Strong tropical storm and hurricane landings usually mean power outages along with the obligatory wind and water damage. In such times the use of thermally insulated coolers can make the difference between extended periods of misery and being able to bide time with reasonable conveniences that include cool beverages, edible perishable foods, and safe medical supplies that would otherwise go to waste from spoilage. The choice among quality coolers that can perform the job well is between standard hard shell varieties and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam-constructed ice chests. Here are six reasons why the foam cooler ice chest is a better choice than hard shell plastic or metal ones when the weather starts to get bad.
They Are Far More Economically Affordable Than Hard Shell Coolers
The brands of hard shell coolers necessary to match the performance of a superior thick-walled foam cooler of comparable size and volume can be very expensive, putting a serious dent in your wallet, and priced so that many people who are negatively impacted by the storm season cannot afford to own one that’s reliable enough to keep everything cold for extended periods of time. As a result, people in need end up with cheaper imitations that don’t do the job well, placing them at risk for prematurely melted ice, spoiled food, or even ruined medicines as they await help to come from outside the damaged storm regions.
A plastic or metal cooler that’s comparable size-wise and volume-wise to, say, an 85 quart foam ice chest will cost anywhere from two hundred to more than four hundred dollars, whereas the foam version can be had for around an extremely affordable fifteen bucks or so. That means for the amount of money necessary to buy the hard shell cooler, one can buy an entire stack of foam ice chests.
From a community benefit standpoint, this is much more practical, as a person can have a surplus on hand to store up enough goods for days and still be able to help others in need who are not as well-prepared or who may suffer damage that puts them in a bad way.
They Can Keep Ice Cold for Days Rather Than Hours
Anybody who has stood in line for hours in the hot summer sun after a major hurricane just to get a couple bags of ice knows the importance of immediately getting it into an insulated container to prevent thawing. One of the drawbacks of hard shell coolers is that they have to be “pre-cooled” in order to prevent ice from starting to melt immediately due to the heated inner surface temperature of the hard inner lining. In an emergency situation where ice is vitally scarce, a person can’t afford to waste it trying to cool down something that’s supposed to be keeping ice from melting.
Effective at Preventing Premature Food Spoilage
Perishable foods last a good deal longer in thick-walled, quality-constructed foam ice chests than thin-wall, cheap foam coolers, and just as well or better than hard shell coolers of comparable size and volume, especially when weighing the price difference between them. Food shippers use foam shipping coolers (ice chest thickness) to send temperature-sensitive food freight and perishable goods across country because they are tested and reliable.
Practical For Storing Medical Supplies
Thick walled foam coolers are tested and rated for cross-country shipping of temperature-sensitive medical supplies in combination with proper refrigerants such as gel packs that can be pre-frozen and used to maintain the proper temperature range. In post-hurricane situations when the power is out, ice can be used with care if there are no gel packs or gel blocks or no generator power to run freezers that can cool them down. Consult with the proper resources ahead of time to find out how long you can store specific types of medicines and what configuration of cooler, gel packs, etc. you should use to maximize efficient, days-long storage of vital medical supplies.
Reusable and Recyclable
The best quality thick-walled foam ice chests are built to last and keep on hand for years, but if you decide you need to discard one, then you benefit from its recyclability, whereas a broken hard shell cooler takes up as much or more volume space as a foam ice chest but is not recyclable. There are more than 200 recycling resources for eps foam in the United States alone, allowing you drop-off or mail-in service. If you would rather keep it for years, simply store it in a shady place out of the weather and it will be ready for use the next time a tropical storm or hurricane comes around.
Can Serve As Emergency Floatation Devices
As a last resort in what one hopes would be a rare case, foam ice chests can be used to save your life just in case you are caught in a storm surge of deep water or flooding. The expanded polystyrene content is very buoyant, able to help prevent a person from drowning if they can hold on effectively. Of course, you wouldn’t want the cooler to be full of food at the time because that would add a bunch of extra weight. In any case, the point is that they do float well and can be of use if a person is not wearing a life-preserver.
Why They Are A Better Choice For Hurricane Preparedness
For the price of a single high-quality hard shell cooler you can buy numerous thick-walled foam cooler ice chests that perform just as well, last for years, and have advantages that the metal or hard plastic one does not. You’ll be able to store more for emergencies because you’ll have more units available, plus position yourself to be helpful to those who find themselves stuck in a bind due to unforeseen circumstance. This is one of the rare times in life where what seems like a bargain really is a bargain that can’t be beat.