Prepared for snowstorms?


By Pat Brinkman - OSU Extension



Snowstorm coming? Are you prepared in case you’re snowed in? Be prepared with food, water, flashlights, candles, matches, a transistor radio, extra batteries, and some alternative-heating source such as a fireplace or other appliance. If you are on medication have an adequate supply of your medication available. Be sure to have a supply of bottled water and a non-electric can opener.

What are some foods to keep on hand? Stock up on some canned or non-perishable food items your family likes and will eat. It’s best to have at least a three days’ supply of food and water on hand, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The average person needs one gallon of water per day, depending on their age, physical activity and health, the agency says.

Check out these websites for how to prepare for a winter storm and what to have available at your home for yourself, your family and your pets: Ready.gov, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Red Cross.

Their food and beverage lists include:

Milk (yes, milk!) in either shelf-stable or powdered form in case you lose power.

Cans of soups, stews, vegetables, beans, and other items that can be eaten hot or cold.

Dried meats like beef jerky and canned or vacuum-sealed pouches of tuna, chicken, cooked meat or sausages.

Snack foods such as whole-grain crackers and cereal, granola bars, dried fruit, applesauce, fruit cups, trail mix, nuts, peanut butter, or other nut butters.

Fresh fruit that has a longer shelf life, like apples, oranges, and pears.

Don’t eat raw eggs or raw meat.

And for pets, have some dry or wet food in cans or sealed containers or bags, in addition to enough water for each pet.

If your power goes out, remember to keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours, or at least 24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed. Throw out refrigerated perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, and leftovers if they’ve been without power for more than four hours.

Don’t forget your car. Keep at least two blankets or a sleeping bag; extra clothing such as boots, mittens, etc.; water and some dried food such as raisins, nuts, other dried fruits granola bars; windshield scraper; flashlight with extra batteries; emergency flares; cat litter or sand to get traction; and a red cloth to attach to antenna if stranded. Always have your cell phone with you. Be sure to winterize your car, too.

Be prepared! Have some supplies on hand. Need ideas on getting prepared check out “Eating Nutritiously When the Lights are Out.” If you would like a copy, please call me at 335-1150 and request one or email me at brinkman.93@osu.edu. (Authors: Turner, T. (2017) and Brinkman, P. (2020).

Pat Brinkman is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator with Ohio State University Extension Fayette County.

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By Pat Brinkman

OSU Extension