What Will New Yorkers Be Eating As Hurricane Irene Passes Over?
A Special Scouting NY Eyewitness Report! – Updated!

What do New Yorkers eat during crisis situations? A fascinating question.

While I was hoping to avoid supermarkets due to the hordes of New Yorkers snatching up every last item like the apocalypse is at hand, my Saturday night Hurricane Irene Survival Fiesta unfortunately necessitated a trip to not one but two local groceries. Here’s what I learned:


Water was in abundant supply, which surprised me, as everyone I know seems to have picked up a few gallons of spring water. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that at least 40% of Maine’s Poland Spring reservoir is now located in apartment closets throughout New York. Milk supplies were about half depleted:


However, if there’s one thing New Yorkers love during Category 2 hurricanes, it’s bread. Literally, every single bag of bread, from white to wheat to 7-grain to raisin cinnamon swirl, had vanished, with nary a hot dog bun to be found. A lone can of Pringles listed by like a tumbleweed in the wind.


Even the fresh baked bread was completely gone. However, if there’s one thing New Yorkers do NOT like during hurricanes, it’s those pastry things in the upper right hand corner. Even at $1.39, no crisis is apparently bad enough to stomach these:


The second most depleted item was chips and dip. Nothing beats watching CNN’s Roland Emmerich-approved 3D depictions of water converging on the city while munching on Tostitos Lime-Flavored Scoops:


However, even in emergencies, New Yorkers will avoid Chester’s Butter-Flavored Puffcorn, even at the reasonable price of $2 a bag.


Of course, one of the American Red Cross’ most recommended additions to hurricane survival food reserves is Chobani Greek Yogurt:


Sadly, most New Yorkers missed the rush, and had to settle for second-tier brand La Yogurt:


While Russett potatoes were in reasonable stock, my grocery store had not anticipated New Yorkers’ love for Red Potatoes, with just two sorry spuds left. Sadly, New Yorkers also love avocados during hurricanes, which might put a dent in my 7-layer dip.


You know those Buitoni 10-minute ravioli meals? The kind that, no matter if you get 4-cheese, or chicken and prosciutto, or meat and Parmesan, all taste exactly the same? Gone!


When it comes to hurricane survival sweets, Chips Ahoy cookies were the runaway hit, with Oreos a close second. Triscuits were a reasonably popular healthy alternative, while Teddy Grahams were still readily available.


Plenty of Oscar Meyer bacon. Not so much Applegate All-Natural Organic Whole Thigh Meat Turkey Bacon.


Frozen pizza was flying off the shelves, with DiGiorno being the moneymaker (I was always a Mama Celeste guy myself):


Finally, there seems to have been a bizarre run on soy-based ice creams (note the Haagen-Dazs by comparison). However, as much as we all love to wolf down a pint as Irene’s eye finally passes over, the Coconut Bliss Gluten-Free option was flat out rejected by New York.


Beer was in reasonable supply:


Red Gatorade was a different story (New Yorkers despise blue and green):


I had to take a trip to the pharmacy to pick up additional corn chips, and had a look around. If the power goes out, New Yorkers always prefer to light the way with the scented delight of Colonial Candles:


Hurricane Irene has also made New Yorkers come to the realization that they are long overdue in buying contact solution:


Any splinters and paper cuts acquired during Hurricane Irene will have no chance of becoming infected after this run on rubbing alcohol.


Finally, for hurricane recreation, the only condom shortage was on 3-packs of “Magnum” and “Ribbed For Her Pleasure” options. Brooklyn women seem to be well taken care of for the storm.


More non-sensational Irene coverage coming soon.


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  1. I absolutely loved this post!
    I have not gone into my supermarket as of this time, but will by tomorrow afternoon… I hope there is some bread left! I already have my other necessities… tea, and sugar for it =P and some chocolate too =P
    Talk about balanced… NOT
    Let us hopw that it is not as bad as expected! (keeping fingers crossed!)

  2. LOL! Brilliant!

  3. i have an occasional beer or two and was wondering which brewskies are flying off the shelves? there’s nothing like getting “sauced” and physically experiencing the end of the world.

  4. This is fantastic. When we are promised a snow storm here in Michigan milk, bread, chips, etc also fly off the shelves. One question though how do you cook frozen pizza without any power, just askin.

  5. Great stuff, as always! Good luck from Paris, France! 🙂

  6. DELIGHTFUL post….@Marcia here in Virginia Beach…we cook frozen pizza on the grill…Better than brick oven…

  7. Even if the power goes out, you can cook pizza in a gas oven. One of the benefits of a gas oven! (you just need a long lighter)

    Love your posts Scout! (Noticed one of your locations used in a recent episode of White Collar)

  8. Fabulous post, Scout! Me, I stocked up on trail mix and peanut butter and apples, stuffed my freezer with bags of tap water, and cooked all the food in the fridge in case the power blows. And I did all my food buying on Thursday, so I wouldn’t have to deal with supermarket panic.

    Good luck and be safe, all my fellow NYers!

  9. That was too funny! Looking forward to more coverage as we new Yorkers are home waiting ….

  10. This is hilarious! “Those pastry things” are not worth stomaching, ever, but soy based ice cream over Haagen Daaz? Insanity!

