By Josh Barro
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has put out food-safety instructions for people who have lost power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. This instruction, in particular, jumped out at me:
Add block ice or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity is expected to be off for more than four hours. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18-cubic foot fully-stocked freezer cold for two days.
We were supposed to be keeping dry ice on hand in case of a power outage? Who knew?
I pulled up a Google search for "dry ice near New Jersey" and tried calling the first 10 numbers that appeared. I was able to reach only one distributor. In several cases, I got a message that the voicemail box was full. Apparently, demand for ice is strong.
The man I managed to reach was John O'Hagan, owner of Esposito's Ice in Morris Plains. He told me they had indeed been extremely busy in the run-up to the storm. They delivered dry and packaged ice until the weather made it untenable at 4:30 p.m. yesterday and will restart when conditions allow.
Customers included restaurants, nursing homes and private residences. O'Hagan said nobody had specifically said that he or she was getting dry ice on the governor's instruction, but that he himself is "a big fan" and is sure Christie's statement helped.
Read more breaking commentary from Josh Barro and other Bloomberg View columnists and editors at the Ticker.-0- Oct/30/2012 17:16 GMT