Hurricane Food: Must-Have Non-Perishables

If a hurricane passes through your area, you’ll want a stockpile of nonperishable foods and water to ensure you can survive, however long it takes to get the house back in order. Hurricanes do a smackdown on power and utilities, which means no electricity for cooking food or water from the local treatment plant. Don’t get caught unprepared!

Store a minimum of 2 weeks of nonperishable hurricane food.

Folks in Hurricane prone areas have spent months without power. According to the New York Times, some were without power for eleven months after Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Food: Quick List

Download this printable grocery list from Ready Squirrel and use it to create a personalized nonperishable hurricane food list. The lists of different nonperishable foods below will give you a head start.

Printable Grocery List: Hurricane Food, Non-Perishables PDF


The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests storing a minimum 1-Gallon of water per person for three days per person. If you live in the hotter climates prone to hurricanes, I recommend a minimum of 2 gallons of water per day per person, and I’d store at least a 14-day supply.

In Florida, hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30, and major storms can leave you without power and running water, with limited access to stores… be sure to store water in a space that is room temperature or cooler and away from any chemicals… think about dispersing bottles in different areas of your home. Stock up with a [bare] minimum of one gallon per person per day for three days (FEMA.)

Federal Emergency Management Agency/Water Boy, Inc Bradenton, FL

Water is more important than any other food item stored for a hurricane or natural disaster. Humans can survive weeks without food but only 3 or 4 days without drinking water.

As a side note, I live in Florida and sweat like a stuck pig when I’m outside, and I drink a gallon of water when I exercise outdoors or do yard work.

Deciding How Much Water You Need To Store

The first item to fly off the shelves when a hurricane is coming? Yep, bottled water. Decide ahead of time if 1-gallon of water per person per day will be enough for your family.

Activity Level

Post-hurricane, you may be very active. The power is still out, and you’re doing clean-up around your neighborhood: using a chain-saw, moving wood, taking damaged property to the curb. Most hurricane-prone areas are hot and humid during hurricane season, requiring a lot of water for hydration.

No electricity

Without electricity, there are no creature comforts, including air conditioning. You will be sweating sitting on a lawn chair.

Cleaning and hygiene

The electricity is out, and so are the dishwasher and the shower. Your hygiene and dish cleanings will be done with a bucket and water stores.

Water for cooking

You will need water to cook freeze-dried meals or prepackaged soups and noodle dishes. This is one reason you want the bulk of your food items to be nonperishable, ready-to-eat foods like canned soups and stews.

Contaminated water

Don’t just plan on purifying water with filters or by boiling it. Groundwater and pool water may be contaminated with chemicals from a storm surge.

You can’t extract most chemicals with home purification or boiling. Consider filling 55-gallon barrel(s) before a storm and purifying or boiling water from them during or after the hurricane.

Ready Squirrel water storage

My water in Florida has a lot of sulfur, and the water company uses a lot of chlorine, so we don’t drink our tap water.

Our drinking water is in the big 5-gallon Culligan bottles of water and a gravity tank that makes hot and cold water when it’s plugged in. (see picture above). When the electricity goes out, we get water at room temperature.

When the power is on, and everything is sunny, we use tap water for cleaning and boiled foods. One 5-gallon bottle lasts 3 to 5 days, depending on what we’re doing that week. It doesn’t last as long if it’s hot and we’re doing many outdoor activities.

If you go with the 5-gallon Sparklette-type water bottles, you can use an inexpensive 5-gallon hand pump (picture above) that costs less than $10.00 at Walmart.

Purchase the 5-gallon bottles at most big box stores like Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes, or you can use a water service that delivers to your front door.

Cost To Feed One Person For A Year: Apocalypse Food

Water service

A handy way to store emergency water. You have a set number of bottles you get every month and a specific day for picking up empties and delivering full bottles. Order extra water one month, so you always have extra. Just rotate the oldest bottles to keep a fresh supply. Do a Google search to find local water companies and then check customer reviews to pick the best one.

25 Non-Perishable Snacks

Ready-to-eat, nonperishable snacks are required during a natural disaster or hurricane. You might find yourself in a situation where cooking isn’t possible, and snack foods are your only option.

For example, if you drive out of a hurricane area, the power might already be out, so credit cards might not work, refrigerator units might be down, and stores might be closed. If stores are open and operating, you’ll compete for whatever is left on the store shelves. Avoid this scenario by stocking up on snack foods ahead of time.

