I don’t know if you have been affected by the devastating wild fires in Colorado or the strong storms that swept across 11 states leaving, 2 million customers without power, but it reminded me that it was time to review how to be prepared for an emergency when you are gluten-free. We were fortunate enough not to lose power, but I can’t say the same for many in our area. We were hit with 80 mph winds on Friday evening during rush hour. Hannah warned me that we shouldn’t go out, that we should cancel our dinner with a friend. I assured her that it was only a thunderstorm and that they are usually very short in the summer. While I was right about one part, it was much more than a simple thunderstorm. According to the news, the type of storm that hit us, and several states to the East of us, is called a “Derecho”.
I was unaware as we ventured out that we would soon be hit with strong winds and hurricane-like rains. Hannah begged me to turn the van around, but I opted instead to pull into the parking lot of a fire station and ride it out. I wanted to make sure we were not in the line of any falling trees or power lines. To be completely honest, it was one of the scariest moments, where I was definitely questioning what in the heck I had been thinking when we went out. Of course I had to put on a brave face for Hannah, which was not easy.
After the storm was over, we went on our way to meet my friend for dinner. We had planned on going to Mimi’s Café, but upon arriving they had no power. Plan B was to try Molly Woo’s Asian Bistro, which happened to be right around the corner. They, too, had no power. It seems that most establishments in the area were without power, including the shopping mall. We did finally find one restaurant, Marcella’s, that had power and they were able to seat us right away. I informed them that they were about to get really busy, as it didn’t appear that anyone else had power and the streets were filled with cars that were going no where fast.
As it turns out, there are still hundreds of thousands of people without power here in Ohio and across some of the Eastern states. While some residents in larger cities may be able to depend on restaurants that have power to feed them, those in smaller towns without power may be getting to a point where they could be in trouble.
The events of the past week bring up some very important things to remember, especially if you have to follow a special diet. I wrote an article two years ago about about emergency kits, but will outline some of the most important items below:
There are checklists available here to outline the most important items to have on hand. Included in the link above are basic lists and then suggested additions. A three day supply is suggested for food and water. Make sure to take into account that water is per person. If you have pets, do not forget to plan ahead for them.
Here are some basic gluten-free food items that can be included in an emergency kit:
- Lara Bars, Pure Bars, Zing Bars or other fruit/nut bar
- Canned meat – tuna and salmon are good choices
- Canned beans – good source of protein/carbs
- Non-perishable, pasteurized milk (Horizon Organic makes individual boxes)
- Gluten-free crackers
- Gluten-free cereal
- Peanut Butter (other nut butters are good, too, but some need to be kept in the refrigerator)
- Dried fruit
- Go Picnic meals
If you have any tips that you would like to add, or questions that we can help with, please use the comments form below.