DIY natural disaster preparedness hacks

DIY disaster preparedness household hacks
Updated: Sep. 10, 2018 at 10:57 PM EDT
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Why would you want to fill a jar with water? There are plenty of reasons. (Source: NBC12)
Why would you want to fill a jar with water? There are plenty of reasons. (Source: NBC12)

(WWBT) - Wicked weather can happen at any time and in any place. Every season brings its set of potential emergencies that can arise.

But, do you know what to do if you lose power?

Preparing for a natural disaster can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some household hacks that will get you through any storm:

  • Washing machines can act as a cooler. Fill it with ice and it can keep drinks and food cold. It has more space than a regular freezer and as the ice melts, the water will drain away.
  • Fill the bath tub with water. The water can be used for the toilet or many other things.
  • A headlamp can turn a jug of water into a lantern. Headlamps with adjustable straps can be found at most hardware stores. Wrap the lamp around a clear plastic jug full of water, point the light into the jug and the water magnifies the light from the lamp.
  • Chocolate! Wait, what? There aren't any special uses for it, but it's not often part of a preparedness kit and it can help you feel a little better about your circumstances.
  • Freezer detector. Fill a mason jar or other vessel with water and place it in a freezer so the water turns to ice. It is a good indicator of how cold the freezer has stayed and can help determine if food is still good. If you have to leave your home, put a coin on top of the ice. If the penny is still there when you return, you know the ice never melted. If it is at the bottom, your freezer got too warm.
  • Fill water bottles and put them by the sink to use for washing hands if there is no running water.
  • Fill tupperware bowls or plastic sandwich bags with water and freeze to use as homemade ice packs. When they melt, you have a backup water supply.
  • Lower the temperature of your refrigerator before the power goes out so its gets colder. Keep the door closed as much as possible to prevent that cold air from escaping.
  • Aluminum pans can prevent furniture from being damaged in minor flooding. Put the legs of sofas or chairs in the pans and it will protect them from water, until the water level rises above the pan.
  • Tin cans like the one used for coffee can make a make-shift fire stove in a pinch.
  • A crayon can be used a candle and will burn for about 30 minutes.
  • Home-made candles can also be made by soaking a string or rope in olive oil. Even an orange can be turned into a candle.

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