As the East Coast prepares to get slammed by Hurricane Florence, emergency workers are using social media to spread information and helpful advice. Worrying about flooding and rain during a storm is one thing, but those preparing for the storms should also be preparing for several days without power.
Along with planning for evacuations and stocking up on supplies, there are other ways to prepare your house and family for a few days to be safe and comfortable without power. While we can’t guarantee they’ll work, it definitely won’t hurt to try.
1. Build an indoor doggy potty. Why someone didn’t think of this sooner I don’t know. Taking your dog out to do their business can be daunting during a storm and pooches are prone to getting spooked by the weather and running away. A good alternative is to build a doggy potty in a secluded area like a garage. Simply take a kiddie pool or litter box, depending on the size of your dog, and put a pile of sod in it to collect your pet’s waste.
2. Make Soft Electric Lamps. The first thing most people reach for when the lights go out is a candle, but that’s not the safest bet because they’re prone to starting fires. Instead, fire departments recommend stocking up on batteries and electric lights. A cheap, but effective way to light up a room is to wrap a headlamp around an empty water bottle or milk jug. The light will create a soft glow that shines around the room without the risk of starting a fire.
3. Freeze Ziploc Bags of Water. Another big risk when your power goes out is the risk of spoiling food and lack of clean water. To solve both problems at once, fill ziploc bags about 3/4 full of water. The bags can be stacked on top of your food or spread around the sides of your freezer. When the power goes out the frozen water will help keep food cold, and if you need fresh water, simply take a bag out and let it thaw.
4. Fill garbage bags with water. A similar approach with bags and water, but in a much bigger way, can protect your home as well as your freezer. We know that sandbags are a fast and effective way to protect your home from flooding, but you may not have easy access to them. Instead, you can fill a garbage bag with water to form a barrier against the rising water.
5. Use a washing machine as a cooler. If you can stock up on ice before the storm arrives, this is another way to keep your food and drinks cold. Simply load the tub up with ice and whatever food and drinks you’d like, just be sure to unhook your washer so backup from sewers don’t contaminate your supply.
6. Fill your bathtub with water. Cold War kids will remember this survival technique. Clean water can be scarce in an emergency, so the National Weather Service recommends sanitizing your bathtubs and sinks and filling them all with water. You can use the water for drinking, flushing the toilet, and cleaning.
7. Put a coin on your ice cubes. This little tip could save your family from getting very sick after the hurricane passes. Simply place a coin on an ice cube and check it before getting anything out of the freezer. If the coin has sunk into the ice, you know there was a power outage and your food might not be safe to eat.
With these tips you can be a little more prepared for an emergency, so be sure to share these handy hacks with your family and friends so they can be prepared too.