This is a GREAT list of what to keep and what to pitch if the power goes out. In our area, we did not loose power; however, many areas of the Virginia and NC coastal areas will not have power for several days.
Nearly a million people in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and throughout the East Coast are without power this morning. Besides the obvious inconvenience of managing without lights and HVAC, there's the very real issue of risk to refrigerated food.
After 4 hours of power outage, your refrigerator will probably not maintain the recommended 40 °F, and perishable food should be discarded, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and leftovers. While it hurts to throw away all this food, it's a better option than getting sick.
After 2 hours, your freezer will likely not maintain its recommended 0 °F, and most frozen foods will be at risk. If you prepared for Hurricane Irene by purchasing fifty pounds of dry ice for an 18-cubic foot freezer, however, your food should be okay for about 2 days.
How do you tell if your food is safe? You should rely on the thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer, since it will continue to register the temperature even when the power is out. If the temperature is above 40 °F in your refrigerator, you can use a digital or dial thermometer to check individual food items. If the thermometer in your freezer reads above 0 °F, you should treat it as "refrigerated" and it will probably be okay as long as the temperature doesn't go over 40 °F.
Some food items don't need to be discarded: processed cheese, hard cheeses (Romano, Swiss, Parmesan), butter and margarine, fruit juices, fresh fruits, vinegar-based salad dressings, bread, and raw fresh vegetables. For a complete list of food items, and whether you should discard or keep them after a power outage, you can consult the chart published online by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If you're a BGE customer in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, be sure to report any power outage. You can't assume someone else in your neighborhood has already done so. The phone number for reporting an outage is 1-877-778-2222.
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For information about communities, homes, and real estate in the D.C. - Baltimore - Annapolis triangle, contact:
Margaret Woda, REALTOR and Associate Broker
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. (410) 721-1500 Office
Direct: (301)346-2923 or EMAIL