  1. Peanuts
  2. Cashews
  3. Mixed Nuts
  4. Ritz and Saltine Crackers
  5. Canned Cheese & Cheese Dip
  6. Canned Bean Dip
  7. Canned Salsas
  8. Salted/shelled sunflower seeds
  9. Corn Nuts
  10. Nut Butters
  11. Bags of Pre-Cooked Popcorn (Plain, caramel, or whatever dry spice you choose)-probably only last a week.
  12. Protein Bars
  13. Granola Bars
  14. Freeze-dried fruits: strawberries, apples, apricots, banana slices, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries
  15. Dehydrated fruits-strawberries, apples, apricots, banana slices, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries
  16. Energy Bars
  17. Sweet Tooth Bars: Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Moon pies, Oatmeal creme pies, Hostess Ding-dongs
  18. Cookies (There are healthy cookies like Lenny and Larry’s, I like the double chocolate)
  19. Survival Bars
  20. Vacuum-packed tuna and salmon
  21. Chips, pretzels, and other snack-like junk food
  22. Unopened dried/sugared fruits like raisins, dates, and mango
  23. Beef Jerky
  24. Trail Mixes
  25. Meals Ready to Eat (Not really a snack but has snacks that don’t need to be heated)

22 Non-Perishable Proteins

Proteins are an essential hurricane food. Canned beans are probably the simplest way to store protein, but there are other options. Check out the list of nonperishable proteins below to spark some ideas for your hurricane grocery list.

“We need protein in our diet to help repair damaged cells and to make new ones. “protein is also important for the growth and development of children, teens, and pregnant women.”,
  1. Dried Beans
  2. Dry Grains
    1. Hard High Gluten Wheat Berries (husked dried wheat-30 year shelf life in oxygen-free storage)
    2. Quinoa
    3. Rolled Oats (30-year shelf life in oxygen-free storage)
  3. Pulses (30-year shelf life in oxygen-free storage)
  4. Canned Beans
  5. Canned stews and soups with meat and or beans
  6. Nuts (limited shelf-life due to high-fat content)
  7. Peanut Butter (limited shelf-life)
  8. Peanut Butter Powder
  9. Canned Meat
  10. Meat in retort pouches (tuna & salmon)
  11. Freeze-dried Ground Beef
  12. Freeze-dried steak
  13. Freeze-dried chicken
  14. Protein Powders: Whey, Egg White, Replacement Shakes
  15. Dried Eggs
  16. Whole Egg Powder
  17. Sprouting Seed Mixes (lentils, broccoli, alfalfa, quinoa, soybean, pea sprouts)
  18. Non-fat Dried Milk
  19. Canned Milk
  20. High-protein Bars
  21. Whole Wheat Pasta
  22. Couscous

26 Non-Perishable Canned Meats

I have to admit it. I’m not a fan of most canned meats, however, I like canned tuna and salmon. (pan-fried salmon patties with crushed saltine crackers are delicious.) Also, the Hawaiian islands favor Spam as a delicacy, and it’s hard to find a breakfast restaurant in the islands without at least one Spam dish on the menu.

Following is a list of shelf-stable canned meats to add to your list.

  1. Spam
  2. Canned Chicken
  3. Canned Beef
  4. Canned Tuna
  5. Canned Salmon
  6. Vienna Sausages
  7. Canned Ham
  8. Corned Beef Hash
  9. Dinty Moore Stew
  10. Sardines
  11. Shrimp
  12. Oysters
  13. Anchovies
  14. Kippered Herring
  15. Crab Meat
  16. Canned Mackerel
  17. Deviled Ham
  18. Pate
  19. Potted Meat
  20. Summer Sausage
  21. Canned Meat Tamales
  22. Meat Chili
  23. Keystone Meats
  24. Costco Meats
  25. Freeze-dried meats
  26. Freeze-dried meals (Mountain House)

I’m not affiliated, but has a bounty of bulk fruits and nuts you can purchase online.

28 Non-Perishable Fruits For Hurricane Preparedness

Most of us will purchase canned fruits if a hurricane is coming, but you can also get frozen or dehydrated fruit. I’m a fan of the dried ocean spray fruits you can get in a zip-lock-type bag, but they are pretty high in sugar. Canned peaches are also good and refreshing when it’s hot out, and I drink the juice after eating the peaches.

Following is a list of fruit types you can get canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated.

  1. Apricots
  2. Peaches
  3. Mandarin Oranges
  4. Mangos
  5. Pears
  6. Pineapple
  7. Cherries
  8. Mixed or Medley
  9. Grapefruit
  10. Apple and other fruit sauces
  11. Blueberries
  12. Pie Filling
  13. Strawberries
  14. Dried Banana Chips
  15. Dried Mango
  16. Dried Apples
  17. Dried blueberries
  18. Dried Apricots
  19. Dried Coconut
  20. Dates
  21. Raisins
  22. Dried Cranberries
  23. Fruit Leathers
  24. Dried peaches
  25. Dried Pears
  26. Dried Papaya
  27. Dried Pineapple
  28. Sun-dried tomatoes

28 Non-perishable Juice and Drinks

The cheapest drinks are powdered. If you decide to go this route, make sure you have enough water stored to make them. Below are some drink ideas to give you a head start on planning your Hurricane food list.

