Staying Healthy When The Power Goes Out

Staying Healthy when the power goes out

Any perishable food kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours is likely unsafe to eat. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that, in the event that you lose power, you know what temperature your food is and can tell what’s safe, and what’s not. The freezer should stay below 0 degrees, and the fridge below 40.  The freezer should stay safe for about a day (maybe two), while the fridge will likely stay below 40 degrees for only a few hours.

Once the thermometer goes above the recommended temperature, avoid eating any dairy products, meat, fish, poultry or eggs. Throw away items that have been compromised.

2. Stock up on dry goods.
Without power, the safest way to cook is, well, without cooking at all. Stock up on healthy dry goods — crackers with nonperishable dips and spreads, fruits and vegetables, canned beans and tuna, and nuts to snack on so that you can keep up your energy even when hot meals are unavailable.

The Mayo Clinic suggests stocking up on condiments, particularly those that are vinegar-based and have a long shelf life, such as ketchup, mustard and soy sauce.

Keep canned protein such as chicken, salmon, beans and peanut butter on hand, the clinic recommends, and keep boxes of powdered milk or shelf-stable milk cartons handy. Also, don't forget a manual can opener.

Again from the Mayo Clinic



  • *Grandma Helen’s Energy Bars

  • Whole Grain Fruit & Nut Cereal

  • 8 oz fat-free milk

  • Citrus Fruit Cup

  • Lunch

    • *Tom’s Tasty Tuna Salad on Whole

    • Wheat Pita Bread

    • Side: Green Peas

    • Pineapple Fruit Cup


    • *Uncle Bob’s

    • Black Bean and

    • Corn Salad

    • Tacos

    • Sides: Ready-to-Eat Rice, Salsa

    Evening Snack

    • * Paula’s (Not Dean) Petite Pears

    • with Rosemary Sugar

    DAY 2


    • *Little Noah’s Vanilla

    • Pudding Parfait

    • Instant Breakfast Ready-to-

    • Drink, Chocolate

    • Lunch

    *Nephew Peter’s Peanut Butter

    • and Jelly Sushi Rolls

    • Side: Pea Crisps

    • Peach Fruit Cup

    • Dinner

    • *Reggie’s Chopped Barbeque

    • Chicken Salad on Flat Bread


    • *Aunt Bernice’s Balsamic

    • Carrot Salad


    Evening Snack

    • *Sheri’s Easy Cranapple Pie

    DAY 3

    • Breakfast

    • *Granny Smith’s Apple

    • Quesadilla

    • 8 oz fat-free

      • milk


    • *Charlie’s Chicken Salad on

    • Flatbread

    • Sides: Green Peas, Pretzels

    • Fruit Gel Cup

    • Dinner

    • Lemon and Dill Salmon Steak

    • *Nana Rose’s Marinated Green

    • Beans and Mushrooms

    • Evening Snack

    • *Debi’s Chocoholic

    • Peanut Butter Pie

    • *Please see recipe handout



    3. You can never have too much water.

    When bad weather hits, tap water sources are likely to be contaminated, making them unsafe to drink or bathe in. Plus, the pumps that carry water through buildings often stop working (due to power outages). Stock up on bottled water, and fill the bathtub with water before the storm hits to keep hydrated and clean4

    4. Learn it now: Antibacterial wipes are our friends.
    When running water isn’t available, it’s important to have a way to keep clean (especially when preparing food). Keep some wipes on hand in case you’re unable to wash up.

    5. And of course, don’t forget the alcohol: Red wine or beer can actually be good for you — so take this as an opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy a healthful drink by candlelight! (Just make sure to choose a healthier brew if you’re going to be stuck inside for more than a few hours…)


    This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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