During the winter months, grocery stores across the country get overwhelmed with last-minute shoppers stocking up on staple food items like bread, milk and eggs. But you don't have to wait to stock up for a winter storm.
Keep a variety of food items on hand that don't require refrigeration. If your well-stocked pantry includes a supply of healthy foods, you can easily put together nutritious meals during a winter storm that make you feel satisfied and energetic.
Here are some key foods to stock up on during the winter months.
Frozen foods are great to keep on hand as they keep for a long time and can be easily used for last-minute meal preparation. However, frozen foods can become unsafe to eat after an extensive power outage. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible during a power outage.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, meat, poultry, fish and eggs should be refrigerated at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and frozen food at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should keep an appliance thermometer in both the refrigerator and the freezer so you can easily check the temperature inside and determine whether your food is still OK to consume. Toss any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
Here are a few suggestions of items to stock in your freezer.
If you have a power outage and are unsure of what foods to keep and what to throw out, see the USDA's fact sheet on keeping food safe during an emergency.
If you often have power outages and want to keep your food safe to eat, get some dry ice before the storm hits. Dry ice maintains a temperature of -109 degrees Fahrenheit. The FDA recommends 50 pounds of dry ice to keep a fully stocked 18-foot cubic freezer frozen for two days.
Is your apartment prepared for a winter storm? It's a good idea to be prepared for a power outage and the possibility of three days without heat, light, hot water or even running water.
While food preparation may be your first priority in being ready for unpredictable weather, here's a list of winter storm essentials to keep on hand in your apartment.
Winter storms can be inconvenient and dangerous. If you're prepared for extreme weather you may find that you enjoy the time at home and the break from your busy life. Stock your pantry at the beginning of the winter season and be sure to replenish items that you've used up throughout the season.