

4. Other Non-perishable foods include Bottled water. You’ll need at least 1 gallon of water per person each day. A 3-7 day minimum is recommended as you never know when your power will be restored. Peanut butter is a food with a long shelf life, doesn’t require refrigeration, and is a good source of protein. Condiments also have a long shelf life and add some variety to the taste of your foods. Who doesn’t like better tasting food and condiments like ketchup, mustard, salsa, and soy sauce definitely add to the flavor?

5. Baby food: Don’t forget as you’ll need food for the baby as they can’t eat the food you eat.

6. Pet Food: Pick up a bag of dried dog food or canned dog food.

7. Other items you may need if the power goes out.

  • Paper plates
  • paper bowls
  • cups
  • Plastic spoons, forks, and knives
  • baby wipes for cleaning

Special Dietary Needs

Food Allergies: With limited access to medical facilities you may need an EpiPen in case you have an allergic reaction. Make sure the foods you eat don’t contain any ingredients you’re allergic too.

High blood pressure: Get foods low in sodium to help you maintain your blood pressure.

Time Plan For Eating Perishable and Non-Perishable Foods

Many of you will lose power during a hurricane and you will need to eat the most perishable foods first as they can cause food poisoning, sour, and taste bad when they are not refrigerated at the proper temperature.

Those temperatures are 40 degrees F inside the refrigerator and 0 degrees F in the freezer.

Here are the 3 steps to eating the foods you have, if power is lost at your house.

1 Eat perishable foods in the refrigerator and pantry first as they will go bad the fastest

2. Eat freezer foods next as you never know when the power will go out.

3. Eat your stock of non-perishable items. These have a long shelf life and will sustain you until help arrives.

Make sure to buy your food well in advance of a hurricane as stores sell out and you may not get what you want otherwise.

If you ever need a hand or have a question, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,




  1. that is all great and informative advice. Also, MRE’s are also a non-perishable and Did you know honey will never spoil as well? That is of course you are open to opinions. I Like how you neatly configured your post in general. Very easy to understand. Keep it up.

  2. Hi Bob,

    This makes the most sense. Planning and selecting perishable foods first will ensure that they are not unintentionally lost should they turn bad if left for later. Indeed, non-perishables can be pushed to the last as they have long shelf lives. And if they contain “undesirable” preservatives, you effectively defer the need to take them. And help may arrive before its time for you to have to take them.

  3. Hi Bob,

    Who knew that there would be another “disaster” where food would become harder to find. The world has become a crazy place right now and your suggestions are very appropriate for the current situation.
    I did not see any supplements (superfoods) listed in your supplies – I suppose that is because they are not actually necessities in time of need. Dried fruits are also a good choice, though we need to take care that they are not dried with sugar added – an invitation to ants.
    There are several newer manufacturing processes (I wish I knew exactly what they were) that allow for over a year shelf life for dried fruit and nut combinations. They are surprisingly good.

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