The end of days is nigh, so begin working through a prepper checklist:
Dry food storage?
What should you keep in your freezer in the case of an emergency? To be honest, the freezer isn’t your best bet for long-term and emergency food storage. In the case of a natural disaster or other emergency that cuts electricity, your food will melt and spoil within a few days.
If you simply can’t live through a disaster without Bagel Bites and frozen grapes, consider investing in a back-up generator to keep your freezer running. Either that or make plans to acquire dry ice as soon as the power fails. (Some preppers even suggest keeping frozen salt water in the freezer; it will keep food frozen longer because of its low freezing point, but no one has given proof yet!)
What Should You Keep in Your Freezer?
We’ll tell you:
Whatever you love! If power goes out, your freezer is only going to retain the cold for a handful of days. Whatever you have in your freezer, you will want to use first before other dry food storage. So pack it with things that you will really enjoy and that will provide enough sustenance and nutrients for a few days.
- Meats: Keep meat in the freezer—tucked away at the bottom of the freezer—because you likely won’t be able to get meat in an emergency situation, and it is high in nutrients and proteins.
- Nuts and Seeds: They will eventually go rancid on a shelf. Keep them fresh by throwing them in a resealable bag and storing them in the freezer.
- Greens: Spinach, kale, and other greens and herbs keep well in the freezer and are versatile for meal prep.
- Berries and Fruits: fruits freeze well and are versatile to use when thawed.
- Treats: Yummy things like frozen cookie dough will keep you and your family happy in the first few days of an emergency.
The food may only keep for a few days so pack it and enjoy it in the first few days of losing power. Again, if you’re planning on long-term food storage in your freezer, you will want to invest in a back-up generator to keep things frozen.
Now that you know what you should keep in your freezer, be sure to use your food. You rotate your dry food storage and you should do it with your frozen food storage as well. The USDA claims that any food stored at or below 0°F stays good indefinitely, but you will want to prepare it well and keep an eye on your frozen food:
- Packaging: Meat can be frozen in original packaging but it will keep longer if you overwrap it in a resealable bag or in a plastic wrap. Same goes for other frozen foods; repackage them tightly to preserve them longer and prevent freezer burn.
- Temperature: Keep the temperature consistent and low. Your freezer should stay at or under 0°F to keep food frozen safely.
- Discoloration: Meat and other foods are prone to discoloration in the freezer but it is still safe to eat.
- Freezer Burn: Freezer burn will dry out your food and is not particularly delicious, but it is safe to eat.
Frozen foods stay good in the freezer—microbes will freeze to prevent growth of disease while also maintaining nutrients. Also, make sure you have a way to cook it—think camping stove, pots or pans, Dutch oven, etc.
Be sure to supplement your freezer food storage with plenty of dry food storage. In the case of an emergency, use the food in your freezer first before it thaws and must be thrown away.
Check your freezer off your list as you prep!