3-Day Crisis Food and Supply

The 3-Day Crisis Food and Supply is designed for typical power outages or during short-term weather-related events.  Remember – you can’t count on your oven, stove, or crock pot being operational during a power outage so even if you have a freezer full of food you may not be able to cook it easily.  For this reason we need to have some easy to prepare foods available.  Please don’t buy anything you or your family couldn’t stand to eat.  You are preparing so you are in control.  No one has to eat bugs or tree bark today.

A couple of assumptions are made:

  1. you have some food in your refrigerator and freezer
  2. you have some non-electric method to perform basic cooking and boiling water

Without power refrigerated foods last only 4 hours.  The food in your refrigerator will be your first meals during a power outage.  See Day 1-Crisis Menu Ideas.

You will have a day or two at the most during a power outage before the food in your freezer becomes potentially unsafe to eat.

  • Food remains safe for approximately 48 hours, if the freezer is full.
  • Food remains safe for approximately 24 hours, if the freezer is half-full.


  • Consider freezing milk jugs 3/4 full of water and keeping them in your freezer.  Not only will your food last longer in a crisis, you’ll also have more water once the ice melts.  Plus you’ll save on your energy bill during normal operation since freezers like to be full.
  • Create an inventory list of what’s in your freezer and put it on the freezer door.  During a power outage you won’t have to open the freezer to check what you have on hand.
  • Always have a loaf of bread in the freezer so you can make sandwiches during a power outage.

On Day 2 of a power limiting emergency you will have to begin eating from your freezer.  Make a list today of supplies you need to cook your freezer foods with no electricity.  Are some foods microwaveable?  You can adapt mostly to a stovetop (if you have a gas range), outdoor grill, or campfire method.  If the weather keeps you indoors, add Sterno® or other indoor-appropriate cooking alternatives to your list.  Sterno® will warm not necessarily cook food so have a plan for how you will cook any meat or other raw items in your freezer.

See Day 2-Crisis Menu Ideas (coming soon).


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