Don’t forget that your body needs fuel when it comes to crisis management planning for natural disasters
This coming Sunday marks the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week, and considering the storms that have battered the country over the past couple of years, there shouldn’t be any doubt as to the need to prepare.
The help with that, Everyday Health has created The Hurricane Disaster-Proof Healthy Eating Guide to serve as the food preparedness resource for the upcoming hurricane season and all natural disasters. Here’s an excerpt, on the topic of meal planning:
To start, plan to create a “hurricane healthy meals kit” that includes essential nutrients from three of the five food groups, says Stacey Whittle, a registered dietitian and co-owner of Healthy by Design Nutrition Specialists, in Santa Monica, Calif. “The most important group is protein, then vegetables and fruits, and then so-called fillers, or starchy items.” A balanced meal would include something from each group.
In an emergency, the top priority is to get enough calories and stay hydrated. “You need to stay fueled and focused and not get sick,” Whittle says. She suggests that the hurricane healthy meals plan provide three meals a day, spread out as evenly as possible. Each meal should have a protein source as its main component, as well as something from each of the other major food groups.
Shelf life is another consideration. “Keep foods that require little or no cooking, water, or refrigeration, in case utilities are disrupted,” says Mitali Shah, MS, RD, LDN, a clinical and research dietitian at Boston Medical Center’s Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition, and Weight Management.
“Plan to have at least a three-day supply of food on hand,” she says. “Canned foods and dry mixes will remain fresh for about two years, but date all food items, and use and replace food before it loses freshness.”
It’s quite common for people to consider the tasks required for crisis management, while neglecting the fact their body needs fuel if they are to do anything at all. Prepare your own stock of food, and keep extra to share with those in need if you’re able.
Once a disaster strikes it’s already too late, get out ahead of trouble and start your planning today!
The BCM Blogging Team