Originally Posted by mfxman
It does work.... lost power from a hurricane in '86 (before I discovered generators). Put a few blocks of dry ice in the freezer and wrapped it in blankets and old insulation. Lasted for about 5 days. Nowadays, I fill half of the freezer with meat. The other half is filled with old gallon juice bottles full of water. Will keep the freezer hard longer and makes the compressor run less. When it all melts I'll have extra water to flush toilets ....don't drink it. The plastic in the bottles will leach chemicals in to the water over time.
My wife and I don’t have a generator, and don’t plan on getting one. Our refrigerator and freezer are the only things that we need electricity for, and we use the same procedures that you mentioned. Now that we’re retired, we don’t keep a lot of “off-the-cow” frozen meat like we did back when the kids were home, and besides the breaded meats, we have about half of our space filled with vegetables. We also keep several used plastic milk jugs filled with water in the freezer compartments, plus, we have ziplock bags filled half-full of water stuffed in between things too. She found some small tough plastic baskets that fit just right in the freezer to provide containers for different kinds of meats and veggies, and the bags work great to slide in between the baskets and fill the voids.
During the 5-day ice storm outage in December 2015, our freezers held the temperature without even covering them with quilts. We just shut the heat off in the room that they’re in (kitchen), and made sure that the drain tubes were out where we could monitor them. The outside temperature hovered around 30 degrees for those days, so our kitchen cooled down quickly to help minimize thawing. We had emptied the perishable foods from the refrigerator and put it outside on the first day so that we could access it for meals without having to open the refrigerator.
The cold outside temperature made that scenario possible, but it won’t work during the hot summer months. Our plan for hot weather (that we haven’t ever needed to use) for a summer time outage will include the quilts. Both freezer and fridge set next to each other on wheels, so when we think that the power will be off for a long period of time, we will empty out the fresh perishable food in the fridge and put it into coolers with ice jugs, unplug the units, clear off the tops of them, roll them out from the wall, and cover them with lots of quilts. My wife has been a quilter for years, and we have a bunch of them. Every year, we use quilts on the floor to bundle our frozen food while we defrost the freezers (usually during the warm but not hot part of the year when we finally get around to doing it), and have always had well frozen food when we loaded it back into the freezers. During the outage, we’ll keep an eye on the freezer drain tube. If we see water, we’ll begin planning a neighborhood barbeque. Even if we lose all of the food in our freezers, the value of it won’t equal the cost of a decent generator.
CD in Oklahoma