Written by Jen Laskey | Medically reviewed by Ed Zimney, MD
Before winter storm season begins is the best time to prepare to eat healthfully in blizzards, nor’easters, snowstorms, and other extreme winter weather. If you haven’t planned ahead, it’s not too late to put together an extreme-weather healthy eating kit.
Big winter snowstorms, like nor’easters and blizzards, bring on extreme cold, major snow accumulation, and other immobilizing conditions. Winter storm experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Red Cross recommend being prepared and taking measures to stay safe and healthy during blizzards and other winter storms.
In addition to dressing appropriately for the weather, experts recommend stocking up on disaster supplies: flashlights, batteries, candles, waterproof matches, a radio, a first-aid kit, sand or rock salt for icy walkways, a snow shovel, and extra blankets. However, your most crucial disaster supplies will be your food, water, and any prescription medications you, your family, or your pets need. Even if your home doesn’t suffer any storm damage, you could have trouble getting to the supermarket, pharmacy, or doctor during extreme winter weather conditions.
Healthy Meal Plans in Extreme Winter Snowstorms
A bad snowstorm or blizzard doesn’t have to derail your regular healthy eating regimen. As soon as you hear a winter storm warning, start stocking up on emergency water and healthy, shelf-stable and frozen foods that your family will enjoy. Be sure to pay special attention to the diet-specific needs of family members with health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, celiac disease(gluten sensitivity), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
It is essential for people with health conditions like these to pay attention to their diets during winter storms. Diabetics must stay on a regular eating schedule to keep their blood sugar stable and people with high blood pressure must remember to stick with low- or no-sodium canned goods and packaged foods — not the high-sodium prepared foods that are typically set aside for times when the electricity goes out.