Getting Ready: Before, During, and After a Hurricane

Food and Water Safety

Getting through the hurricane might be the hard part, but the days and weeks that follow the storm can be nearly as challenging! Post-storm, make sure your food and water is protected with the below tips.

Food Safety

  • Frozen meat: If the food is still partially frozen, you can refreeze it. If thawed and held at room temperature for less than two hours, cook and serve, or cook and refreeze. Otherwise, discard.
  • Before you cook, assess the safety of your food. Toss out any food that may have come in contact with floodwaters. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Refrigerated foods: Food kept in an unopened refrigerator for 24 hours should still be cold and remains safe.
  • Milk: Discard if unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
  • Fresh eggs: Safe unrefrigerated for five to seven days only. Discard if shells are cracked or odor or discoloration is present.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: Discard if held at room temperature for more than two hours.

Other tips may be found at the Web site www.foodsafety.gov

Water Safety

  • Pay attention to local authorities about the status of your water supply. Use only bottled or disinfected water for drinking and cooking until the public water supplies have been declared safe.
  • Boil-water orders are often issued after a hurricane. That's usually because the public water utility has lost pressure in its water-moving systems, making it possible for contaminants to enter water lines. The danger of tainted public supplies comes from bacterial contamination, which can lead to serious health problems.
  • Water that you saved in bottles before the storm should be good for up to six months, if properly stored. To prevent the spread of disease, wash your hands frequently with disinfected water and soap.

Recommended Recipes

If you need help figuring out the type of food you can prepare in advance, we've got you covered! Check out these resources for food you can prepare as you evacuate (assuming you bring a cooler with you in your vehicle):


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