Preparing for a power outage and winter storm. Safe eating tips.
Feb 12, 2014
Linda Watson in cooking basics, emergency perparedness, food furing power outage, food safety, surviving winter storms

At any minute, I expect to lose electricity. The snow is drifting outside and coming down hard. Ice is on the way. Here's how I got ready for living without heat and electricity for several days. I hope this checklist can help you when a winter storm approaches. [Update: we only lost power for a few hours in 2014, but the first big storm of 2016, Jonas, is outside right now. I just packed the cooler shown below and am hoping for the best.]

cooler packed for winter storm

Plan for safety -- keep food out of the danger zone between 40˚ and 140˚F

Buy core necessities

Stay stocked up on these essentials if possible.

Make sure you have enough easy-to-eat food to get you through to normal

Before the storm hits, stock up on:

If you can, prepare other food so it's easy to eat

I have lots of dried beans, uncooked grains, and baking ingredients, but they won't help much if I can't heat them. Here's how I got ready for the storm, with the activities need the longest lead time first.

Inspect your refrigerator and freezer

Relax and enjoy!

If you do lose power, take a deep breath. Enjoy the glimpse of times not so far in the past. Check in on neighbors and others who might need help. If the storm continues, share what you have. Some of my favorite neighborhood memories come from our group cookouts after Hurricane Fran hit. This time, maybe a neighbor with a generator will give me hot coffee in exchange for some pesto and cake!

How do you prepare for storms? What experiences might others learn from?

Please share in the comments below. Good luck!

Article originally appeared on Cook for Good, home of Wildly Affordable Organic and Fifty Weeks of Green (
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