Looking back the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, anyone with a Television, Radio or Internet understands the importance of preparing for Natural Disasters. What food products are safe after an natural disaster renders electricity moot? Lets dive into this question by looking at the items run by readily available electricity in our homes. Electricity runs our heating and air conditioning, our lighting throughout our home and most important…electricity runs our refrigerators.
What happens when the electricity goes out and our fridges begin to warm? What foods are safe, and when should we begin to take concern. Here are a couple of Food Safety tips for power outages and electrical failures:
Nonperishable & Healthy Foods that withstand electrical failures:
1) Dried Fruits, Jerky, canned tuna & other assorted canned meats, Canned soups, canned veggies, canned beans, crackers, whole grain cereals, Dehydrated Foods- Look for them at any Emergency Preparedness Store, Powdered milk, powdered cheese etc.
2) Drinks that will survive lack-of-fridge include soda, water, beer (my favorite)- Beer will last 5-7 months without a cooling element; however the flavor will be influenced and may not taste as “fresh”.
3) After 2 hours, food safety will begin to decline. Foods such as eggs, fish, fresh meat, dairy products, and any leftovers will need a cooling alternative such as packing in snow (if you are lucky enough to be experiencing electrical failure during the snowy winter), or Packing in ice (although this is a temporary solution due to melting points).
4) Because stoves will likely be incapacitated as well during an electrical failure, it is important to consider storing food items that can be cooked without a stove. Mountain House, Wise Food, Backpackers Pantry are among many Freeze Dried products that will allow you to add water and reconstitute food without directly cooking.
Keep Calm and Carry On!
Freeze Dried Food Vs. Dehydrated Food
What is the difference between Freeze Dried Food and Dehydrated Food? Here is a quick summary on how to tell a freeze dried food product from a Dehydrated food product. Ingredients: Freeze Dried Food, such as Wise Company Emergency Food and Mountain House Emergency Food, will generally be full of seasoning and mixed with several ingredients. Dehydrated Food will not have seasoning and usually only have one specific ingredient in a # 10 Can. Cost: Dehydrated food costs less than freeze dried food. For Example: A single #10 can of dehydrated mushrooms will equal 27 cans of canned mushrooms which weight is mostly water weight. Taste: Bar none- Freeze dried food tastes the best due to the fact it already has seasoning and multiple ingredients in the pre-packaged container. It is a one stop shop for backpackers, hikers and a quick meal during any natural disaster or Emergency situation.