With the hurricane season of late summer and early fall behind us, it may be tempting to believe that the weather-related threats to food safety are behind us as well. However, winter storms can cause power outages that disable refrigerators and freezers just as well as summer storms do.
As with power outages in any season, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
One key mistake to avoid if the power goes out in winter is to try to use the winter weather as an informal outdoor refrigerator or freezer.