Don't let Texas' storm season catch you unprepared. Storms and other natural disasters may
cause conditions that affect the safety of your food. If you live in an area where tornadoes,
floods, power outages, or fires are a problem, plan ahead for proper food storage and
Following these tips can help keep you healthy after the emergency has passed. Remember: If
in doubt, throw it out.
Tips to help reduce the amount of food you'll have to discard after a disaster:
- Purchase freezer-pack inserts and keep them frozen.
- Plan where to purchase dry ice and develop an emergency freezer-sharing plan with someone
in an unaffected area.
After a tornado
- Consider all water in the area unsafe until tested and drink only approved or chlorinated
- Check foods and discard any containing particles of glass or slivers of other debris.
- Discard canned foods with broken seams, dents, leaks, or other flaws.
After a flood
- Floodwater may carry silt, raw sewage, oil, or chemical waste.
- If fresh, frozen, refrigerated, commercially packaged, or home-canned foods have been in
contact with floodwater, discard them.
- Undamaged canned goods and commercial glass jars of food are safe if you sanitize the
containers before opening for use.
After a power outage
- Discard meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, eggs, and mayonnaise if they've been kept
more 2 hours above 40 degrees F.
- Prepared dishes containing these products should also be discarded.
- You can refreeze thawed foods that contain ice crystals or feel cold (less than 32 degrees
After a fire
- Generally, saving food that's been in a fire isnt a good idea.
- Food that's been exposed to fire can be compromised by three factors: heat of the fire,
smoke fumes, and chemicals used to fight the fire.
- Food in cans or jars may appear to be okay, but if they've been close to the heat of the
fire, they may no longer be edible.