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Food Preparations For Winter Power Outages

Mac Slavo
October 22nd, 2019
Comments (6)

So many people experience power outages in winter, and if you do, a lack of a backup source of heat won’t be your only concern!  Food preparations should be made in advance before a winter storm strikes so you are well prepared for a few days or longer without power.

Alternative Cooking Source

Just as you should have some sort of alternative source of heat, you should have some kind of alternative cooking method.  If the power goes out and you cannot use your electric stove, you will need to be able to cook your food another way or eat it cold.  I suggest you grab an inexpensive camping stove and fuel or some other product that will give you the capability of cooking during a power outage. If you already have an outdoor grill, you can just fire that up in the winter, but make sure to keep some charcoal or propane on hand so you can cook with it. You have a lot more food options if you have the ability to heat your meals. You also might find yourself with a need to boil water to sterilize it for drinking, so I wouldn’t want to be caught without any way of cooking. You are going to want a simple handheld, manual can opener as well.

Don’t Store Foods You Won’t Eat

This should go without saying, however, when people fear a power outage or a storm, they tend to stock up on things they won’t ever use. If you don’t drink milk or eat bread, don’t just buy it “just because” it’s what people buy when there’s a storm coming. Get things that are nutrient-dense, yet easy to prepare – like good quality canned soups.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

Once there’s a warning that a storm is inbound and likely to take out the power in your area, it’ll be too late.  People will rush to the grocery store to try to stock up on food at the last minute.  If you are one of them, you’ll be stuck with whatever is left while fighting crowds of people attempting to prevent hunger. Stock up throughout the year, when things go on sale.  Not only will you save money, but you will also already be prepared for the power outage and won’t have to rush to the store.

Make Several Meals At Once To Freeze

I make chili.  I use at least four cans of beans and two pounds of ground beef. Throw in some carrots and celery or any other vegetables you like and make it in advance.  Then separate the chili into containers and freeze it.  All you’ll have to do once a storm takes out your power is fire up your grill or camp stove, and heat up your homemade chili. And it doesn’t have to be chili.  You can make anything you like and have it ready for the next storm.  Good quality meals can be made well in advance and can take some of the stress off random incidents of lost power.

Hopefully, these tips will help you eat well if the power goes out during the winter.  Remember, hearty meals that will keep you warm and satisfied will be your best bet during those cold winter months!


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Author: Mac Slavo
Date: October 22nd, 2019
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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  1. Plan twice, prep once says:

    There are strange things that happen if a refrigerator is put in freezing temperatures and turned on.

    Anyone from Alaska that could comment here?

    I have a generator that can run my refrigerator, freezer and furnaces for weeks, if rationed and watched closely, but what then?

    Here the prepper world goes silent.

    In January I know, I can put the freezer on the back patio, open the door at night, with a critter excluding screen, and get it cold enough to get through the next day, by just watching a thermometer and opening and closing the door.

    A battery powered clock/alarm seems to be a must, to be ahead of the sun.

    In warm weather, give up AC, and concentrate on your generator running intermittently to provide food refrigeration and make ice.

    Amazing how people die in hot weather during power failures, while the basement they avoided was ten degrees cooler?

    • bb in GA says:

      If you can still find them, you can go one better on your battery powered alarm – a mechanical, wind-up alarm clock. Maybe garage sales or estate sales would be a source for them.

      You don’t need the space age accuracy of digital circuitry to stay ahead of the sun. Even if your clock is +/- 5 minutes in 12 hours that is plenty close enough to cover many functions like opening/closing your freezer door 🙂


  2. Plan twice, prep once says:

    I have an electric oven/microwave, and a gas range top.

    I’m amazed at how many people with a similar setup think their gas range top won’t work, because the electric ignition system won’t work when there is no electricity.. Just turn on the gas and light it with a match morons,

    Ok I have a camper piezoelectric electric igniter that works just fine with my range top.

    Even if I lose city natural gas, I can drag my gas grill inside and use its side grill to cook food, likely for months.

    I also had a propane camp stove and a dozen ranks of fuel.

    Note regarding my oven microwave. My generator can’t power that oven, but it can run the microwave oven easily. When I connect the generator I just remove the knob for the oven, so it can’t be turned on. Problem solved.

    • GWinTN says:

      You should never use a wood or charcoal grill indoors because of the carbon monoxide risks. You can use a propane grill indoors, but you should be careful of leaks. Propane will pool on the ground and will ignite given an appropriate spark or open flame. Adequate ventilation should always be considered as well as using a carbon monoxide detector.

  3. Plan twice, prep once says:

    Hot tip. Recently moved a gas supply to my cloths drier. Had to shut off the gas to the house.

    The water heater did not want to relight. It comes with a piezo electric igniter that just would not relight it, I tried for twenty minutes.

    I took the batt powered igniter off my Weber Grill, and jumpered it in. Went through the lighting cycle and it lit in seconds?

    Likely cleaning the igniter contacts would also have fixed this, but a super hot spark also worked. I had images of trying to do this dead of winter.

    I have since bought on Amazon a single circuit battery powered grill igniter. >$7 its installed in a box and can ignite my range top or water heater.

    I put a lithium battery in it good for twenty years.

  4. Plan twice, prep once says:

    Oh thank God my last post was sent to moderation…. It could have contained who knows what evil. I mean I discussed such dangerous subjects as relighting a gas powered water heater, and a 1.5 volt lithium battery.

    Oh the agony….

    Mac, do they have you locked in a basement…. Don’t answer that…….