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Emergency Management Updates

Posted on: January 2, 2019

Keep Food Safe When the Power Goes Out

Freezer full of food.

If the power goes out as the result of a storm, it might be a few hours or a few days before power is restored. One of the most important safety issues when the power goes out is how to handle refrigerated food. In the event of a power outage, residents are encouraged do the following:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep the inside cold.
  • A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Use coolers with ice if needed, and monitor refrigerator and freezer temperatures with thermometers.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Throw away any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more.

Don’t forget about refrigerated medicine. If power is out for more than a day, throw away any medication that needs refrigeration unless the label says otherwise. Check with your doctor or pharmacy to find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures before a disaster.

For more tips to keep food safe during a power outage, visit Ready.gov/Power-Outages.

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