Drip, Drip, Drip – how to get your freezer ready for a power outage

Prepare freezer for power outage

Today started out like any other day that has nothing on the calendar. (Note: nothing on the calendar DOES NOT mean that there is nothing to do, it just means I don’t have to leave the house unless I choose to, the kids actually think that any blank day is water park day for them…ummm.  NOPE)

So, after fighting off the kids I pondered which one of the myriad things on my list I would tackle today.  Well, the most pressing on the list is; the pounds and pounds of gorgeous garden-fresh tomatoes sitting on my counter begging to somehow get into a jar.  Today was the day it had to be done, so off I went moving the little red cuties to a state of saucy goodness.

Being a mom, I like to sneak extra nutrition in on occasion so I chose this recipe. I found it on pinterest and thought I’d give it a go.  I got to work with my 7-year-old blondie peeling tomatoes, I modified it a bit, apple juice for the red wine and dried basil for fresh.  Using the stick blender made the veggie goodness unrecognizable  and these are now plinking (see reason # 10) on my counter as I type.

Now you might wonder what all that has to do with the title of this post.   Let me explain.  As I was tomato-ing this morning, my adorable husband opened our upright non-frost-free freezer and decided it was time to tackle the permafrost that had accumulated and was now wedging the door in an I-won’t-let-you-close-me position.  All morning he worked on that along side my canning efforts.   During my breaks from canning duties, I would sit at the computer and um ….compute (pinterest, facebook, blog hop, you know…compute)   He got the top shelves emptied and chipped and chiseled away at that giant frozen snow cone non-stop until lunch time.  Not long after that, he said,”Hun, can you finish this?”   In my mind, I’m thinking….Can’t you see that I’m canning?  But I said, “Sure, I can do that.” grumble grumbling in my mind of course. 🙂

So, now the freezer is on my radar and I hear this sound:  Drip, Drip, Clink, Clunk. Think Plinko on the Price is Right.  It’s the ice cap melting, doing what ice does when you turn off the cold.   If you’ve ever defrosted a freezer you know that you’d better have a bunch of towels to sop (is that a word?) up the drippage that makes its way to the floor.  Good thing I hadn’t washed that load of dirty towels yet huh?  I must have planned it that way.

This whole thing does actually have a point.  My mind turns to the time when the ice in the freezer would be melting not because we told it too, but because it had no power to keep it frozen.  The result is the same no matter the cause but there are some things you’ll want to do to prepare for such an occasion.

These won’t apply so much to a frost-free model but certainly to the frost-full variety:

  1. Defrost your freezer on a more regular basis than we did to keep the ice at a minimum. I’m sure that the owner’s manual says something like every 3 months but I don’t have an owners manual for this dinosaur so I am exempt from that bit of wisdom. (I like to tell myself that anyway)
  2. Keep water filled containers in your freezer to take up the air space and help the freezer and contents to stay frozen longer in an outage. These can also come in handy for emergency drinking water needs.
  3. Store towels that can be used for ‘sopping’ up the melted ice if you didn’t follow tip #1 above.  Besides this use, extra towels can be also be used for medical needs, insulating food in a wonderbox, and cooling without power.  If you cringe at the thought of using your nice towels, just plan on saving the older ones for this. You can hide them in your storage room or at the bottom of the linen closet.
  4. If the power is out your handy-dandy electric dryer isn’t going to be working for drying all those wet towels so consider storing some clothesline and clothes pins for drying them.
  5. A laundry wringer (a bit spendy) or a mop bucket with a smash wringer might also be useful to get the towels as water free as possible for faster drying.

I’m grateful for the ability to turn the freezer right back on when I want, now off to wash a bunch of towels.



  1. Tina Day says:

    Will you be explaining a “wonderbox” in some future post? I am still in the learning process 🙂

  2. ready1 says:

    Hi Tina,
    Yes I will absolutely be covering that soon. Thanks for the note and reminder.

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