Richmond City: What to do if your power is still out

(Vincent Nusunginya via the AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City distributed another press release Friday afternoon to advise residents about how to preserve food during prolonged periods of power outages like many are experiencing in the wake of the severe storms that occurred Thursday night.

The City advises residents to be cautious with refrigerated and frozen foods, and with medications during the outage.

The release said that if your power is out, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to retain temperature. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if unopened. A full freezer will keep its temperature for 48 hours, and a half-full freezer will keep its temperature for about half that time.

The release said that frozen foods should be kept below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and refrigerated foods need to stay below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. If any of these items goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of two hours or more, the release said to throw it out.

People who require medicine like insulin, which requires refrigeration, should contact their pharmacist for information. According to insulin manufacturers, insulin should be stored at approximately 36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insulin products that are in vials or cartridges may be left unrefrigerated at temperatures between 59 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 28 days. Be sure to check with your pharmacy to be sure.

If you take medicine or use a medical treatment daily, have enough on hand to last a week. This includes oxygen. Don’t rely upon emergency responders as a primary resource to assist with these supplies.

For more information, visit these websites:

www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/ucm085213.htm

www.fda.gov/drugs/emergencypreparedness/ucm085213.htm

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