For East Coaster: What's your best no power food and plan?

This might useful for some on the east coast that might experience power outages this weekend.
One thing I keep in my "camp bag" is uncle ben's 90 second rice..(precooked rice)...The brown rice version is pretty bad. But, the Spanish rice version is great.

  • Posted by: Sam1148
  • August 25, 2011


boulangere August 28, 2011
We were without power for a week after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the SF Bay Area. The daughter was a baby and the son was almost 3, and my husband was away as usual. We slept on quilts underneath the dining room table because of aftershocks. We bbq'd a lot. We cooked on our propane campstove a lot. We held hands with our neighbors a lot as we watched smoke rising from fires in SF across the bay a lot. I'm with you Greenstuff, it was years before I could tolerate the smell of anything burning, or the dark. I'm so glad you are all safe.
Greenstuff August 28, 2011
After Hurricane Gloria in 1985 new England, we were without power for more than a week. I got to know my grill pretty well. And I didn't put candles on the table for more than a decade afterwards, couldn't stand the smell.
selena August 28, 2011
I survived 11 days w/o power in Houston. My BBQ grill became my source of all things cooked. As things defrosted - they got cooked in the grill. Its a stove-top and an oven - shoot I even made apple strudel with apples and puff pastry! We do prepare here however - had propane tanks to keep it going. We made block ice in advance to put in the refrigerator side and then the cooler.
sdebrango August 28, 2011
My block did fine, no downed trees, no flooding, electric stayed on. Yay! my neighbors didn't fare quite as well unfortunately, We lost many beautiful old trees that fell on cars and damaged houses. As a whole NYC did well with little serious damage. It was a wild ride but we are very lucky that there has been no serious damage. Upstate I have heard is not as lucky and also New Jersey.
susan G. August 28, 2011
And how did we all do? Here in SW New Hampshire, lots of rain and wind, but we got off easy -- water and power were fine.
Pegeen August 26, 2011
Useful government web site on emergency plans:
Sagegreen August 26, 2011
Don't forget to fill your bathtub with water. It is great for lots of non-potable uses!
sdebrango August 26, 2011
This should all be in a book on disaster preparedness. Love all the ideas. I spent all day today preparing almost done. Gonna be a wild ride. Thank you everyone and especially Sam for posting this the information contained here is priceless.
Sam1148 August 26, 2011
Haha, One thing to do for entertainment is have a hard copy book of short stories.
We did this with the neighbors in a ice storm and 9 days without power. Everyone took turns reading.
If you have a couple of bottles of Whiskey, James Joyce is best heard when read aloud by someone that's dunk.
Sam1148 August 26, 2011
There's a veggi product by "Fantastic Foods" that's a vegan taco filling that's a pantry item.
It just needs hot water. It's pretty good. And soft tortilla wraps don't need a 'fridge. Green onions and taco sauce can be room temp too.

We were stranded in Ft. Lauderdale for a week after Wilma and when the water came back on after 4 days, my partner laid out a garden hose in a 'zig/zag' in the sun for a solar shower. (And there was much rejoicing). Note: even when the water come on, it might not be okay to drink it for days. Common cracks in the water main are normally under pressure, without that pressure, nasties seep in the water mains.

If you have a might want to take it to a enclosed parking garage (with a full tank of gas). Even the airport, or a mall...etc. Almost every car on the street where we were in FTL had broken glass.
spiffypaws August 26, 2011
Also, in case water pressure is lost or not potable after the storm, stock up on paper plates/bowls and plastic utensils and sanitizing wipes. I only buy this stuff for hurricanes-makes me feel guilty. Good luck to all of you!
spiffypaws August 26, 2011
I survived 3 weeks of no power after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.Move anything in your fridge that is freezeable into the freezer.Make ice blocks by freezing water in bowls or soda bottles; works better than ice and will keep your fridge colder.I bought propane burners & small bottles of gas at a restaurant supply store, so I was able to cook.A french press coffee maker is a lifesaver; you can make cold press w/out heating water.I stockpile individ packets of mayo so I can make tuna sandwiches.Couscous & veg was a constant meal.
latoscana August 26, 2011
If you have time to freeze solid blocks of water in freezer bags, they'll keep food in a cooler cold for several days.
sdebrango August 26, 2011
HLA contacted me and reassured me that insulin can be kept at room temperature for several days with no danger to its efficacy. I am buying a new bottle today and storing it in the refrigerator unopened just in case. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and well wishes we all hope for the best but are preparing for the worst. To anyone that may be affected by this storm please be safe. Thank you so much.
SKK August 26, 2011
Sam1148 you have opened a powerful conversation! Thank you! Reading all the responses I realized how much I can do to keep my community taken care of when we have mother nature related dilemmas. This should be one of the chapters in the cookbook!

