Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last that long. As you stock food, take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Familiar foods are important. They lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of distress. Try to include foods that they will enjoy and that are also high in calories and nutrition. Additionally, make sure to purchase food that requires no refrigeration, water, special preparation, nor cooking.
- Cans or little individual serving cups of fruit: apple sauce, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, pineapple, etc.
- Fruit juices that require no refrigeration: tomato, V-8, grape, apple, etc.
- Granola bars or any individually packaged snack bars
- Peanut butter and crackers
- Dried fruits: bananas, apricots, raisins, etc.
- Canned meats: tuna, chicken breast, ham (include a manual can opener)
- Canned milk or milk in laminated paper cartons (6 month shelf life)
- Cereal and/or cereal bars
- Nuts: cashews, peanuts, mixed
- Cookies, chips and other favorite snacks
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot—a dark area if possible
- Open food boxes and other re-sealable containers carefully so that you can close them tightly aftere ach use
- Wrap perishable foods, such as cookies and crackers, in plastic bags and keep them in sealed containers
- Empty open packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw-top jars or air-tight canisters for protection from pests
- Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use
- Throw out canned goods that become swollen, dented, or corroded
- Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies, dated with ink or marker. Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in front
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened
- Refrigerators should be kept at 40° F or below for proper food storage
Refrigerated Food AFTER Power is Restored
- Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer
- If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40° F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen
- If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook
- Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible
- Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more