With some 800,000 PG&E customers losing power this week, many families might be worried about losing hundreds of dollars worth of groceries as their refrigerators and freezers go quiet.
The good news: if you take a few simple steps now, you might be able to keep that food cold, even without electricity.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes several recommendations for saving frozen and refrigerated food:
- Keep the doors closed. Every time you open your refrigerator during a blackout, precious cold air will escape — and it will be replaced by warmer room-temperature air.
- A half-stocked freezer will keep food frozen for 24 hours.
- A Fully-stocked freezer will keep food frozen for 48 hours. Need to fill some space? Just add water — in jugs or bottles. Keep in mind, ice expands as it freezes, so leave some extra space in the container.
- Turn the thermostat controls down to the lowest temperature settings. This can help everything stay colder, longer.
- Pack dry ice in your freezer. Many grocery stores sell this, and its temperature is more than 100° below freezing!