Photo: Mark Mulligan/Staff Photographer
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Braving the next tropical storm is a way of life for Houstonians. No matter how intense the tropical threat, Houstonians are saavy pros at storm prep, and we can give you a rundown of all the things you must do to prepare–from getting your home insurance papers handy to filling up your tank with gas. But what about the unusual hacks and tips that you may not have heard yet?
At Chron.com, we’ve rounded up the top ten essential and unconventional storm hacks that we’ve discovered across the internet that can help you navigate through Tropical Storm Laura.
HURRICANE LAURA: Hurricane warning includes Galveston as Laura strengthens
1) STORING WATER IN YOUR BATHTUB: Just in case you can’t use your running water, you can use water that is stored in your bathtub to take a shower, suggested ABC-7.
2) ZIPLOC ICE CUBES AND PLACE THEM IN THE FREEZER: This has a two-fold effect–helping your freezer stay colder for a longer period of time, and it gives you an additional supply of water.
3) DUMP ICE INTO YOUR WASHING MACHINE: Want a spot to keep your drinks cool? Dumping ice into a washing machine. This hack will reportedly keep your drinks cold for days.
4) FOOD STORAGE IN YOUR WASHING MACHINE: This is a key spot for keeping food cool as well. Just pack the washing machine with ice and then store your food, according to ABC-13.
5) SURVIVAL SANITATION: Ok, this is a sticky problem when you’re hunkered down in a hurricane–how do you flush the toilet if the water is off? According to Tactical Intelligence, there are ways to do it even if you don’t have running water. You can pour 2 gallons of water inside your toilet’s bowl after flushing which should trigger the spinning motion to activate your toilet to flush.
6) PUT YOUR POSSESSIONS IN THE DISHWASHER: Yes, you heard that right. A dishwasher is a good place to keep your possessions dry. Pack all your possessions and documents inside a Ziploc bag before storing it inside the dishwasher. Don’t forget to get these items once the storm has passed.
7) POWER OUTAGE PENNY TRICK: So how do you check if your power has been out for too long? Try the penny trick, recommended by the Sun Sentinel. This is a top trick if you ever need to evacuate. All you do is freeze a cup of water and put a penny on the top of the ice. Then, put it in the freezer. Hint: If the power is off long enough for the ice to melt, then the penny will be right at the bottom.
8) BUY A POWER INVERTER: This is a must-get. So if you can’t afford an expensive generator in the pandemic, snap up a power inverter for $30 at most home improvement stores. All you do is hook it up to the car battery and it creates AC power, according to Consumer Reports.
9) LIGHT IT UP: So instead of buying a few flashlights, why not just use the free flashlight on your Iphone or smartphone or buy LED light bars which last longer than regular flashlights, according to WPLG’s Jeff Weinsier.
10) FREEZE WASHCLOTHS: If the power goes out, this is simple trick to keep cool and deal with the heat temporarily, suggested by KPRC.