Batten down the hatches!
February 7, 2007 1:08 AM   Subscribe

It’s cyclone season where I am. There’s a pretty good chance we’ll loose power and / or water. What should I put in my emergency food box?

We’ve done most of the preparations… batteries, lamps, waterproof baggies, evacuation plan and so on.

But I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to put in the food box.

Whatever goes in must be:
>Non perishable (likely to be no power fridge)
>Able to be eaten without any cooking (no stove)
>Be stored two months (at least – that’s about the length of the wet)

And there needs to be enough of it to last us through about three days without power or water.

Apart from heaps of bottled water, all I can think of is muesli bars, dry biscuits chocolate and vodka.

So. Help me stock up…

What should I be buying for eats in the cyclone?
posted by t0astie to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Canned fruits, vegetables (including tomatoes, corn etc) and beans come to mind. There is lots of information about this on the internet. See for example this guide from the Red Cross.
posted by davar at 1:39 AM on February 7, 2007

posted by bigmusic at 1:40 AM on February 7, 2007

I'm assuming you're in Queensland. Arnotts Bush Biscuits - those big, envelope-sized biscuits. These store, and you can eat them with jam, vegemite, nutella, peanut butter etc. for variety. Tasty and filling.

Muesli bars are a good idea, tinned fruits are a great idea. Our cyclone guide recommends we have a portable stove, and if you have one then you will be able to boil water, in which case your options are greatly improved; instant noodles, soups etc., those Campbells pasta-in-a-packet things. Why not be over-prepared? Just because you're told to have food you can't cook, there's no reason not to get a portable gas stove to make your life easier.

Also, salami / metwurst. Basically, get your arse into the "Tinned Vegetables" aisle at your supermarket and browse the things in jars and tins.

It's a cyclone. You're not hoping for 3-star Michelin dining afterwards. You want filling, simple, easy to store food, and it may well be a case of living of muesli bars and bush biscuits for a couple of days. Just make sure you have lots of it.
posted by Jimbob at 3:31 AM on February 7, 2007

Hi neighbour

I see from your profile/blog you are/were in Brisvegas. Your google coordinates need a "-" in front of the 27 to work properly, that is, to place you in Qld instead of the Pacific Ocean.

I've narrowly avoided a couple or three cyclones (one even had my name - Joy around xmas 91) and my food kits pretty much contained anything tinned I could bare to eat, and dry biscuits to put it on. So, asparagus, tuna, baked beans, spaghetti, mushrooms (shudder), braised steak and onion. Luckily, the power outages for me lasted no more than a day or so, and I always seemed to have gas to cook with.

If you have gas, then you can add pasta and rice to your collection of foods. If you are in Brisbane, I wouldn't be too concerned with stocking up with a month's worth. Even when flooded in, north of Cairns in Jan '79, we were able to get to the shops after a week.
posted by b33j at 4:02 AM on February 7, 2007

I'd get some Sterno (cooking fuel). It's indispensible in any emergency for heating food and boiling small amounts of water. Overall, I'd suggest preparing for any kind of extended emergency rather than just for cyclones, and making yourself a generic cache to keep you self-sufficient for at least a couple of weeks.
posted by rolypolyman at 9:49 AM on February 7, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Dry biscuits, tinned fruit and spreads are looking good.

And no, I'm not in Brisbane freaking out about cylones.

Have been lured far, far north.

And I quite like that my co-ordinates point to a secret island hideaway.
posted by t0astie at 3:28 PM on February 7, 2007

I just bought Apocalypse Chow which looks like a great book with many recipes so that you can eat "real" food with lots of canned and otherwise easy ingredients.
posted by davar at 6:11 AM on February 15, 2007

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