We were 4 days in this situation this week due to Hurricane Ike, and 5 days due to Hurricane Gustav last week. First of all, know what you want from the fridge, retrieve it quickly, and close the door to keep the cold in. Secondly, make room on the middle shelf of your fridge to put a plastic container. I used a basin that came from my husband's last trip to the hospital, but you could use a gallon ice cream container or just a large mixing bowl. Fill it with ice cubes, and as the ice melts, replenish it. Save the water from the melted cubes to put in your toilet tank if you also have no water. This will enable you to flush the toilet. The ice kept my fridge at 40 degrees for the entire 4 days, so I didn't have any food spoilage.
By Harlean from AR
sorry to hear about you getting Hurricane Ike.
Good tip for those to use during outages!
Good idea. Plus if you know the storm might be coming your way, you can freeze a huge block of ice in the same hospital container or a couple of empty plastic milk 'jugs'. Another idea....fill one bathtub up with water use this for flushing toilets, washing, drinking, etc.
Your ideas about ice only work if you have moved all frozen food to the fridge or have nothing but ice in your freezer. Otherwise, you will speed up the defrosting of your frozen foods with opening and closing the door in addition to the removal of the ice.
BEFORE the storm hits you should fill up several gallon jugs you've saved from old milk or juice containers with water. More depending on the size of your family so you have adequate drinking, bathing and flushing waters for at least 4-5 days. Figure on a few gallons per person. Don't forget to include pets in your head counts!
Also, BEFORE the storm hits, put ALL of your freezer packs into your freezer and make as much ice as possible, rotating your trays as quickly as you can. Then you're prepared to help keep your essentials safely cool for at least a few days. Organize your fridge and freezer before the storm so you know exactly where everything is and can grab things quickly. Keep the foods loaded with preservatives (if you have any) towards the back so you use up the fresh and more easily perishable foods first.
People always run to the store and fight over the last can of pineapple before a storm but they seldom prepare adequately.
Saving the jugs costs you nothing and if the storm isn't that bad; use the water for your garden, etc instead of throwing down the sink especially if you're in a drought prone area.
In the spirit of preparation, you should also make certain you have adequate candles, matches and batteries/flashlights. I'm more of a fan of candles as there is no toxic waste produced from batteries which people rotate just to "be safe". It's also much cheaper and can double as a helpful fire starter if you have a fireplace or BBQ you need to use for cooking.
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