The summer heat is on, which means the chance for a power outage also increases. Suddenly the power goes out and you watch the clock. It's been two hours and the kids are hungry. What will you eat? You could scramble or you could make a plan ahead of time by creating menus from items you typically keep in your food storage. You probably will be cooking outdoors, and summer is a great time to practice your outdoor cooking skills. Imagine being without your refrigerator and freezer foods for a week? Having a backup plan with food storage is a great way to go.
ABCD’s of Keeping Food Safe in an Emergency
"Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40 °F and frozen food at or below 0 °F. This may be difficult when the power is out. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased." USDA
My menus are from easy-to-prepare items I keep in our food storage, so my family could grab and use them right away. (Not wheat and dry beans.) We would use the loaves of bread from our freezer for the sandwiches. And put some condiments and frozen meat in a cooler with ice. Don't plan on running to the store for ice, unless the store has power. I also listed some cooking equipment to keep in storage totes or a chuck box. That way if we ever need them, the cooking items are in one place including an Amco Swing-a-way can opener. These meals could be prepared on a Coleman-type camp stove or a propane BBQ grill. Some meals require water, but most do not. If you think "camping" you will know how to plan. Keep a copy of your emergency outdoor cooking plan in your Emergency Preparedness Binder. (Here is a cover).
Emergency Outdoor Cooking & Menus for 7 Days pdf.
Emergency Outdoor Cooking & Menus for 7 Days Excel
Make sure you have candles, batteries, a good lantern, matches and drinking water on hand. And plenty of things for the kiddies to do.