Food and Water Safety During Power Outages and Floods
Floods and power outages are a threat in states and cities that experience thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, like Avondale. During these emergencies, keeping track of severe weather alerts and finding ways to stay safe from dangers such as electrical shock, water damage, and other complications is key to keeping everyone safe.
It’s also essential to understand food safety in Avondale if you experience an outage or become stranded inside your home during a storm. Knowing the precautions to take will go a long way in preventing illnesses from unsafe food until the floodwaters recede and the power returns.
Before a Power Outage
If you have already been alerted of an upcoming strong thunderstorm, here are some Avondale water safety and food preservation tips that can help you prepare for a possible blackout.
Prep Your Fridge and Freezer
Especially if you have frozen foods and perishable items, it’s crucial that you have an appliance thermometer inside your fridge and freezer. This can help you monitor their temperature and ultimately determine the safety of your food even during a blackout. Ideally, your refrigerator must remain at 40°F or below and your freezer at 0°F or below to keep food fresh.
It’s also a good idea to have coolers ready. If the power doesn’t come back after four hours, these can help keep your perishable food items cold for a longer time.
Stock Up on Ice
Making or purchasing ice cubs and freezing gel packs in advance are smart ways to help your freezer maintain its temperature. Block or dry ice lasts longer and can be more helpful in keeping your food fresh for hours, so it’s also recommended that you check your local sources for them. Fifty pounds of dry ice can keep a chest freezer cold for as long as two days.
Buy Non-Perishable Foods
If you have the time and opportunity to do so, purchase non-perishable food items that can last you and everyone living with you for at least three days. Keep in mind that bread, water, and milk sell out quickly when there’s an approaching storm, so it’s best not to delay your grocery trip.
Here are some of the essential items to stockpile for an emergency:
- Bottled water
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, vegetables, and fruit
- Canned or powdered milk
- Dried fruit
- Granola bars or fruit bars
- Nuts and trail mixes
- Bread and crackers
- Peanut butter
Keep Your Supply High off the Floor
Once you’re ready with your food supply, store them on shelves high above the floor to keep them from being reached by floodwaters. If you’re planning to fill containers for your water supply, see to it that you use waterproof containers large enough to hold the amount you need. Checking that they are FDA-approved and food-grade also ensures that your water supply remains safe for drinking.
During a Power Outage
Keep the Refrigerator and Freezer Doors Closed
Stocking up on block ice or dry ice can help preserve the low temperatures during an outage, but keeping your freezer and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible can also help keep your food safe for as long as 48 hours.
It’s still best to continue monitoring the temperature using your appliance thermometer when deciding what to eat or discard. If your refrigerator has remained at 40°F or below or the food in your freezer still has ice crystals, it’s still likely to be safe.
Be Careful of the Water You Drink
Water can become easily contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria, sewage, chemicals, and industrial waste during a flood. As such, remember to only consume water from bottles that have not been exposed to floodwater.
Otherwise, boil the water first to make it safe for drinking. If it is cloudy, filtering it through a clean cloth or drawing off the clear water after the sediments settle can help. Bring the filtered water to a boil and keep it boiling for one minute. Make sure to store excess water in secure and clean containers.
Don’t Be Afraid To Discard Food
Foodborne illnesses also become common during floods and power emergencies, so it’s best to discard food items you aren’t confident eating rather than risk it. Generally, you’ll want to throw away the following:
- Food that came into contact with floodwater, no matter how brief.
- Food that’s stored in containers that are not waterproof.
- Food that’s stored in damaged, punctured, crushed, dented, or swollen cans.
- Perishable goods that have been above 40°F for more than two hours.
- Milk, juice, and other liquid or powdered drinks that are stored in cardboard boxes.
After a Power Outage
After the floodwaters recede and your power returns, it’s time to get your property back to normal. While professional home restoration in Avondale can take care of the major repairs for you, paying attention to the smallest details, like discarding other remaining unsafe food and washing your dishes, utensils, and pans thoroughly, can help you prevent food contamination until the end of the outage.
Hire Professional Home Restoration in Avondale To Make Your Dwelling Clean, Safe, and Dry After a Flood
It’s hardly expected to experience floods and power outages. Besides disrupting your home or work life, these events can also pose health risks to you and your family and even cause significant damage to your property.
While you focus on the health and well-being of your loved ones, let Restoration 1 lighten your load by taking care of your home. We offer efficient flood restoration services to remove standing water as soon as possible, dry and treat your place for mold, and get it back to normal in no time.
The damage a flood leaves may be overwhelming, but Restoration 1 of Avondale is here to help you through our speedy response times and top-notch flood cleaning services. Call us anytime at (623) 292-4767 for assistance! We’ll never leave you facing a water disaster alone.