Prayers and intentions for well-being and safety to our partners in the path of this storm.
Droplet August 26, 2011
Sdebrango, have you seen those emergency blankets that look like aluminum foil? They cost about 4 dollars each and should be available in camping stores if you have one nearby. They provide a very good insulation both ways and what I thought you could do is wrap your insulin in one of those in several layered roll, and stick that in the freezer that you mentioned. If this turns out to be a bad storm and the power isn't restored for a few days, the frozen mass in your freezer should be able to at least maintain a pretty low temperature in there. I just don't know whether insulin has a bottom temperature threshold, but that wrap will keep it from getting below zero and if you take it out a while before it is time to give it to your dog, it should come to the right temperature for being administered. If all else fails...this might work.
Sagegreen August 26, 2011
If I know the power is likely to go out, I fill my thermoses with boiling water. Let's hope this storm fizzles out for most places though!
boulangere August 26, 2011
sdebrango, I hope all this is reassuring to you. And if you haven't yet made contact with hardlikearmor, I hope you will not mind that I contacted her with your dilemmas of insulin refrigeration and dog food. Please all be safe, and stay in touch with us.
boulangere August 26, 2011
Well, yes, Sam 1148, they are pretty cool.
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Thats perfect thank you so much! Will try to find one tomorrow.
Be safe everyone!
amysarah August 25, 2011
sdebrango - I'm sure there are other brands, but this is the one my friend who's diabetic uses for travel:

Good luck!
Sam1148 August 25, 2011
Oh yeah, Sam, those are so cool. I have a bunch we use for catering.

I"m in Alabama...and have one, the Asian markets have them for cheap. And resturant supply stores.
The Tornadoes this spring cut out our power and I realized I didn't have canisters. And the Asian stores were sold out of canisters. (Weber grill to the rescue).

Also...a trip to Autozone, and get a 'power inverter': A device you can use to charge cell phones, computers, portable Tvs, etc; they plug in the cig lighter of your car, and have standard 120V plugs to convert DC to AC for powering/charging the dongles you might have.
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Thank you amysarah, I will try to get one tomorrow. I didn't know about them. I am going to the pharmacy tomorrow to get more insulin maybe they have one. Thanks so much.
amysarah August 25, 2011
oops. no idea why my response posted twice.
amysarah August 25, 2011
sdebrango - you can get a small battery-powered fridge for medicine like insulin (small enough for travel.)

A good pharmacy or medical supply shop might have one or be able to get it for you.
boulangere August 25, 2011
Camping stores always have them, though I don't know how much good that information does anyone there ; )
boulangere August 25, 2011
Oh yeah, Sam, those are so cool. I have a bunch we use for catering. Cheap to buy, cheap to operate, and just the thing in a power outage. And once the power is restored, use it to make crêpes outside on the deck for friends!
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Oh my thats so cool, it would really come in handy. I will look it up and see if I can find one at a store near me,
Sam1148 August 25, 2011
One thing I keep in my kitchen, is a little single burner using LP canisters. (like hairspray canisters size).

Available in Asian markets...Cheep about 20 bucks. And canisters are about 7 bucks for 4.

I don't have a gas stove, and this is used for wok gas on a round bottom wok is the way to go. Also for table top service for one pot asian dishes or with a grill plate for tabletop grilling.

Kinda like this one:

sdebrango August 25, 2011
Thats a really good idea, I will email her and see if she has any suggestions. Thank you.
boulangere August 25, 2011
sdebrango, hardlikearmour is a veterinarian. Why don't you email her and see what she suggests for insulin storage, and also what other recommendations she might have. Please be safe!
Sagegreen August 25, 2011
Anchovies, beans, tuna, tomatoes, bread from the freezer, lots of filled bottles with water. Small containers of almond milk, almond butter, fresh herbs pulled in from the garden....this is so much easier than in winter! So glad I volunteered to test the cherry bombs!
sdebrango August 25, 2011
I am more worried about my dogs than I am about myself. I do have gel packs and thats a very good idea thank you. I am very worried about the meds.
Thanks Sagegreen I have a grill in the backyard and once the hurricane passes I can use it to make some of the meat that will possibly be defrosting in my freezers. I'm with you I hope it is not as bad as they say it will be.
Sagegreen August 25, 2011
I will keep a big cooler of ice with fresh vegetables. I will have my grill handy and if desperate for something hot a fireplace.Kebabs on sticks is what I have in mind! Hope this just fizzles out though!
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Very cool idea, I have two LED flashlights will have to get wax paper only have parchment. Thanks Sam!
lastnightsdinner August 25, 2011
sdebrango, I feel your pain re: the furkids and their special needs! It can be so stressful :( Do you have any of those freezeable gel packs? I'm wondering if you could wrap them with towels in a cooler so they keep the insulin chilled but not too cold? At any rate, best of luck.
Sam1148 August 25, 2011
Actually, the LED flashlights are great..and just SIP power and last a long time.

