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Eating Right During a Power Outage

Preparing for severe weather also includes planning ahead for power outages. When refrigeration and electricity are unavailable, finding creative ways to feed a family can be challenging, so it’s important to have a plan to ensure proper nutrition.

To help with planning, Mayo Clinic nutritionists created a grocery list of items to keep in your pantry as you prepare for disasters. They have also organized a three-day meal plan for a family of four. Recipes in the plan do not require the use of power or refrigeration, but are still flavorful and fun to make.

Food safety and nutrition are critical to staying healthy during a disaster. The Mayo Clinic offers these tips for preparing your pantry and planning an emergency menu:

·         Know the safe temperature zones of perishable food. When the power goes out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold. The refrigerator, if unopened, will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for around 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed;

·         Stock up on condiments, particularly those that are vinegar-based, such as ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, and BBQ sauce. These items have a long shelf life and are versatile. Consider travel-sized packets for convenience;

·         Keep canned protein on hand (chicken, salmon, beans, and peanut butter);

·         Keep boxes of powdered milk or shelf-stable cartons on hand for cereal or deserts; and

·         Don't forget a manual can opener.

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