Best food to get you through a natural disaster

Cyclone Cook is bearing down on the country but with sufficient preparation, life can be made a little easier by packing the right food.

Authorities have advised the public to prepare emergency food supplies and stockpiles ahead of what is expected to be New Zealand's worst storm since the 1960s.

Civil Defence says you should store at least three days of food that is easily accessible in case you have to evacuate.

Here is a list of foods that you should consider stockpiling ahead of Cyclone Cook:

  • Ready to eat canned meats such as chicken and tuna, fruits and vegetables;
  • canned soup and milk;
  • peanut butter, jams and energy bars to keep energy levels high;
  • comfort foods like lollies, bars and biscuits - keeping morale high can make the world of difference in disaster situations;
  • dried foods such as raisins but watch for fruits with high salt content;
  • whole-grains cereals like oatmeal;
  • instant meals like cups of noodles or soups, but they'll need boiled water;
  • water for drinking and washing - Civil Defence recommend a minimum three litres per day, per person.

Quick tips to remember are

  • Don't pack salty foods because they will make you thirsty.
  • Don't pack foods in heavy packaging like glass.
  • The likes of pasta require preparation and cooking time which could prove difficult in a disaster situation.

Civil Defence also advises if power is cut to your property, use as much of your perishable foods as possible first.

If possible, they also say it is helpful to put together a two-week stockpile in case stores, supermarkets or providers close, cutting off your food supply.

Already, boil water notices have been issued for parts of the Bay of Plenty due to the risk of contamination from flood waters.