Now is the time to get prepared before the threat of a storm.
Listed below are some quick-to-prepare canned foods that do not need to be cooked or refrigerated before opening. You can store all canned foods for up to one year without loss of quality. Freeze-dried and dehydrated items, if kept dry, can be stored indefinitely. In addition to food, stock at least 10 gallons of drinking water - enough to reconstitute at least four quarts of dry milk per day for at least a week - and for other drinking purposes.
FOODS TO AVOID
Any of the following foods that have been without refrigeration for two hours or more should be avoided:
Meat, poultry, seafood Cooked vegetables Foods made with cream sauces or mayonnaise Cream cheese Cottage cheese Milk, Custard, Cream Pie Home-cooked vegetables unless they can be boiled for 10 minutes after opening (20 minutes for spinach and corn) Melted ice cream Nonperishable Canned Foods
Main-dish items: Beef Chili with Beans Potted Meat Chicken a la King Ravioli Chicken & Dumplings Refried Beans Chicken Stew Salmon Corned Beef Sardines Ham Loaf Spaghetti & Meatballs Macaroni & Cheese Tuna Pork and Beans Vienna sausage Pork Luncheon Loaf
Vegetables* Beans, all types Mustard Greens Blackeyed Peas Okra Carrots Sweet Potatoes, Yams Corn Tomatoes, Tomato Juice Green Peas Turnip Greens Hominy Yellow Squash Mixed Vegetables Zucchini
*Home-canned vegetables are best avoided since these vegetables must be brought to a rolling boil, covered, and boiled for 10 minutes before using (20 minutes for spinach and corn, 10 minutes for others).
Fruits and Juices Applesauce Pineapple Fruit Cocktail Plums Peaches Fruit Juices Pears Ready-to-eat Foods Bottled Hot Sauce Packaged Taco Shells Bottled Salad Dressing Peanut Butter Catsup Preserves Cheese Spreads (in jars) Raisins Corn Chips Salt, Pepper Cookies Tartar Sauce Crackers Spanish Peanuts Dry Cereals
Sugar, Honey Evaporated Milk Vinegar Graham Crackers Worcestershire Sauce Mustard
Dehydrated Foods (requires only the addition of water or some form of reconstituted milk)
Cooking and eating habits must change to fit the situation during a power failure. You may have no heat, no refrigeration, and limited water. In addition, health risks from contaminated or spoiled foods may increase. Follow these instructions when preparing food during a power outage. Conserve Fuel
Choose foods that cook quickly if you have limited heat for cooking. Prepare casseroles and one-dish meals or serve no-cook foods.
Alternate cooking methods: a) Fireplace - You can cook on skewers; wrap food in foil and place in the hot coals, cook on a wire grill over the flames; or you can cook over the flames in heavy cookware such as cast iron or heavy aluminum. A Dutch oven is probably the best piece of cookware, because it can be used for baking, boiling, stewing or pan frying. b) Outdoor grills - Foods can be cooked on outdoor grills, but use the grills outside. Do not use them in a closed area, not even in a garage. c) Fuel-burning camp stoves or charcoal burners- Use these cookers outdoors only. Fumes from these can be deadly. Conserve Water
Substitute liquids from canned vegetables for water in cooked dishes. (These liquids should not be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours.)
Drain and save juices from canned fruits in refrigerator. Substitute these for water in salads and beverages. Observe Health Precautions
Boil (for at least 10 minutes) water used in food preparation.
If you are without refrigeration, open only enough food for one meal. Cooked vegetables, meat, and meat dishes should not be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, including preparation and serving time. Do not keep these dishes overnight without refrigeration. If necessary, substitute canned or powdered milk for fresh milk. Canned milk keeps safely for no more than two hours after the can is opened. If you are using canned milk to feed a baby, however, open a fresh can for each bottle. Use only boiled or disinfected water to mix powdered milk. Use powdered milk immediately after it is mixed. If safe water or water-disinfecting materials are not available, use canned or boiled fruit juices instead of water. Prepare and eat foods in their original containers if possible. This will help if dishwashing facilities are limited.