Preparedness Challenge: June Week 3

For week three of our June preparedness challenges we’ll gather a cooler, ice packs and appliance thermometers for your refrigerator or freezer. These items can be used during the summer for regular use, but they are perfect for extended power outages as well. Does your medication need refrigeration? Keep a lunch kit with a cold pack frozen at all times just in case.

After a power outage, a refrigerator can only keep certain foods safe for up to 4 hours. You could transfer some of your refrigerator items into your freezer, then keep the door closed. A freezer can keep food cold up to 24 hours if half full and 48 hours if very full. Beyond this time your food is no longer safe to eat. 

1. Buy a Cooler and Ice Packs

  • If you need to purchase a new cooler, make sure it is a good one that will keep items frozen for an extended amount of time.
  • Place ice packs in the bottom, then food, then more ice packs on top. 
  • If you can get an ice block from the store, it can keep a cooler chilled for several days.
  • Frozen water bottles can be inexpensive ice blocks too so you could keep some of those in your freezer. Make sure they are not completely full to allow for expansion when frozen. 
  • Store your cooler in a specific location where family members or even teens can easily find it if they need to pack food in it following a power outage.
  • Download and print this 2-page pdf list of which foods to keep or which to discard at Put it in your emergency binder or hang it inside a kitchen cupboard.

2. Buy an Appliance Thermometer

  • Put a fridge/freezer appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to know at a glance the temperature inside for everyday use.
  • It’s recommended that our refrigerator be kept at 40 degrees or below and our freezer at 0 degrees.
  • Keep the doors to these appliances closed during a power outage.

Best wishes on this week’s preparedness challenge. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

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And check out The Keep It Simple Preparedness Guide. My guide will help you gather food storage and emergency supplies each month.

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