OK, that's gotten you through the first day or maybe even two after the storm, but what after that? Lay in a variety of sources: jerky, canned meats, protein bars, soy products, peanut butter and even nutrient "shake" products if you choose.

Vegetables: You're probably not going to have a whole lot of time to worry about your five-a-day while you're nailing plastic over the holes in your roof, but that's no reason to abandon any pretense of a healthful diet. Fruit and vegetable juices have the double benefit of providing vitamins and supplementing your water supply. There are also more varieties of canned vegetables and fruit than you can shake a stick at.

Fresh fruits, especially tough-skinned ones like oranges, are a good idea if you have time to lay them in.

Snacks: Let's face it, there are going to be stretches of time, especially during the storm, when you're too busy trying to keep body and soul together to worry about cooking a meal. You'll want ready-to-eat foods in abundance, and it's been proven that enjoyable edibles reduce stress, so indulge a little! Lay in a supply of your favorite tummy-filler and worry about the Weight Watchers guidelines later. If you're faced with having to crawl up on the roof midstorm and try to nail down flapping shingles, you'll be more motivated to save a house that contains a healthy supply of Twinkies than one devoid of cream filling and tasty sponge cake.


During the storm, even if it's midday, you are liable to have long periods where the only illumination is whatever battery-powered lights you've got. This is not the time to have to hunt through dark pantries and cupboards to find what you need. I recommend buying a supply of sandwich- or quart-sized plastic bags and making food packs, along the lines of a school lunch with a juice box or can and a couple of edible items, and putting them in easily accessible spots. Again, remember that preparedness is your best friend: have a few meal packs in every room of the house. You never know where you may end up.

And, hey, if the storm veers away or you have some packs left over, just toss in a sandwich and Junior's got his school lunch for the day.

Above all, keep your wits about you. If you have kids, they are going to be looking to you as a basis for their own reactions, fears and attitudes. If you stay level-headed and treat every situation as a problem to be solved, not an overwhelming crisis, the children will pick up on your behavior.

One final word: don't forget your pets! Fido and Ginger are going to be just as frazzled as you are, and they're going to need fresh food and water just like you. Take care of your little furry friends.

Got a comment? Question? Recipe to share? Drop me a line anytime!