Have you just moved to a new area where storms frequently knock out your power, perhaps for days at a time? Are you worried about how to keep your food fresh and unspoiled until the power comes back on? Dealing with power outages can be a frustrating experience, especially when one comes right after your last trip to the grocery store. In order to make sure that you don't lose all those groceries, it's a good idea to be prepared for the worst.
Find an ice supplier: When you've just moved into a new area, you don't always know who sells the best ice in the area or who will even stay open in the event of a power outage. Some stores will have emergency generators to keep the registers powered and may only accept cash, while other stores will simply close until power has been restored. The best time to find someone to sell you emergency ice is before you even need it at all. To keep your food as cold as possible for as long as possible, you should look for a retailer who sells dry ice and not just the kind of ice you put in your drink. Water ice can work, but has the potential to get your food soggy as it melts. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide gas and won't get your food wet.
Buy a large ice chest: If the power outage is only expected to last a couple hours, your freezer should stay cold as long as you don't open the door. If you've found a good supply of dry ice, then you can even stuff chunks of dry ice in your regular freezer to help keep everything frozen. But when your only source of emergency ice is ordinary water ice, this can become messy to deal with as it melts. Instead, you'll have to transfer everything to an ice chest along with the ice. Make sure to choose an ice chest that can be easily drained so that you can keep putting in fresh ice to keep everything cold.
Cook what you can: Cooked food may last longer at lower temperatures than raw food. For example, if your power outage is expected to last a few days while they untangle trees from the lines, that roast beef you've been keeping in the freezer for a special occasion may start to thaw and go bad, even with the use of emergency ice. Once it goes bad, it won't be good for anyone and you certainly won't be able to eat it for your special occasion. But by cooking it, you should be able to keep it at refrigerator temperatures for a slightly longer period of time. If you haven't got a gas stove, consider organizing a neighborhood barbecue. Everyone who has food items that need to be cooked can pitch in for the purchase of propane or charcoal and, if necessary, the cost of a new grill. Depending on the grill you have, you may even be able to grill your frozen pizzas.