How Do I Prepare Food without Power?

Preparing food after a disaster might be difficult because of power loss, no water source, and/or no fuel. Depending on what is available to you, there are several options for preparing food out of necessity. Keep in mind that some of these options are meant to be used outside and should never be used to cook food indoors.

• Gas range
• Outdoor grill or smoker (be prepared with charcoal or pellets; outdoors only)
• Wood fireplace (be prepared with wood)
• Campfire (be prepared with wood; outdoors only)
• Camping stove (be prepared with propane or butane; propane outdoors only)

Remember to use what will spoil first (perishable items) and cook only what you will eat unless you have a way to store leftovers. You can eat many commercially packaged foods without heating, such as canned beans and vegetables although it is not preferred. It is possible to heat food directly in a metal can. Remove the label and open the can before heating. Do not place it directly on flames but hold it over the heat source or use a grate. Find out more about Keeping Food and Water Safe after a Natural Disaster here: fn-ifd.002_foodwaterafterdisaster

Source: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, Ph.D., Dietetics and Human Nutrition Annhall Norris, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension; Keeping Food and Water Safe after a Natural Disaster; In the Face of Disaster publication

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