Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of food-borne illness.

Steps to Follow to Prepare for a Weather Emergency:

Use appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer to help determine if food is safe during power outages. Refrigerator temperature should be 40° F or lower and the freezer should be 0° F or lower.
Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, fresh meat, and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case of power outage. You can also use melted ice for drinking water.
Purchase or make ice cubes and freeze gel packs in advance.
Plan ahead and know where to purchase block ice and dry ice, just in case.
Have coolers on hand to keep the refrigerator food cold in case the power is out for more than 4 hours

If the Power Goes Out:

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you keep the door closed.
A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full)
If the power is out for an extended period of time, buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.