Where Food Meets Nourishment
Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Gluten-free in a Natural Disaster

Sandy has been a big wake up call to me, in part because it was supposed to do much more damage here, too. It’s 2 weeks out and the area where I grew up is still without power, and much of NY and NJ are in the same boat.

Now, obviously many people have suffered a lot of loss and inconvenience. But what about g-free folks? Most of the food at shelters or evacuations sites is probably not gluten-free. It’s a great time to plan ahead & investing in your future comfort and health NOW. After all, it seems like we’ve been having once a century storms about once a year, so the odds are it will come in handy.

Do you have a 3-day food supply as FEMA recommends? And what if you had to make it 2 weeks? I’d have enough food for 5 days because I have latent squirrel genes, but 2 weeks would be pushing it.

Here are some ideas. Some require hot water or a manual can opener.

Ready to go meals:

These require heating:


  • Cold cereal—So many to choose from!
  • Just hot add water G-free oatmeal packs
  • Ready to eat rice, wild rice and quinoa packets, such as Seeds of Change (no gluten-ingredients used), Trader Joe’s, etc. Caution on Uncle Ben’s—some contain wheat.


Sanity savers:

  • Gluten-free chocolate
  • Cookies—consider stashing a 2 pack of a gluten-free brand, like Pamela’s, Enjoy Life, etc.
  • Hot cocoa
  • Tea


It’s also worthwhile to think about

  • water
  • medications
  • food for your furry, feathered or finned friends
  • other necessities. 

A camp stove, matches, a sterno, generator, etc. will come in handy, too. For other, more general preparedness resources please see the FEMA website.

And, of course, my sympathy for everyone directly involved in this disaster.

PS—The NY region still needs help. Please consider donating if you are so inclined!

One Comment on “Gluten-free in a Natural Disaster”

  1. […] I’ve worked in many a foodbank over the years, and would absolutely love to see a foodbank with a g-free pantry in the DC area. Celiac doesn’t discriminate—there are many people at need who need to be gluten-free, too. And there’s also nothing like enlightened self-interest. We may not think of ourselves as someone who would use a foodbank, but if a natural disaster strikes, that can change suddenly, as many people learned after Sandy. […]

Leave a Reply