Refrigerators and Freezers
Before the Event
(See Also Food)
- Refrigerators and freezers should be left plugged in.
- Clear the refrigerator of perishable foods first.
- Take a content inventory of your refrigerator and freezer before the storm hits and post the list on the door. If the power goes out, the list will help minimize the number of times you have to open the door, and the amount of time the door is open to survey contents.
- Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure the freezer temperature is at or below 0 degrees fahrenheit and the refrigerator is at or below 40 degrees fahrenheit. In case of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer up to the coldest setting as they can maintain food-preserving temperatures for up to two days after power has been lost. (If a freezer is less than half full, it will probably not stay frozen for more than one day.)
- Use dry ice in the freezer, if available. Use paper or gloves to handle dry ice to avoid the possibility of a severe burn.
- Cover the freezer with blankets, quilts or alternate insulated covering. (It will also help to put crumbled newspapers between the freezer and the insulated covering.) Be sure the covering does not obstruct any air ventilation openings as these will be needed in the event of a power outage.
- Place bags of ice in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
- If you have made arrangements in advance to store your food in a locker plant, call the plant to ensure it is operating. When transporting food to the plant, place it in an insulated container, or wrap it in newspaper and blankets to prevent thawing.
Updated June 2017