Seven days into the start of hurricane season, it's time to stock the pantry in case more unwanted guests pop in.
- Menus to get you through seven days without power
Online resourcesFor more information from the National Hurricane Center, check out www.nhc.noaa.gov.
To print "Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency" guidelines, check www.fsis.usda .gov.
- Hurricane season is here. Is your pantry ready?
- Meteorological Disasters
See more topics »
Mitchell, who practices in Winter Park and is on the Health and Medical advisory board for Family Circle magazine, recommends dating items with a Sharpie and "every six months, rotating out the food items that need to be used and replacing them with new ones."
Your stash should include nonperishables chosen with nutrition in mind, but leave room for a few indulgences.
"Be sure to have good-quality protein on hand such as nuts, canned chicken, tuna and peanut butter," says Mitchell. "Whole-grain crackers and cereals are healthier choices than chips, cookies, soda, but you have to strike a balance."
Mitchell recommends following what she calls the 80-20 rule: "Try to eat well 80 percent of the time, and then fit the snacks in the other 20 percent." That said, Mitchell admits she plowed through the snack stash two years ago while waiting out a hurricane.
"My cats and I were staying with a girlfriend, and Tom Terry on [WFTV]-Channel 9 kept saying don't eat all of your snacks while you're waiting on the hurricane," says Mitchell. "We looked at ourselves and laughed out loud. We were doing just that."
If an unwanted dinner guest comes our way, the list at left shows what Mitchell and experts at the National Hurricane Center say you should have on hand.
Heather McPherson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5498.