11 Severe Weather Hacks Everyone Should Know
As I write these words, Tropical Storm Cristobal is moving inland across southeastern Louisiana.
It’s bringing heavy rain, storm surge, flooding and gusty winds. This storm is expected to have staying power.
In fact, they’re predicting it will move all the way into the Upper Midwest before it finally peters out in Canada.
Fortunately for those in the South, this storm did not develop into a hurricane while in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane season is here
What’s so unusual about a strong storm striking Louisiana and surrounding states in the spring?
Nothing. And that’s the problem. We’ve entered hurricane season and most weather forecasters are predicting an active one.
Hurricane season normally runs from June 1 to November 30. But May featured Tropical Storm Arthur, which took aim on North Carolina. And Tropical Storm Bertha, which made landfall in South Carolina.
Those were just the warm-up bands, according to those who predict the weather. The main acts should be taking the stage soon.
Severe weather is a given
This year has already done a number on America. From the coronavirus pandemic to powerful tornados in multiple states to civil unrest. We’ve even heard about killer hornets that may be on the way.
People are wondering which calamity will hit us next. We can’t stop crises from occurring. But we can prepare for them.
Extreme weather is going to take lives in 2020. It’s going to destroy property and leave people homeless. It’s inevitable.
But there are some severe weather hacks we can learn and use to try to keep ourselves safe.
Is your food still frozen?
There are many different types of extreme weather. But the common denominator is power outages.
The single best way to prepare for a blackout is to have a fully-charged, solar-powered generator on hand. More about that in a moment. In the meantime, let’s look at some power outage hacks you can employ.
1) It can be difficult to know whether the food in your freezer is still good during a power outage.
So, partially fill a mason jar with water and lay it on its side in your freezer. After the water freezes, stand the jar up. If that water melts to the bottom during an outage, food in your freezer should not be eaten.
Another simple way you can find out is with this “25-cent hack.”
Put a cup of water in your freezer. Once the water is frozen, place a quarter on top of the ice. Then just leave it there.
If you come home to find that your power is out, check where the quarter is. If it’s still on top, your food is probably safe to consume. But if it has sunk down toward the middle of the cup or lower, your food is probably starting to spoil.
Now, that’s hardly a scientific test. And it’s better to error on the side of caution. But nobody wants to waste food, and that little trick could be helpful in determining how long your power has been out.
Keeping it cool
2) During warmer weather, keep a couple of plastic quart bottles of water in your freezer.
If the power goes out, place one in front of a battery-operated fan. It will send cool air your way.
3) Food will stay cold longer in a freezer if that freezer is full. If there is not enough food to fill the freezer, add one or more plastic milk jugs about three-fourths of the way filled with water.
Those milk jugs will fill up the empty spaces in the freezer and keep everything else colder.
Multi-purpose washing machine
4) Another way to keep some food cold in an outage is to move it to coolers packed with ice.
But if you don’t have coolers, you can place that food in a washing machine with ice. Eventually when the ice melts, the water will drain out.
5) A washer or dryer is also a good place to put some of your more valuable belongings if you’re worried about flood damage.
They should stay dry in those enclosed spaces. Especially in top-loading washers and dryers.
From flooding to drought
6) Flooding is often a factor in severe weather. It can contribute to water contamination.
Always keep plenty of ice cubes in your freezer. If your access to clean water is cut off, place those cubes in a thermos. Then put that thermos in the coolest area of your home, such as a basement.
7) If you live in an area affected by droughts, don’t let any of your water go to waste. While waiting for your shower water to reach the right temperature, collect it in a bucket.
Then use that collected water for purposes such as watering plants and washing dishes.
Keep those limbs trim
8) Another way to save water is to not flush your toilet as often. According to the EPA, more water is used each day to flush toilets than any other household activity.
Remember the phrase, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” Even if you only flush half as often as before, you’ll save a significant amount of water.
9) Severe weather often results in tree limbs being snapped and falling on power lines. Not to mention on homes and vehicles.
Make sure the branches from trees on your property are trimmed annually. They still might snap, but hopefully they’ll fall harmlessly in your yard.
Let there be light
10) You may have a couple of flashlights in your home. But what if you run out of AA batteries for them?
Just insert a ball of aluminum foil between the negative end of a AAA battery and the device to generate power.
11) Flashlights are better than candles in an outage. But there may come a time when you need a makeshift candle.
Take a can of cooking oil. Place a string or piece of cotton in the middle of the can and light it. You can also do this with a can of lard.
But the answer to truly ensuring your home is an island of light and warmth... even when it's dark everywhere else... is to have the portable solar-powered Patriot Power Generator.
Think about it... letting go of the worry of what will happen to your family during an emergency power outage... and never again being at the mercy of a crumbling, weak, and unreliable power grid!
A Patriot Power Generator will be a source of comfort and strength in the storm while harnessing limitless and FREE energy from the sun.