lightining over a city

When Mother Nature comes knocking, you better hope that the pantry is full. As storm season threatens to wreak havoc upon our homes and neighborhoods, we’ve also seen what it can do to grocery store shelves. Taking a trip to food shop after a storm has been announced typically looks like this:

  • Bread aisle: Empty.
  • Water bottle aisle: Empty.
  • Canned foods aisle: Empty. Evidence of a stampede.

empty super market shelves

Before you get caught in the crossfire of a potential grocery-crisis, know when to stock up on storm staples. And, as June was National Lightning Safety Month, what better time to read up on storm essentials? Let’s get things crackin’ (pun intended).

Storm Staple Survival Guide

It’s recommended that in the case of a storm, you have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home. By non-perishable food, we mean items that do not spoil rapidly. Yogurt, for example, would not be a non-perishable food, as it has a clear expiration date in which it will most likely spoil. Apple sauce, on the other hand, is a non-perishable item that can last for months without refrigeration without spoiling.

Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. In the case of a storm, you value the clean water that you have. Salty foods that can dehydrate you and make you thirsty will force you to quickly deplete your supply. Likewise, avoid foods that must be refrigerated. Lightning storms carry the strong possibility of a power outage, meaning that your fridge may become useless. You’ll want to stock up on foods that can hold up without being kept cold.

Last but not least, make sure you have a manual or battery operated can opener. A bunch of the foods we’re going to be mentioning require the use of a can opener, so having one in the house is a must.

empty shelves

Our Basket for Lightning Safety Month

Alright, now that you know the basics of the storm survival guide, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the grocery list we would build for Lightning Safety Month. Feel free to mix and match based on your family’s preferences.

For Energy –

You’ll want high energy foods in your home to keep you and your family fueled. Examples of non-perishable foods that are a great source of energy include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Granola and power bars
  • Trail mixes

Pro Tip: Look for vacuum-packed containers, these prevent nuts and trail mixes from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

For Protein –

To keep your body strong and energized, you’ll need proteins. Our suggestions to pack on protein in a storm are:

  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey (these can last up to two years in the pantry!)
  • Canned or dried beans
  • Beef or turkey jerky
  • Hard, packaged sausages such as pepperoni and sopressata
  • Canned vegetables

For Filling Fiber –

You’ll want to keep high-fiber foods on hand to curb hunger. Beans and certain granola bars do a great job filling in here as well, but other options include:

  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers
  • Cereals (aim for individually packaged cereals to avoid product going stale!)
  • Dried fruit, such as apricots and raisins
  • Individual oatmeal packs

For Snacks –

During a storm, we could all use a snack or two to calm us down. Unfortunately, most of our go-to comfort foods offer little to nothing in terms of nutritional support. But, take a look at some of these options:

  • Dried fruit (great for a quick snack!)
  • Individual cereal boxes
  • Chocolate pudding (many brands are non-perishable!)
  • Apple sauce
  • Citrus fruits (can last up to two weeks without refrigeration!)
  • Hard candies

To Round Out the Meal –

You might be curious how all of these items can make a whole meal. No worries, these are the items you’ll need to turn your non-perishables into a yum-worthy dinner:

  • Canned soup
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Whole-grain uncooked rice
  • Spices, including sugar, salt, and pepper
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams (these can last up to one month when stored in a cool, dark area!)

Pro Tip: With pasta and sauce, you’re half way to a great meal. Add in some of your hard sausage for a tasty dish. Or, use a soup such as cream of mushroom in place of sauce. Combining various pastas or rice with fun soup flavors can create delicious casseroles that are also filling.

For Calcium –

No fridge means no milk, and for many, that means no calcium. While there’s a mixed verdict on the taste, powdered milk is a great option to add calcium and vitamin D into your diet when you’re in a pinch.

For Beverages –

Keep at least three day’s worth of water for everyone in your family in the house. Staying hydrated is incredibly important, especially when you’re missing out on the foods that typically add some water into your diet. Also consider keeping sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, on hand to rehydrate and replenish.

Shop smarter, not harder, this storm season! Download the free Basket app today to prepare your storm essentials Shopping List, and discover where you can purchase the necessities for you and your family at the cheapest price near you!


storm survival guide infographic