Simple Ways To Keep Food Cold When The Power’s Out

Simple Ways To Keep Food Cold When The Power’s Out by: Tricia Drevets for Off the Grid News

Whether it’s the wind of a severe thunderstorm in the summer, the weight of an ice storm in the winter or even a traffic accident that takes down a power line, you can experience a power outage any time of year.

If you are like most people, one of the first things you think about when your power goes out is the food in your refrigerator and freezer. How long can your food safely last without power?

If possible, preparation and caution are two paths you should follow to protect your food supply. First, let’s look at preparation.

Preparation

Ensure that you have appliance thermometers in your fridge and your freezer. Your refrigerator should maintain a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. However, your freezer should be 0 degrees or lower.

If the weather forecast calls for severe storms, another way to prepare is by freezing quart-size plastic bags of water to use as makeshift ice packs in the event of a power failure. Fill the bags about three-fourths full of water and fit them around your frozen and refrigerated food to help keep them cold.

Another way to prepare for a power outage is by maintaining at least a three-day supply of ready-to-eat-food for your family.

Caution

When the power goes out, it is important to conserve the cold air that you do have in your appliances. Open the refrigerator and freezer doors as little as possible.

When kept closed, a refrigerator will keep food appropriately chilled for approximately four hours. A full freezer will keep foods frozen for about 48 hours, and a half-full freezer will do the same for 24 hours. If your freezer is not full, you can help things stay frozen by grouping them together.

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‘Off The Grid News’ is an independent, weekly email newsletter and website that is crammed full of practical information on living and surviving off the grid. Advice you’ll never hear from the mainstream media.