Dallas: Don't Store Your Food Outside If You Lost Power

Texas doesn't typically get hit so hard by winter weather, so this current situation is pretty unfathomable. Thousands of people are without power, heat, and water, and have been for days. Many people don't have backup generators, stores are closed, and hotels are starting to fill up. So, what's the next step? How can Texas citizens in need make the most of their resources?

Well, if your power is out and your refrigerator isn't running, the FDA says do not store food outside, even if you think temperatures are cold enough. "The USDA says that outside temperatures are inconsistent, causing chilled food to enter the “danger zone” of warmer than 40°F, allowing bacteria to grow, and frozen food could begin thawing. Food kept outside also could be exposed to animals and unsanitary conditions. Heated food, meanwhile, should be kept warmer than 140°." 

If cooking isn't an option, try and eat strictly non-perishables and things with a long shelf-life. "Try to eat shelf-stable pantry goods and don’t try to cook if your power goes out. Think crackers, beans, nuts, PB&J sandwiches, and cereal with shelf-stable plant-based milk," the FDA suggests. There are still ways around the harsh weather conditions: "The cold outdoor temperatures can come in handy, though. You can make ice by filling buckets or cans with water and leave them outside to freeze. Use this ice to put in your freezer, refrigerator, or coolers to keep food cold, according to the USDA."

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Post originally appeared on American Upbeat.