Heat waves, violent storms and other natural events – as well as some man-made ones – can cause sudden power outages. Outages of any length can be frustrating and troublesome, and prolonged ones can also be dangerous. When your refrigerator goes out, special food safety measures must be taken.
Perishable foods including milk, meat and eggs should not be stored above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you don’t need to be concerned, but you should know how to save your food when the refrigerator is out for longer periods of time. Being prepared can help. By planning ahead, you can save your perishables and safeguard your family’s health.
Food Storage During an Emergency: What Do I Need?
- One or more coolers. Inexpensive styrofoam coolers can do an excellent job. Shelf-stable foods, such as canned goods and powdered or boxed milk. These can be eaten cold or heated on the grill.
- A digital quick-response thermometer. A digital thermometer should be a necessity in your kitchen anyway. With these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food for doneness and safety.
Food Safety During an Emergency: What Should I Do?
- Do not open the refrigerator or freezer. Tell your little ones not to open the door. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold enough for a couple of hours at least. A freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours. Instead, eat shelf-stable foods.
- If it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2-4 hours, pack the important items in your refrigerator, such as milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and left-overs into your cooler surrounded by ice. Keep temperature at or below 40 degrees. Throw away any items that have been exposed to temperatures greater than 40 degrees for more than two hours.
- If it looks like the power outage will be prolonged beyond a day or so, prepare another cooler with ice for the items in your freezer.
I’ve lived my whole life in the Mid-Atlantic Philly Metro area and never once heard a weatherman use a Winter Storm Name until last year. They usually referred to Winter Storms as Old Man Winter, and that was it. I was wondering why The Weather Channel started naming them and found this interesting article below from The Weather Channel…
The Weather Channel has released its list of Winter storm names for the 2013-14 season, the second annual rundown of names that will be attached to storms in the upcoming winter weather season.
Developed with the help of a Latin class at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Montana, the 26 names will be used in alphabetical order to identify strong winter storms that meet the naming criteria. The 2012-13 list for winter storms was the first of its kind to be developed by The Weather Channel, with 27 storms receiving names a year ago.
“The naming program last year was a huge success, with well over a billion impressions on Twitter and regular use by numerous schools, agencies and media outlets,” said Bryan Norcross, senior hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel and compiler of the list. “It’s simply easier to communicate about a complex storm if it has a name, which our naming program last year demonstrated. And good communications benefits everyone.”
Below is the list of 26 names that will be used this season, as well as background on each and a guide for names with multiple or difficult pronunciations.
- Atlas (AT-lus): From Greek mythology; on the losing side in the mythological war between the Titans and the Olympians, he was punished by Zeus by being forced to hold the sky on his shoulders.
- Boreas (BOR-ee-us): Greek god of the cold north wind.
- Cleon (CLEE-on): A Greek statesman and warrior.
- Dion (DEE-on): Short for Dionysus; Greek god of wine and winemaking, among other things.
- Electra: From Greek mythology; the princess of Argos.
- Falco: Roman governor of Britannia (today Great Britain).
- Gemini: From Greek mythology; two of the stars in the constellation Gemini are named for mythological twins, Castor and Pollux. Also, an air sign in astrology.
- Hercules: From Greek mythology; the son of Zeus, famous for his strength.
- Ion (EYE-on): From the Greek word meaning “going;” introduced into English in 1834.
- Janus (JEY-nus): From Roman mythology; the god of beginnings and transitions. January was named for him.
- Kronos (KROH-nus): From Greek mythology; the father of Zeus. His Roman name was Saturn.
- Leon (LEE-on): The Greek word meaning “lion.”
- Maximus: The Latin word for “greatest” or “largest.”
- Nika (NEE-ka): From Greek mythology; the goddess who personified winning or victory.
- Orion (oh-RYE-un): From Greek mythology; a great hunter.
- Pax: Latin word for “peace.”
- Quintus (KWIN-tuss): A common first name for ancient Romans, including Cicero’s younger brother.
- Rex: Latin word for “king.”
- Seneca (SEN-nick-uh): Roman philosopher and writer.
- Titan (TIE-tan): From Greek mythology; one of the gods (the Titans) who ruled the Earth before the Olympians, led by Zeus, overthrew them.
- Ulysses (you-LISS-ees): The Roman name for the hero of Homer’s epic, “The Odyssey.”
- Vulcan (VOL-can): From ancient Roman mythology; the god of fire.
- Wiley (WHY-lee): A nickname meaning “wily” or “tricky” in Middle English (Note: there is no W in Greek or Latin).
- Xenia (ZEEN-ya): An ancient Greek word signifying the concept of hospitality.
- Yona (YOH-na): A word used in ancient India to designate a Greek person (the Greek letter Upsilon looks like a Y, but is the ancestor of the English letter U; the letter Y was incorporated into the Latin alphabet after Rome conquered Greece, but it was used to write words from Greek).
- Zephyr (Zeffer): From Greek mythology; the god of the west wind.
Note: Dion and Titan were names slightly shortened or modified. Cleon, Gemini, Ion, Nika, Pax, Seneca and Yona were names substituted into the list because the name submitted by the Bozeman students for each of those letters was either retired by the National Hurricane Center, had alternate meanings or were difficult for English-speakers to pronounce.