Power outage — suggestions to replace spoiled food

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Jacque posted on Facebook that she lost a bunch of frozen and refrigerated food in the recent huge power outage Friday-Saturday, and wanted suggestions on how to start replacing that stockpile this week. I commented over there but thought I’d also throw it out here — because I know Jacque isn’t the only one this happened to this week! So:

  1. If this happened to you, what’s your plan, or,
  2. What suggestions would you have?

I’m also curious if anyone has ever had success seeking reimbursement from ComEd. There’s a claim form here: https://www.comed.com/Documents/CustomerService_Brochuresandforms/comedclaimform.pdf — see the part on p2 about section 16-125-e.

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  1. Chris Schelthoff says

    First thing is to make sure that NO ONE opens the freezer doors. Your stuff can stay frozen up to 48 or so hours depending on the ambient temperature. Look to see if the neighbors across the street, etc. have power. The way the lines are placed it seems like one side has it, the other does not. Do you have any friends with space in their refrigerators? If not, fill up your cooler with ice and put the refrigerator contents in when the air in the frig starts to warm up. Ice cream can’t handle a sudden warm up. Either transfer it immediately or start eating.

    Then start looking for a generator.

  2. says

    I haven’t lost food from a power outage but rather from a preschooler leaving the freezer door open. We had just had a delivery from Colorado Prime of a 6 months worth of meat and then the freezer day was left open for about 18 hours. When I contacted the company they told me that if the meat was still partially frozen then it was salvageable. I was skeptical at first but they were right.

  3. Becky says

    My mom sent in for the ComEd money once when we lost power for 6 days! It took forever to write it all out. She did get something like $140 back though.

  4. Jackie says

    We lost a bunch of fozen and refrigerated items as well. I just did the dairy deal with the all yogurt on thursday…all trashed. Also we lost lots of cheeses. Sad to throw everything away, but just not worth the risk of getting the family sick. So, with that being said, i’m trying to hold out for sales on the things we lost, if we can. The sad part, is that most of the items i purchased with coupons, so i can buy the items again, but don’t have the coupons. I did fill out the comed form, it took awhile, but hope its worth it. Will mail it in tomorrow.

  5. Rebecca says

    A while back (I was in college) my neighbor moved out and the power company mistakenly turned off my power instead! My food spoiled because I was out for the weekend and I had to get my power turned back on, etc.. when I got back.

    they DO have a form somewhere for filling out what food was lost to spoilage. YES it takes a while to list everything if you have a deep freeze or something, but I got about $200 back for the food I lost. I wasn’t couponing back then, but still, losing all that on a college student’s budget was a big deal at the time! I think most power companies have a policy like this.

  6. Dawn says

    Our family of 6 just got back from a 2 week Alaska vacation (thanks to Jill, Mashup Mom and CW!) We were in awe of the land, and of course the people strong enough to live there year round. We had quite the adventure but were happy to be returning home to the comforts we are accustomed to. We returned home yesterday to find our home hooked up to a generator! Our neighbors across the street had power and hooked us up to their generator so our frozen stockpile wouldn’t be ruined. We are so grateful to them! Comed is saying Monday by 11pm for our power to return. I don’t think I could ever live in Alaska but I can buy my very own generator! I have realized it is a must for our frozen stockpile. One chest is dedicated to meat. One to home-made prepared meals. And the other two are assortments of all the deals. I am so thankful to our awesome neighbors!!
    I have seen some electrical chords across streets in our neighborhood and others where neighbors with power are hooking up their houses to friends in need across the street that are without power.

    • sherry mastromarino says

      Ok what about orange and rockland do they have reimbursement for food lost and i kept mine shut to. we were out of power for 7 days and had to throw out milk, oj meat butter eggs and lettuce and about 300.00 worth of food because of this who do we see about this issue

  7. Lynette says

    No luck with trying to get reimbursed from ComEd, I wrote a letter with receipts years ago and they declined due to act of god and they had no control, i lost my power for days and lost over $200 worth of stuff!!!

  8. tracey says

    I think a homeowners policy may pick up some of the cost of spoiled food. Can’t hurt to check that option if Com-ed won’t help.

  9. Erin says

    Careful about the homeowners policy calls. We called a couple of years ago to check eligibility for a claim and it got entered into the system. Even though we never went through with the claim, it shows as a claim for $0. When we moved, we were denied coverage by several companies for having a recent “claim”. Even though it showed a claim of zero. May not be worth it!

  10. Coupon Princess says

    Hi all, I was very excited when Rachel suggested filing the form with Com Ed but unfornately, they don’t replace food lost from “Acts of God”. But God does provide :) A family from church came over and brought us food this weekend. We are so thankful!

  11. says

    Coupon Princess — read that middle part on the form — there are exceptions when a certain number of people lose power for a minimum amount of time. So who knows — it sounds like some people have had success in the past and some haven’t? That was so nice!

  12. Melisa says

    I have successfully been reimbursed by com-ed for food loss. It was several years back but I remember getting a check back.

  13. says

    We were out of power for 3 days a couple falls ago due to a storm and we filed a claim and were denied. They said they had done everything they could and it was an act of God.

  14. michelle says

    Act of god ….. my @$%$!!!!
    Act of god was a storm that was very short to my understanding.
    Taking days to repair…. Is not an act of god. It is a company that can’t afford to maintain their system, grids, and transformers in a timely manner.
    But pay their lineman big bucks.
    If I took take the same amount of time to pay the bill, would that be an act of god?
    Or would they slap me with a charge because I was late?
    We all know that answer.

  15. Colleen says

    This news article says that ComEd will not reimburse you for food loss if the power outage is caused by Mother Nature rather than failure of their equipment.
    Yesterday we lost power and still don’t have it. Our basement flooded and we have a box freezer full of meat, poultry, cheese, bread and butter which is probably all going to be spoiled. So frustrating. I am just going to start over with the stockpiling and Supercouponing. The frustrating part is that all those coupons I used this week and the past few weeks are gone now and can’t be re-used, so the stockpile will be a slow process. Hubby purchased a nice generator today so we don’t have this problem again the in future.

  16. Ky says

    Question..the power went out the other day due to the crazy but brief storm. We lost power briefly but it came back on. When I left for work the power was on but when I came back the power was off. The power was restored last night to the whole complex but 5 buildings. My neighbor said that someone digging hit a power line and only our grid won’t have power until (estimated) the 24th at 11:59 (per ComEd). I called ComEd to verify the story but they say they can’t don’t know. Can I get reimbursed for my food as well as purchasing a battery powered lamp since I live on the 3rd floor and there are no emergency lights in the hallway?

  17. Suzanne says

    We didnt lose power but if anyone is in the Midway area who did, I will be happy to help with some food from my stockpile. We had power out when we got flooded last yr and had no luck with Comed either.

  18. Jaci says

    I know this article began in 2010 but since there was just a large outage in northern illinois – people are looking up this very issue. This page shows at the top of the Google search for ComEd Reimbursement. Anyway in regards to “Act of God” the claim form does say that if more than 30,000 customers are effected (in this case that is true) they will still reimburse for “act of god”. So if you did lose power during this storm, go ahead and fill out the form. Can’t hurt.

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