[Valid Atom 1.0]

Friday, January 25, 2013

How to deal with a long power outage

This image is Public Domain
Dealing with a short power outage can be fun.  Dealing with a power outage of days or more is not fun.  Being gluten free it will be harder for me than it will be for others since gluten free food has a very short shelf life outside of a freezer.  However, there are steps to help you during a long power outage.  Quite simply we are not prepared at my house for a long haul.  However, I can go without gluten free products and be very careful about what I eat.

The truth is I could probably last years without power, I may go nuts, but I am used to roughing it.  I can grow my own food, I know how to handle animals, I am good with a firearm, I can fish, hunt, swim, dig, Make my own candles, butter, cook on a wood or pellet stove or even over an open fire.  and can even make my own power for light bulbs for a short period of time, I am also aware of how to make solar powered radios, So in the long term I am probably good without power for years, although I really like modern comforts.  

Here are some tips for to help those people that may have a long power outage (a couple of days or even a week).  This is also for those people that are currently under severe weather advisories like our location, a good way for you to be prepared.   

This image is public Domain
What do I do after an outage?
Do not open the refrigerator or freezer. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold enough for a couple of hours at least. A freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours. If it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2-4 hours, pack refrigerated milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, gravy, stuffing and left-over’s into a cooler surrounded by ice. If it looks like the power outage will be prolonged, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.

What do I need?
One or more coolers: Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers can do an excellent job as well.
 Shelf-stable foods, such as canned goods and powdered or boxed milk
A digital quick-response thermometer: With these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food for Safety.

What should be discarded after a power outage?
As soon as the power returns, check temperatures. If the food in the freezer has ice crystals and is not above 40 degrees you can refreeze. Perishable foods in the refrigerator should not be above 40 degrees F. for more than two hours.

What if I go to bed and the power is still off?
Before you go to bed, pack your perishables into your coolers if you haven't already done so and put in as much ice as you can. Also, when you go to bed, leave a bedroom light switched on. When the power goes back on, it will wake you, so you can check the condition of your foods in the freezer.

What if the power goes out while I’m at work or out of the house and it has been more than a few hours before I get home?
Try to determine how long the power has been out. Check the internal temperature of the food in your refrigerator with your quick-response thermometer. A liquid such as milk or juice is easy to check. Spot check other items like steaks or left-over’s also. If the internal temperature is above 40 degrees, it is best to throw it out.

What if the power goes out and comes back on while I am out?
If your freezer is fairly full and you know it was not longer than 24 hours, the food should be OK. There will be loss of quality with refreezing, but the food will be safe. If the refrigerator was out for more than 2-4 hours, you are best to discard the perishables.

Question of the hour!

What would you do during a longer power outage?


  1. We always have a kit ready in the closet with flashlights, batteries, candles, radio, etc... We also own a generator! Great tips!

  2. e have them here all the time too! Lots of great ideas that I had not even thought of! Great Review! thank you!

  3. I think we are prepared for a long power outage, I just hope it doesn't happen! :)