Before SHTF, make sure you have backup power for your appliances, especially your fridge and freezer. Otherwise, your perishables can spoil.
Ideally, the bulk of your food supply won't require refrigeration. That way, if you lose power in your neighborhood, you'll only have to attend to a fraction of your stockpile.
One way to prevent food spoilage for the items in your fridge and freezer is to have a generator. When the lights go out, start your generator and plug in your appliances.
Without electricity or a cold source, food in refrigerators and freezers may become unsafe to consume. Bacteria in food will rapidly multiply at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F. Eating these foods can make you very sick.
If thawed food is still “refrigerator cold,” it can still be eaten. If it still contains ice crystals, you can re-freeze it. Otherwise, dispose of food properly.
If the power goes out, keep these tips in mind to avoid food poisoning:
The foods in the list below are generally safe to store at room temperature for one to two days.
The minute the power comes back, check the temperature inside your fridge and freezer. Get rid of anything that has been above 40 degrees F for two hours or more, like the following items:
To keep your fridge cold, keep it full. Fill extra space in your freezer with gallon milk jugs or two-liter bottles mostly full of clean water.
If the jugs or bottles burst, discard them. The ones that don't burst will help keep food frozen in your freezer, or you can use them to turn a section of your fridge into an ice-box. (Related: Food storage tips and tricks for preppers.)
If you've been warned ahead of time about incoming events (e.g., a hurricane, etc.), stock up on dry ice so you can keep food fresh even during a longer-term power outage. With dry ice, you can make perishable food last several days.
When using dry ice, follow these safety tips:
Follow proper food storage guidelines to protect your stockpile even when SHTF and you experience a long-term power outage in your neighborhood.