FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           Connecticut Department of Public Health

October 28, 2012                                                                    Contact: Diana Lejardi

                                                                                                (860) 250-6164



Hartford  With the potential for power outages and flooding resulting from Hurricane Sandy, DPH provides the following tips to stay healthy:


Food Safety: When in doubt, throw it out!

  • The refrigerator will keep food at proper temperature for about four hours if the doors are not opened. A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full).
  • If the temperature in your refrigerator or freezer is at or above 45 degrees for more than two hours, throw away perishable foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and cut fruits and vegetables.
  • Food can be safely refrozen if it still has ice crystals on it or has stayed below 40 degrees.
  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. This includes packaged food items in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth, and similar containers that may have been water damaged, as well as beverage containers with screw-caps, snap lids, crimped caps (soda bottles), twist caps, flip tops, and home canned foods, as these tops cannot be disinfected appropriately.
  • As always, if there is any doubt as to the safety of the food, it is best to discard the food rather than take a chance of contracting a foodborne illness. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!

Drinking Water

  • Listen for water reports from your public water supply company or local authorities to find out if your water is safe for drinking and bathing.
  • If an advisory has been issued concerning contaminated water, use only bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, and hand washing.
  • Homeowners in flooded areas whose private wells have flooded should consider their wells contaminated. Contaminated wells should be disinfected before use. For information on disinfecting wells, go to
  • Throw away any bottled water that may have come in contact with flood or storm water.


  • If you have to evacuate or leave your home, be sure to bring your medications and medical supplies with you.
  • Bring enough medication and medical supplies to last you for a few days.
  • If you have a question on how to store your medication, including medication that requires refrigeration, contact your pharmacist.
  • Persons who depend on medical supply deliveries and plan to temporarily stay at another address – with a neighbor, family member or at a shelter – should notify their medical supply providers to have their supplies delivered to the temporary location with no lapse in their care.


For more information on Hurricane Sandy, visit