When Camping, I use some wax paper stuffed in around interior of a glass jar.
It diffuses the light. For a bedside light. and place the flash light on top of the inverted jar.

I've even used this with those big glass "Beer Glasses" with the wax paper and the flashlight stuffed inside. Makes a good diffused light.
susan G. August 25, 2011
I am fortunate to have a gas stove. Light the burner with a match (the way they did it in my childhood, before electric ignition). We lost power for 8 hours, 4 days ago, and being able to cook was comforting. Pre-cooked foods are easy, and hard boiled eggs are good. We have a well, so no power means no water. So all those fruits and veggies you've stocked up on might want pre-prepping. I don't take it all too seriously -- most of us here could forage in our pantries and cupboards for days, I bet. (In New Hampshire)
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Thanks lastnightsdinner I didn't think of crackers, will get those tomorrow, I have olives,lots of tomatoes and about 20 gallons of bottled water. I cook for my dogs am making enough food for 5 days for them after that If I need it I have some canned food. I don't know what to do though one of my dogs is diabetic and insulin dependant and Insulin MUST be refrigerated. I can't put on ice it will be too cold, I have to find out what to do,
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Thats a great idea Sam, will try that. I have some candles but not enough last power outage I ran out. Have to get batteries tomorrow.Have bread, peanut butter, jam. Trying to prepare!!
lastnightsdinner August 25, 2011
We're getting ready here in RI, too. We already have plenty of canned beans and tinned/jarred fish (wild sockeye salmon, bonito tuna in oil, mackerel, sardines) in our pantry, as well as nuts and nut butters, olives, oil-packed sundried tomatoes, etc. that usually live in the fridge but can last at room temp for a couple of days. We've also got a ton of fruit and heirloom tomatoes around these days :) We'll be sure to get some extra bread, crackers, and bottled water, too, extra kibble for the cats, and probably some avocados and granola. My husband has been making and bagging up extra ice (we have a stand-alone ice machine - one of many perks of living with a drinks writer :) )

We, too, have a gas stove, and we've also got full-size and portable grills with plenty of hardwood charcoal, so if we need to go that route we can, but I think we'll have plenty of fodder for making sandwiches, composed salads, and the like. Be safe, everyone!
Sam1148 August 25, 2011
This kinda weird....but I've used it in poweroutages, when I was stuck without candles.

Take a little 'juice glass' or shot glass..and fill with water on bottom. Float some cooking oil on top about 1/2 inch of oil. Cover with foil and poke in a wick' made of rolled cotton the wick just touches the oil---not the water. Wait until it saturates and light.
It might take a couple of times to light and stay lit, as the wick needs a carbon crust to stay lit. Kitchen twine works well.
sdebrango August 25, 2011
Yes i am going early Sat morning to the farmers market to stock up on fruit. I am filling ice chests Sat night with ice. They have already called for mandatory evacuation of low lying areas. I have lived here when we had a power outage and it took days hope it does come back on quickly if we lose power. Be safe everyone. Oh I have lots of booze, a deck of cards no one but my dogs here so a board game wouldn't help me. LOL
Sam1148 August 25, 2011
Get some fruit and veggies. I've been through power outages and one thing you miss after a few days, is fruit. Apples and oranges don't need cold. Lemons and Limes, Tomatoes, and "Microwave bacon"..which doesn't really need cold just warming.

And booze....lots of booze. And some board games.

(I'm pretty sure NYC would be powered up pretty quickly tho, those in outlaying areas, it might take awhile).
inpatskitchen August 25, 2011
Hope everything goes well for you on the East Coast...have experienced a couple of 6 day power outages...thank goodness we had a small generator for the last as much ice as you can get your hands on!
sdebrango August 25, 2011
I have been working all day putting together food that you don't have to cook, anticipate power outage in NYC, I bought some parmalat milk, dry cereal, ramen noodles, some canned veggies lots of water of course. I have a gas stove so I can light it and cook. Coffee that you can make in a french press. The uncle bens sounds good I have canned black beans that would go nicely with the rice.
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