The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a rough winter – with cold weather and snow potentially starting earlier and lasting longer than usual.  Make sure you are prepared for winter’s worst by stocking your pantry and those of any in-need loved ones before the storms hit.

Here are some important tips for putting together your emergency food supplies: 

• Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods – items like peanut butter, canned tuna, low-sodium canned soup and canned vegetables

• Include salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, granola bars, nuts and trail mixes

• Choose foods your family will eat and remember any special dietary needs

• Stock up on bottled water and other beverages like sports drinks and powdered milk.  Depending on the storm, bottled water may be needed for drinking, food preparation and/or hygiene. Keep at least one gallon of bottled water on hand per person per day

• Make sure you have access to a manual can opener and that you have disposable plates and utensils on hand

• Remember your pets and have dry or canned food ready for them to eat and extra water for them to drink

Popular non-perishable and less perishable foods
Breads, Cereals, Rice and Pasta 4 – 6 servings / day (look for 50%+ whole grain) Breakfast cereals, bread, instant rice or noodles, crackers, rice cakes, granola bars
Fruits and vegetables 5+ servings / day Canned fruits and vegetables, juices, dried fruits, instant potatoes, less perishable produce: carrots, apples, oranges, potatoes, raisins, cabbage, winter squash
Meat / Protein substitutes 2+ servings / day Canned meats, canned fish, canned stews, canned baked beans, nuts, and peanut butter
Dairy 2+ servings / day Powdered, canned or shelf-stable milk; canned pudding; hard cheeses; cheese foods or spreads

In the event that your electricity goes off, use perishable foods from the refrigerator first, foods from the freezer second and your emergency food supplies last.  With a little planning, you and your family can have a safe and healthy winter – no matter the weather!