Once your neighborhood is plunged into darkness during a power outage you have to be wise with managing the resources inside of your home. Here are four tips for safely handling foods and medicines that require refrigeration, managing your home’s climate, and staying safe when temperatures are extreme.

During an Outage


Open your refrigerator and freezer doors as little as possible. The fridge can keep your items cool for about four hours. If your freezer is full it can maintain its temperature for approximately 48 hours. You can monitor your refrigerator and freezer temps using a thermometer. You may need to use coolers with ice to ensure that your most delicate food items stay sufficiently chilled. If needed, consume those foods first.


Don’t be tempted to use a gas stovetop or your oven to heat your residence during an outage. Also, avoid using generators, charcoal grills, or camp stoves inside of your home, since they are sources of carbon monoxide and can poison you and your family. This equipment should always be used outdoors and kept at a minimum of 20 feet from your windows. If the weather in your area is extremely cold or hot, seek a community location that has power. Be sure to check on your neighbors during an outage—seniors and children are especially compromised in extreme temperatures.


After Your Power Restores


Toss out any refrigerated food that has developed an unusual smell, color, or texture, or that was subjected to temps of 40 degrees or higher for two or more hours during the outage.


If your power was out for over a day, check the labels of any medications that required refrigeration to see if they’re still safe to use. You may need to consult with your physician or pharmacist to make a determination.

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