  1. Canned Orange
  2. Bottled Cranberry Juice
  3. Cran Tropical
  4. Hawaiian Sun Tropical
  5. Tang Powdered Juice Mix
  6. Country Time Lemonade (Powdered)
  7. Bottled and Powdered Gatorade
  8. Crystal Light Powder
  9. Kool-Aid Powder
  10. Ovaltine Powder
  11. Hershey’s Chocolate Powder
  12. Cocoa Powder
  13. Powdered Malted Milk
  14. Powdered Low-fat Milk
  15. Milo Malted Beverage Powder
  16. Freeze-dried Coffee
  17. Tea Bags
  18. Yerba Mate
  19. Green Tea
  20. Soda
  21. Boxed Milk
  22. Boxed Juice
  23. Plastic Bottled Juices and Juice Mixes
  24. Canned Emergency Water
  25. Bouillon (Meat and vegetable stock cubes or powder)
  26. Pedialyte
  27. V-8 Vegetable Juice
  28. Energy drinks like Monster and Redbull

17 Non-perishable Survival and Granola Bars

Granola or survival bars are the bread and butter of any hurricane food supply. They are pretty high in nutrition and calories and are ready to eat with zero preparation. Especially good as a snack or when on the move.

  1. SOS Survival Bars
  2. Granola
  3. Trail Mix
  4. Datrex Emergency Ration Bars
  5. Battles Bars (Mother of all bars)
  6. Nature’s Valley Granola Bars
  7. Kashi Bars
  8. Kind Granola
  9. Pure protein bars
  10. Cliff Bars
  11. Quest Protein Bars
  12. Jacked Factory
  13. Kind Bars
  14. Power Bars
  15. Level-1
  16. TB12
  17. HealthWise
  18. Nutri Grain Fruit Bars
  19. Candy Bars with nuts (Snickers, Payday)

High Energy Food: Shelf Stable & No Cook

  1. Peanut Butter
  2. Nuts and nut mixes
  3. Nutrition fortified protein, granola, and fruit bars
  4. Honey
  5. Survival Food Bars (SOS)
  6. Coffee
  7. High Sugar Foods like candy bars, chocolate candies, and suckers
  8. Dark Chocolate

11 Non-Perishable Pre-packaged Dry Meals and Side Dishes

I’m partial to the Knorr pasta side dishes (very cheap) and instant ramen soup for dry-packaged meals. The ramen soups are a great base. You can add freeze-dried, canned, or fresh vegetables for a complete meal. These meals require boiled water, so it’s a good idea to have a butane stove or a backpacker’s stove and enough fuel to cook with. Nesbit tablets and alcohol stoves are better than nothing, but they put very little heat off and are inferior to the backpacker or Coleman-type camp stoves.

  1. Ramen Soup Packets
  2. Cup-a-noodle
  3. Knorr Pasta Side Dishes
  4. Instant Macaroni and cheese
  5. Freeze-dried backpacker meals
    • Mountain House
    • Backpacker’s Pantry
  6. Couscous
  7. Instant rice meals and dishes (Uncle Ben’s Red Beans and Rice)
  8. Instant Rice-A-Roni and Pasta Roni
  9. Homemade dehydrated meals
  10. Instant rice of all types
  11. Tuna and Salmon in Retort Pouches

17 Non-Perishable Vegetables

As with fruit, you can purchase nonperishable vegetables canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated. Here is a list of vegetables you might want to consider storing for a hurricane. I like canned corn the best because it’s so flexible. I usually eat fresh or frozen vegetables, so eating canned veg is a challenge.

  1. Mixed Vegetables
  2. Corn
  3. Beans
  4. Pumpkin
  5. Artichoke Hearts
  6. Olives
  7. Capers
  8. Peas
  9. Carrots
  10. Beets
  11. Pickles
  12. Hot or Mild Peppers
  13. New Potatoes/ Potatoes
  14. Spinach
  15. Tomatoes (actually a fruit)
  16. Sauerkraut
  17. Zucchini

Perishable vegetables that don’t need refrigeration

  • Fresh Garlic (Don’t store in plastic, and garlic will keep for a month unrefrigerated)
  • Onions (store in a dark location, or they will sprout)
  • Potatoes (Don’t store with onions)

7 Non-Perishable Meals

Like me, you like to cook with ingredients, but there are situations where eating out of a can or boiling water will better fit the emergency. For example, imagine using a chain saw all day to cut up trees in your yard and then having to cook a meal from scratch on your gas grill. No thanks, Instead boil water on a backpacker stove or heat a can.

  1. Meals Ready To Eat (MRE), military ration in retort pouches, there are civilian versions (My Patriot Supply, 4 Patriots, BePrepared)
  2. Freeze-dried Backpacker Meals (Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry)
  3. Chef Boyardee Beefaroni-Ready to Eat
  4. Hormel type chili-Ready to eat
  5. Dinty Moore type stews-Ready to eat
  6. Canned Soups-Ready to eat
  7. Professionally packaged survival kits (My Patriot Supply, 4 Patriots, Valley Food Storage, Mountain House, Readywise, Augason Farms,

Getting ready for a hurricane? Don’t forget about sanitation and hygiene.

Check out these Ready Squirrel Articles to get more information.

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