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Women's Health

Blizzard 2013: Preparation & Getting Through It

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Dress as warmly as possible. Know that it can come on quickly.  Recognize the first symptoms, such as a white or pale appearance in the toes, fingers, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose.

If you suspect frostbite, get medical help right away. Get to a warm area right away and remove any wet clothing. If that is not possible right away, warm the affected areas using body heat, such as by placing frostbitten fingers in your underarm.

If you are showing signs of a dangerously low body temperature, known as hypothermia -- shivering uncontrollably, slurring speech, having memory loss -- your body core (not arms and legs) should be warmed first. Get medical help ASAP.

Q: Once the power is out, how long will refrigerated foods last?

Refrigerated foods, once the power is off, will stay cold for about four to six hours. To increase the time, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.

If a freezer is full, the temperature will be maintained for about 48 hours. If it's half full of food, figure 24 hours.

Q: What foods should be eaten first, after power is off?

Start by eating leftovers, meat, poultry, and any foods with milk, cream, soft cheese, or sour cream.

If frozen foods still contain ice crystals, they may still be safely cooked and eaten (or re-frozen, if power is restored).

Fruits that were frozen can be eaten if they still taste and smell good.

Vegetables that are completely thawed shouldn't be eaten, since bacteria multiply quickly.

If meat or poultry has thawed and has been warmer than 40 degrees F for two hours, discard it.

Discard melted ice cream.

Some foods typically refrigerated keep at room temperature for a few days. Among them: butter, margarine, hard cheese, fresh fruit, and vegetables (except sprouts or fresh, sliced fruit), fruit juice, dried fruits, or coconut. Opened jars of vinegar-based salad dressing, jelly, relishes, taco sauce, and barbecue sauce are typically also OK to eat. Mustard, ketchup, and olives generally keep at room temperature for a few days, too.

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