#1 Preparing For The Oncoming Hurricane Season : Food

By: Kumo , 7:40 AM GMT on August 09, 2012

Having lived most of my life in regions a good distance away from the coast, I've had to worry about tornadoes and winter storms but hurricanes have been the least of my concerns. Well... that's not exactly the truth. In 2004 I was stationed at Ft. Belvoir, VA as a Medic for the Dewitt ARMY Community Hospital ER. Many folks in the Mid-Atlantic remember an especially nasty storm that year which made landfall in North Carolina and tracked up into Virginia. Isabel made landfall as a strong category 2 storm with sustained winds of 105mph, but thankfully it had weakened tropical storm by the time she made it up to our area. Our platoon sergeant had ordered all of us up to the hospital to ride out the storm and the shift schedule was adjusted to reflect the additional personnel. Besides some trees blown down around post, some flooding along the Potomac, the hospital on generator power for 24 hours, and all the food in my freezer at the barracks being ruined, thankfully the storm's effect on our area was not nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be.

Access to non-perishable food is always a major concern in any disaster prone area. It's a fear that hits even closer to home now that I live down near Houston, TX which is still recovering from Hurricane Ike from 2008. My wife tells me about those days and how their neighborhood was off the grid for 2 weeks. 2 weeks seems like childsplay for soldiers who spend a month out or more in the field in the bitter cold of a Korean winter, but then again we always had support from the rear. LMTVs shipping out hot meals and other supplies two times a day, pot belly stoves fueled by JP8 to keep our boots from freezing in the mud in the medics tents, as well as Ajuma's warm tent to go buy a piping hot cup of better than average instant coffee and bulgogi ramen. Come to think of it besides the occasional cold weather injury, the field really was not that bad.

I've been looking at a few emergency ration options but I've narrowed it down to freeze dried foods in the #10 cans. This stuff keeps for up to 25 years under ideal storage conditions and from what I have sampled, it tastes much better than most MRE products. There are a few reputable companies here in the CONUS that produce and market these products at fairly affordable prices ($10 to $40 per can) Costco even does bulk packages at reduced rates from some of these manufacturers. It would probably be a good idea to also invest in a large capacity water storage and filtration solution, as well as a propane stove and related materials.

It might seem a bit extreme to go with this kind of long term food storage solution to ease the suffering in the wake of a devastating hurricane, but it can also serve as insurance against other potential disasters. With solar max fast approaching (2013) there is always the potential of another "Carrington Event" (Extreme Solar Storm that ocurred in 1859 that caused a severe geomagnetic storm and sparked off widespread ground induced currents. In layman's terms, not good for our power grids.) Not to mention the US economy has been looking very shaky the past couple of years with the housing bubble collapse and big bankers making stupid moves with American money. It would not take much to send us into another great depression.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About Kumo

Former US ARMY Medic. Been using WU as my main online source of local weather info since 2005. Loves coffee, especially multi-region dark roasts.

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