Ruth's Blog

Midwestern Floods–Food, Fluids & Families

The recent Midwestern floods have been devastating for many of my neighbors in surrounding counties.  Our home was unaffected, since we live on higher ground—less than a mile away from the mighty Mississippi in Minnesota. Only minutes down the road, disaster areas have been declared in Southern Minnesota as well as many counties in Iowa and nearby Wisconsin.

 

As families in river towns struggle to save their communities, we must be aware of the potential long term effects from the losses of these vital farm communities – from economic losses to environmental destruction. There will likely be a resounding effect on our food supply, considering the flooded areas are in the “bread basket” of our country. The immediate concern has been for adequate fluids, food and shelter. In times of disaster it’s critical to follow safe food and water guidelines:

Guidelines for Safe Food & Water

*Consume only bottled water or water that has been deemed safe by local authorities.

*Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold –fresh meats and refrigerated items must be kept on ice at a temperature of less than 40 degrees.

*Be sure you have portable thermometers in all refrigerators/freezers. When foods reach between 40 degrees – 140 degrees Fahrenheit (the danger zone), harmful bacteria can grow.

*Minimize opening refrigerator and freezer doors to help maintain the temperature.

*Freezers may keep items frozen for 24 – 48 hours depending upon how full they are. 

 

The US Dept. of Agriculture recently released information on preparing for and managing disasters: http://tinyurl.com/6yhspf

 

Please consider contributing to the floor relief efforts coordinated the American Red Cross. Their needs continue to grow: www.redcross.org

 

Farm Aid has established a farmer relief fund. For more information: www.farmaid.org.

 

Also, if you are a member of the American Dietetic Association, please consider a contribution to help students, ADA members and families that have been affected by the floods: Log in and then click on the “Disaster Relief” button at the top of the page:  http://www.eatright.org/obc

  

Good health to you,

 

Ruth

 


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