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How to Prep Your Kitchen Before Hurricane Dorian Arrives

Chef Judi offers tips on how to preserve and use your frozen and refrigerated foods if the power goes out.

By Judi Gallagher August 30, 2019

Satellite imagery of Tropical Storm Dorian, now Hurricane Dorian, from Wednesday

With Hurricane Dorian bearing down on Florida, it's vital to be prepared, and that means having a plan for the food in your refrigerator and your freezer. Here is a list of tips on how to keep things organized and fresh and how to use up food before it spoils:

  • Place eggs in plastic containers with a tight-fitting lid. Cardboard egg crates will fall apart as the ice melts. Do the same for your coffee cream and pour milk into recyclable water bottles.
  • Use one cooler for ice and use solid frozen freezer packs and school lunchboxes to store cold cuts and cheese, placed and labeled in Ziploc bags.
  • Shop you freezer now. Unthaw important proteins you've been saving for a special occasion and enjoy those as a pre-storm feast.
  • Chicken Parmesan, already prepared, can serve as dinner and lunch the next day.
  • Stock up on propane tanks for your grill or camp stove if you can.
  • Get a camping coffee pot or one that can run off your car outlet.
  • Make sure to put a date on everything.
  • Cheese sticks, apples and protein bars are a great snack option.
  • Have a few treats, without binging on peanut M&M’s and melting ice cream.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible.
  • In case you need to apply for reimbursement for lost food after the storm, take photos, so you have proof.
  • Sanitation wipes and paper towels need to be ready to go.
  • Pack five of your favorite seasonings and put them in a Ziploc. Store them in a plastic bin for dry goods.
  • Keeping food below the temperature danger zone is the most important thing. When in doubt, throw it out.

Stay safe! Hopefully, if the power does go out, you will be back cooking in an air-conditioned kitchen soon.

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