  11. Best laugh of the day! I love the mental image I got of everyone else filling their carts in a panic as you leisurely photograph the empty shelves. The rain is starting to pour upstate. Our main concern is a blackout.We stocked up only on fruit and things that can be cooked on the gas grill. How do these silly people plan to keep their ice cream from melting?

  12. Thanks for the great report! wish there was more coverage like this on tv…..live on west coast, and all we hear about is live shots on empty streets.
    love your blog; get a feel for NYC without ever being able to get there (bucket list?)

  13. Also fun to compare what is open and what is not. Here on the UWS Trader Joe’s and Fairway – shut after yuppie panic storming. A few blocks away, Ghetto Grocery, has everything you could possibly want.

  14. Love this post! Hilarious that contact solution had a big run. But then I don’t wear contacts so there is clearly something I’m missing. Shocked that the real ice cream was still available. You rule!

  15. Gay men use condoms too.

  16. Vegans love their ice cream- through rain, sleet, storms, and hurricanes.

  17. I (not a cookie eater) was standing in the aisle this morning deciding between oreos and chips ahoy! Is it a childhood/nostalgia thing?? I got amusement from people manically grabbing whatever canned soups were left into their carts – can of New England Clam, anyone? @chefemilyp

  18. Even if the power goes out, you can cook pizza in a gas oven. One of the benefits of a gas oven!

    Sylvia Plath could tell you about another benefit.

  19. Just one thing. That Chester’s Cheese popcorn. SUCKS! Don’t buy it.

  20. scout, keep us updated (irene) but to the rest of those who enjoy this blog, scroll down and see the Best of NY blog and vote for scout.
    I do it every day (seriously)

  21. Scout, Hunker down buddy. I love this post. Have a Stella or two or maybe some Guinness, it’s just fine as it warms to room temp. Love the Poland Spring line. Why not run some of that great NY tap water into whatever containers hanging around? Too funny. This is the kind of thing that is not on CNN.
    You and Karen and the rest of the regulars be safe and I will see you after this thing blows over. I am in FL and we see this stuff all the time but it is always different every time too.
    For Peter, I was totally gassed by your comment.
    And yes I did vote again today. Vote early and vote often.

  22. hahahah this is awesome. it’s like a bird’s eye view into a New York crisis

  23. Ha ha, Greek yogurt won’t do much good if the refrigeration goes out, but you gotta love the tastes of New Yorkers. Nice round up!

  24. I have always thought those Buitoni flavors all taste the same as well! Hysterical! Love you blog and check it everyday.

  25. Clearly, you’ve never tried Chester’s Puffcorn.

  26. Brilliant!!

    Here’s how I stacked (stocked?) up against your list:
    3 pints Ciao Bella Triple Espresso gelato (no soy, no way!), on sale 1/2 price at D’Agostino
    Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn chips for
    Guacamole (home-made with cherry tomato, red pepper)
    Cabot’s cheddar cheese
    Crumbled blue cheese
    Mozzarella (from Joe’s Dairy on Sullivan St.)
    Prosciutto (from Pino’s on Sullivan St.)
    Amy’s tangy sourdough bread (to supplement the half loaf I already had)
    Carr’s water crackers
    Escolier 70% dark chocolate cookies
    1 Pint Horizon heavy cream (for whipping, to serve with home-made brownies)
    Chicken breasts (in case I didn’t have enough steak for my guests)
    Eggs (for baking brownies & possible hard-boiling in the event of black-out)
    Zucchini, mushrooms, onions, lemons, baby carrots
    Jar of artichoke hearts.

    Consumed last night (with 4 guests):
    Guac & chips, carrots
    Steak, zucchini, mushrooms, onions
    Cous cous (already on hand)
    Brownies with whipped cream
    A good deal of white and red wine (from guests)

    Note the emphasis on dairy, carbs, red meat, and avocado. And wine.

    Made my own filtered water & stored in pitchers so I didn’t have to lug up plastic bottles to my 5th floor aerie.

    Also, Frank Bruni of the NY Times just posted a recommendation to donate to your local foodbank any panic-induced foodstuffs bought for the hurricane

  27. Vote for Scout! You can vote Scout as being the best blog site/NYC
    by going to the right of his webpage. A “once” a day vote is permitted.
    C’mon everyone, if you like Scout, vote for the kid!

  28. made my night – hilarious!

  29. I was super amused by what was gone from grocery store shelves. Clearly most new yorkers haven’t had to deal with prolonged power outages, because I assure you guys, dairy products will not last that long without refrigeration, and yet everyone in line around me at the grocery store had either milk, butter, or eggs. My friend and I, southerners originally who’ve dealt with a couple of bad floods from hurricanes, stocked up on peanut butter, bread, crackers, apples, and bourbon. Basically you want crappy junk food. It lasts forever.

    And water. Because it’s not just for drinking, people. It’s for getting the toilets to flush when the power and water are out. Because when you live high up and the power is out, the water pumps don’t work.

  30. Thanks so much for the laugh! That was hilarious.

  31. Scones. Those pastry things are scones. And yes, leave them there on the shelf. gross.