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Barbara Burke

Health Options

By Joannie Dobbs & Alan Titchenal

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

What to buy for
storm survival kits

Amid the buzz of summer activities, it's easy to forget that July, August, and September are among our most active hurricane months. When an approaching storm becomes reality, last-minute assembly of survival kits becomes a reality too.

The most common question heard from people shopping for Daniel was, "Do you think that this is enough?"

Shoppers want to keep from buying too much or too little and want to know if they're buying the right types of foods.

The goal is to obtain foods that do not require cooking and that contain relatively high concentrations of nutrients and calories in the smallest space possible. Most perishable foods should be in small shelf-safe containers since consuming unrefrigerated leftovers could cause illness. Most importantly, adequate water is needed from foods and fluids plus water for daily hygiene.

Here are the basics for estimating food needs:

1. Allow 50 to 60 grams of protein per person per day. Canned meats, fish, beans, nuts, and boxed or powdered milk are good sources of protein. Fortified soy milk products and "meal" or "sports" bars can be good sources of protein and other nutrients.

2. Meet daily calorie needs. A small inactive female may require 1,500 calories, whereas an active teenager may need 4,000 calories. Generally, calorie requirements are between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per person per day. Crackers, dried fruits like raisins, and individually packaged fruit juices are relatively good sources of calories.

3. Decide how many days you want your food supply to last, based on the size and strength of the storm.

4. Water needs can be estimated from calorie requirements. For each 1,000 calories consumed, a person needs 1 to 1.5 liters of water. Many foods, like canned fruits and vegetables, contain substantial amounts of water. Also, hot weather can increase water needs. Very young and very old people may need more water.

5. Consider dietary requirements of individuals with medical conditions like diabetes.

A typical 2,000 calorie diet could be as follows:

Bullet Breakfast: 3/4 cup Total Cereal (100 percent calcium fortified) with 1/2 cup canned fruit cocktail plus juice and 2 tablespoons peanuts. Nutrients provided: about 7 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 250 calories.
Bullet Lunch: 15 crackers plus 7 teaspoons peanut butter. Add 12 fluid ounces canned fruit juice or soda. Nutrients provided: about 12 grams protein, 30 grams fat, 600 calories,
Bullet Dinner: 7-ounce can tuna in water (do not drain) mixed with an 8-ounce can of creamed corn and a dash of Tabasco sauce or a sprinkle of seasoning (like Noh's). Nutrients provided: about 50 grams protein, 5 grams fat, and 400 calories.
Bullet Snacks: Another 750 calories from a variety of foods. Here are foods in quantities that equal 150 calories: 12 fluid ounces fruit juice, soda, or canned Thai coffee, 4 tablespoons raisins or dried fruit, 2-3 cookies (30 grams), 5-10 crackers (15 grams), 1 prepackaged already prepared pudding.

Other things to remember: can opener, unbreakable cups and bowls, utensils, bleach, paper towels, plastic bags, low-level vitamin mineral supplements, prescription drugs, caffeine pills for the coffee-holics, sugar-free gum for cleaning teeth and a sense of humor or at least some chocolate.

Health Events

Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.

Alan Titchenal, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a sports nutritionist in the
Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Science,
University of Hawaii-Manoa.

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