It's no fun to lose power for hours or days, especially if you end up having to throw out the food in your fridge. If you know a big storm is coming, you can keep food safe longer by filling your freezer with jugs of water. Photo via Visual hunt.
A full freezer stays cold for 48 hours, while a half-empty freezer can only be trusted for about 24. (Don't completely pack the freezer, though: make sure there's a little space for air to circulate.) A refrigerator only keeps its temperature for about four hours, and that's assuming you don't open the doors.
Before the storm comes, you can use items from your refrigerator to fill your freezer. That preserves those items a little longer while also helping to keep the freezer cold. Containers of water are your best bet to use up the rest of the space: they're bigger and cheaper than gel ice packs, and they can be a backup source of drinking water.
While you're preparing, pick up a refrigerator thermometer to keep tabs on the temperature: freezers should stay below -17.7 degrees, and a safe refrigerator is 4.4 or below.