According to the USDA, food in the refrigerator should be safe as long as the power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible and discard any perishable food that may have been above 40 degrees for over 2 hours.
ALWAYS discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
– Meat (beef, pork, venison, etc.), poultry, seafood and soy meat substitutes
– Raw, thawing, or leftover cooked meat
– Salads that include meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad
– Gravy, stuffing, broth
– Lunchmeat, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef
– Pizza with any topping
– Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”
– Opened canned meats or fish
– Casseroles, soups and stews
TOSS: soft cheeses – blue, roquefort, brie, camembert, cottage, cream, edam, monterey jack, ricotta, mozzarella, muenster, neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco – and any shredded cheese or low-fat cheese
KEEP: hard cheeses – cheddar, colby, swiss, parmesan (whole or grated in jar or can), provolone, romano (whole or grated in jar or can)
Dairy and eggs
TOSS: milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk, opened baby formula, fresh eggs, hard-cooked eggs in shell, egg dishes, egg products, custards, puddings, quiche
KEEP: butter, margarine
TOSS: fresh cut fruits
KEEP: opened fruit juices, canned fruits, fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates
Spreads, jams & sauces
TOSS: opened creamy-based dressings; opened jars of spaghetti sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce; opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce or horseradish if above 50 degrees for more than 8 hours
KEEP: peanut butter, jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles; worchestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin sauces; opened vinegar-based dressings
Bread, cakes, cookies, pasta & grains
TOSS: refrigerator buscuits, rolls, cookie dough; cooked pasta, rice, potatoes; freshly made pasta; pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette; cheesecake
KEEP: bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas; dried pasta; waffles, pancakes, bagels
Pies & pastry
TOSS: cream-filled pastry, custard- or cheese-filled pies, chiffon pies, quiche
KEEP: fruit pies
TOSS: pre-cut or pre-washed vegetables; cooked vegetables or tofu; opened vegetable juice; baked potatoes; commercial garlic in oil; prepared potato salad, casseroles, soups, stews
KEEP: raw vegetables, fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices
How to purify water
If your water supply becomes suspect, there are methods to purify your own water if you don’t have a commercial purifying filter or purification tablets. DO NOT use bleach with water that you are going to drink.
Boil: Place water in a pot on the stove or over a fire. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil the water for 5-10 minutes. Remove water and let it settle and cool.
Boiling water will kill the majority of organisms living in the water and remove some chemicals through the evaporation process. It will not remove any solids, metals or minerals. By letting the water settle and cool after boiling, any dense ites in the water will naturally sink to the bottom, leaving pure water on the top.
Make a solar still: This is a time-consuming process using evaporation. Use a large bowl or anything that will hold water and has a flat rim. Place a heavy cup in the center of the bowl and fill the bowl with the water you want to purify, making sure you don’t get any dirty water in the cup. Cover and tightly seal the bowl with clear plastic wrap. Place a rock or heavy object on top of the clear wrap, directly over the cup. Carefully move bowl into a sunny spot. The sun will evaporate the water, but since the water cannot escape the plastic cover, the water vapor collects on the plastic and then runs toward the lowest point (where you positioned the rock over the cup) and drips into the cup.