Power outages are a major risk with any emergency situation. For those living in high risk hurricane areas, preparation for blackouts is critical as these storms bring high winds and possible flash flooding. There are many ways you can prepare for a power outage. One critical aspect of preparation is food and water, and how to have enough during emergency situations.
While it’s best to stock up on non-perishable items when preparing for a hurricane, people in affected areas are bound to have food in their refrigerators as well. Here are some suggestions from the US Department of Agriculture on how to protect the food in your fridge and freezer for as long as possible if you experience a power outage.
Group food close together in the freezer to keep it cold.
Keep the fridge/freezer doors closed as much as possible. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
Have ice packs and coolers handy to store food if the power is out for more than 4 hours.
Make your own ice packs by freezing water in plastic storage bags or small containers. They are small enough to fit in around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold and won’t make a mess when the ice melts. Don’t fill them too full. Because water expands when it freezes, the bags might split. Make extra ice at home.
Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Place frozen meat and poultry on a tray so that if they begin thawing, their juices will not drip on other foods.
Have a backup power supply ready. Solar generators like Point Zero Energy’s HomeGrid 5000HD will power your fridge and freezer for several days without sun.
For more information on food safety during storms and hurricanes, visit https://www.usda.gov/