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Hurricane season 2021: How do you prep food in a hurricane?

Hurricane season 2021: How do you prep food in a hurricane?

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A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours if the power goes out, but keep the door closed as much as possible.

A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours if the power goes out, but keep the door closed as much as possible. (Andrey Popov/Dreamstime/TNS)

As hurricane season draws near, it’s time to check and double check your food and water supplies.

Keep the following in mind:

Hurricane food prep by the numbers

– 1 gallon water per person per day (don’t forget pets!). Don’t forget - Your tap water is still safe to drink, it’s only dicey after a power outage. Fill clean pitchers and water bottles now. Also, you can fill freezer bags with water and freeze them ahead of time. Just let them thaw in a water pitcher for clean drinking water.

– 3-7 days worth of food for each person (again - don’t forget pets! Cat parents - grab extra kitty litter).

Hurricane food safety by the numbers

– 4 hours: the amount of time a refrigerator will keep food cold.

– 24 hours: the amount of time a half-full freezer will hold its temperature.

– 48 hours: the amount of time a full freezer will hold its temperature.

– 40 degrees and below: the temperature a freezer item should still be at to be refrozen. If it still has ice crystals, it’s also safe.

A few more food safety tips

– Don’t taste a food to determine if it’s gone bad. If you’re unsure of it, throw it out.

– Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

Food items to store

– Tough-skinned fruits and vegetables: Citrus, carrots, apples, avocados, etc. Wash and dry them before the storm.

– Protein rich foods: Peanut butter, protein bars, unsalted nuts, trail mix, beans, etc.

– Smoked or dried meats and hard cheeses. (Nonperishable and goes well with a glass of wine!)

– Instant drinks: Shelf-stable milk, instant coffee and tea.

– Comfort foods: Cookies, hard candy, chips, crackers etc.

– Canned items: Meats, fruits (in juice), vegetables, soups, stews and chilis

– Condiments: You’re going to need them to spice up those canned vegetables! Snag some hot sauces, mustard, oil, and vinegar.

Gather and clean cooking tools

A manual can opener, appliance thermometer, pans or sheets that can be used on a grill, oven mitts, matches, cooking tools, grill fuel, moist towelettes, paper towels, gel fuel such as Sterno, a grill light or flashlight designated for cooking, pet food, paper plates and plastic utensils.

Post-storm grilling tips

– Never use a grill inside a house.

– Make sure your grill is a few feet from your home and far away from awning overhangs, plants, etc. Never leave it unattended - especially around small children or pets.

– Use only approved accelerant fuels for charcoal fires - NOT gasoline.

– Charcoal briquettes need about 48 hours to cool before they’re thrown out. Soak the charcoal in water before tossing.

Omaha World-Herald: Inspired Living

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