NC State Extension

Disaster Preparedness

This page provides resources for how to handle food when disaster strikes. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms and other natural disasters can cause power outages or water damage that can put refrigerated, frozen and dry foods at risk.

Four Things to Do in Preparation for Florence:

  1. Purchase or locate thermometers. Place a thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer; have a tip-sensitive digital thermometer ready to check food temperatures. Foods that can support the growth of pathogens (like cooked vegetables, cooked and raw meats, melons, sliced tomatoes) are riskier after being held above 41F for more than 4hrs.
  2. Check stock of refrigerator. Purchase or prepare food items that don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on an outdoor grill.
  3. Store or purchase water incase case water systems are impacted resulting in boil water advisories. Use bottled/clean water for everything from brushing teeth, cooking.
  4. Prepare coolers and purchase ice and dry ice. Use dry ice to extend the amount of time food stay below 41F. Freeze containers of water for ice or purchase ice.

Resources and Information – English


Preparing for Hurricane Florence

Preparing for Hurricane Florence: Infant Food Safety

Recovering from Hurricane Florence: Frozen and Refrigerated Food

Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Power Failures from Hurricane Florence

Safe Food After Hurricane Florence Flooding

Kitchen Cleanup After Hurricane Florence Flooding


What to Do During a Boil Water Advisory (CDC Fact Sheet)

Making Water Safe in an Emergency (CDC)

Making Water Safe (CDC Fact Sheet)

What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly (CDC)

Keep Food and Water Safe After a Disaster or Emergency (CDC)

Recursos e información – español (Resources and Information – Spanish)

Preparándose para el Huracán Florence (Preparing for Hurricane Florence)

Preparándonos para el Huracán Florence: Seguridad de Alimentos para Bebés (Preparing for Hurricane Florence: Infant Food Safety)

Recuperándose del Huracán Florence: Alimentos Refrigerados y Congelados (Recovering from Hurricane Florence: Frozen and Refrigerated Food)

Prepare y Mantenga los Alimentos Seguros Después de un Fallo de Energía Causado por el Huracán Florence (Meal Preparation after a Power Failure from Hurricane Florence) 

Recuperándose del Huracán Florence: Alimentos Seguros Después de la Inundación (Safe Food After Flooding from Hurricane Florence)

Limpieza de la Cocina después de la Inundación Causada por el Huracán Florence (Kitchen Clean Up after Hurricane Florence Flooding) 

Lo que necesita saber en caso de un corte inesperado de la electricidad (CDC Fact Sheet)  (What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly)

Como desiinfectar el agua (CDC Fact Sheet) (Making Water Safe in an Emergency) 

Mantenga los alimentos y el agua seguros después de un desastre natural (CDC) (Keeping Food and Water Safe After a Disaster or Emergency)

For questions contact

Dr. Benjamin Chapman

919-515-8099 (office)

919-809-3205 (cell)

For more information on disaster preparedness in North Carolina, visit the NC Disaster Information Center.