More than 1.7 million customers remained without electricity Wednesday from North Carolina to Maine as a result of Irene's wrath, the U.S. Department of Energy said.
As residents who are battling flooding and power outages enter another day without power, concerns about how they can stay connected and what they can eat and drink are becoming more of an issue.
If you haven't prepared a kit or stocked up with the appropriate foods, this is the time when things can start to get a little tricky.
So, what do you need to keep in mind during the power outage?
The big three things to focus on, according to the Red Cross, are your food, any electrical equipment, generators and being aware of carbon monoxide. Here are some tips from the FDA, USDA, CDC and The Red Cross on what to do.
Manage your electric equipment
When it comes to alternative power sources, beware of carbon monoxide
"The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire," the Red Cross warns. A few tips on how to make sure you avoid coming into contact with it:
Maintain safe drinking water
The CDC says that when power is out some water purification systems may not fully function. Therefore, the best option for drinking, cooking and cleaning yourself includes bottled, boiled and treated water. Here are the CDC's rules when it comes to water in a power outage:
Your food: What you can keep and what you should throw out
Your refrigerator will only keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened and a full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours, but only if the door remains closed. In this case, those without power have likely hit that threshold. If you don't have dry ice to keep these items from going bad, consumption may leave you susceptible to illness from spoiled food.
So what should you do now that the 48 hours has passed?
Check, check, check for flooding
If you're one of the people who not only has to deal with power outages but flooding in your home, you'll need to be even more careful about the food you eat.
The USDA also provides specific guidelines on what to do with specific foods. Here's the list for what food you should throw out if it has been in temperatures above 40 ¬įF for more than 2 hours in a refrigerator:
MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD
Throw out: Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes; thawing meat or poultry; meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad; gravy, stuffing, broth;¬† lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef; pizza ‚Äď with any topping ; canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated" or opened canned meats and fish.
Throw out: Soft cheeses like blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco; shredded cheese or low-fat cheese.
Save: Hard cheeses like cheddar, colby, Swiss, parmesan, provolone or Romano; processed cheese; grated parmesan or romano cheese
Throw out: Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk; open baby formula and all types of eggs, custards and puddings.
Throw out: Fresh fruit or cut fruit
Save: Fruit juices and canned fruits even if they are opened; coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits or dates.
SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS
Throw out: Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish or fish sauces (like oyster sauce); opened creamy-based dressings or opened spaghetti sauce.
Save: Peanut butter, jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles, Worcestershire, soy, barbecue or Hoisin sauces and opened vinegar-based dressings.
BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES, PASTA, GRAINS
Throw out: Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough; cooked pasta, rice, potatoes; pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette; fresh pasta, cheesecake,
Save: Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas, waffles, pancakes or bagels.
Throw out: Cream-filled pastries; custard,cheese filled, or chiffon pies
Save: Fruit pies
Throw out: Cooked vegetables; pre-cut, pre-washed or packaged greens;¬† tofu; opened vegetable juice, baked potatoes, commercial garlic in oil and potato salad.
Save: Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices; raw vegetables;