No Power? No Problem.

A friend who depends on her microwave and stove for all things nourishing asked me to help her with a shopping list of emergency preparedness foods. She lives in an apartment, so doesn’t have a barbecue grill. If there’s a serious quake or power black-out, she might be in trouble.

picture of salad with avocados, pecans, chicken, lettuce, et al.
Chicken Salad with Wild Rice, by Kathy Maister (flickr)

The most obvious answer I could offer is to start emptying her refrigerator and make salads, but delicate fresh greens aren’t something you can put into your storage box for long. Thankfully, salads come in many forms: in a big bowl, chopped up, between bread, in a wrap, chopped into a big soup (gazpacho comes to mind), and mixed with all kinds of ingredients.

On the storage front, I opened a can of tomatoes from Costco recently that was a couple of months old. It was clear from the oddly metallic taste that the can hadn’t been coated with anything to prevent the acid from combining with the metal can. Ick. Watch for cans that have a vegetable shellack or other coating if they’re going into storage.

This took some thought. Here’s my starter kit for her:

  • Rice noodles (they soak into readiness) – several packages
  • Pre-cooked rice (Trader Joe’s has this) – a few packages
  • Cans of tuna, chicken, salmon, or other meats
  • Cans of different kinds of cooked beans – they go well in salads and many other dishes
  • Cans or glass bottles of various vegetables, including pickled (any that do not require refrigeration)
  • a couple boxes of protein bars, and several packages of nuts and dried fruits
  • Several cases of water

I’d love to hear from others about what’s in your food kit. I know some of you will suggest rations and camping foods. Those are great suggestions and I wonder if they’re practical for people who have never camped or seen a ration. Unless they’re hungry enough…


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