Hurricane Irene knocks out power - and food * VA and NC coastal areas still without Electricity

Reblogger Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

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.

Original content by Margaret Woda

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. 

refrigerator - no power

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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DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.

For information about communities, homes, and real estate in the D.C. - Baltimore - Annapolis triangle, contact:

Margaret WodaMargaret Woda, REALTOR and Associate Broker
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.   (410) 721-1500 Office
Direct:  (301)346-2923 or EMAIL

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Harry F. D'Elia
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

One must be ready for impact and have supplies on hand. We did the same thing in Buffalo when a bad snowstorm hit. Grandma was always prepared.

Aug 28, 2011 02:34 AM #1
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

This is when a portable generator comes in handy. We have one because of frequent power outages from ice storms and wind storms. In areas where outages are uncommon, unfortunately there is loss of hundreds of dollars of food every once in a long while. It's just not cost effective to be prepared for a rare problem.

Aug 28, 2011 02:50 AM #2
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

We have a whole house propane generator which we did not need last night; however, it is comforting to know it is there.

Aug 28, 2011 03:01 AM #3
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Wallace,

Glad to see you are fine.

My heart goes out to all impacted by the recent and ongoing storms on the East coast.

I just hope there is far less damage than anticitated.

Good re post.

Best, Clint McKie

Aug 28, 2011 04:20 AM #4
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

Great post! Down here we get to BBQ-ing / grilling everything in the fridge.

My daughter had half a cow in her freeze and she became the neighborhood cook for those that didn't have any meat to cook at all. It was fun to visit and really get to know her neighbors!

Aug 29, 2011 11:04 AM #5
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