Power outages can happen at any time throughout the year – whether you’re dealing with winter weather that’s iced down power lines, or you’re contending with tropical storm weather during hurricane season.
Regardless of the season, if you think there’s a chance that the power could go out, it’s a good idea to be proactive. Don’t get caught in the dark! The following are some helpful things to keep in mind.
Food Prep Before the Power Cuts Out
#1 – Freeze it!
Freeze things that you would normally refrigerate (milk, meat, etc.). Why? In the event of a power outage, the thawing process will buy you some time. You may also want to keep a bag of ice in your freezer as an added precaution.
Bagged ice has many uses, including staving off the less-than-favorable side effects of perishable food items that start to thaw. You can also add ice to insulated coolers.
Keep food items grouped close together in the freezer to help them stay cold longer. Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer unless necessary.
#2 – Fry all of the bacon!
Expecting a snow storm or hurricane? Break out the bacon! While you still have power in your house, cook the bacon ahead of time. Once bacon is cooked, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and it can be consumed in a variety of ways. Enjoy a BLT, or crumble bacon bits over a salad…or just eat it as a snack.
#3 – Boil eggs.
Boil some eggs ahead of time. Avoid peeling the eggs; it’ll help them stay fresh longer. Store them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. You can use boiled eggs on sandwiches or salads, or you can just eat them plain. Best of all? Eggs are protein-rich and good for you!
#4 – Stock up on non-perishable food items in your pantry.
See our “Pantry List” of must-have items below.
#5 – Know the temperature.
If your food has spent more than four hours at more than 40º Fahrenheit, don’t eat it. As long as frozen foods have ice crystals or are cool to the touch, they’re still safe.
Must-Have Pantry Items
- Peanut butter
- Olive Oil
- Canned veggies
- Dried beans
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit
- Bottled water
- Powdered/Evaporated milk
- Canned soup
- Jarred baby food
- Disposable plates/silverware (makes cleanup easier)
- Can opener
*A Note About Water*
If your home uses a septic system, be sure to fill up a bathtub with water, and have a bucket handy. You’ll then have plenty of water to add to your tank so that you can flush the toilet.
Easy, No-Cook Recipes to Try
The following are some easy recipes to try the next time the power goes out. These do not require any baking or electricity!
Use soft tortillas filled with canned meat, a touch of mustard or mayo, and veggies from the fridge. [source]
Tuna, White Bean, and Red Onion Salad
Place beans in large bowl. Add tuna and onion; drizzle with oil. Toss gently to combine. Season with salt and generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. [source]
Layer tortilla chips with canned cheese sauce (or cold shredded cheese), jarred salsa, sour cream, canned pickled jalapeños, and some chopped deli meat like chicken, turkey, or bologna. [source]
Avocado Tuna Salad
Combine mashed avocado, canned tuna, celery, and red onion as the base; then get creative with add-ins that you have on hand, such as: chopped apple, walnuts, dill, Dijon mustard, cumin, and pickle juice. [source]
- Food Safety | FoodSafety.gov
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