According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane season typically lasts from mid-summer to late fall for both east and west coasts in the United States. That means we're currently at the peak of some pretty nasty weather. While preparing for the deluge, it's important to remember that power is usually the first thing to go whenever any type of big storm hits. Whether you decide to stay home and stick it out or are advised to evacuate, it often leads to leaving the foods in your freezer behind to rot.
But thanks to this super simple hack, you'll never have to worry about your food spoiling again. For this trick, all you need is a coin and a glass of water. Let a cup of water freeze solid, then place the quarter on top and wait. If you find the coin grazing the bottom of the glass after the storm, you should probably throw out whatever's in the freezer — but if the coin stays on top, there's a good chance your food didn't completely defrost.
Leaving your home during a major weather event can be frightening, and the stress usually doesn't end when you finally do return home. But it's comforting to know that you can at least keep tabs on your fridge while you're gone in order to ensure that everything in there is perfectly safe.
How to Prepare for a Power Outage
If you are hit with a last-minute storm and you do lose power, how else can you maintain some peace of mind? Here are a few tips from the Food and Drug Administration on how to play it safe by preparing your home for a power outage.
1. Appliance thermometers. The FDA recommends placing appliance thermometers in the fridge and the freezer. You should check that the freezer temperature is at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit and the fridge is at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the power goes out, these thermometers should indicate whether or not the food is still safe to eat.
2. Group food together in the freezer. Keeping certain foods together will help them stay cooler longer.
3. Store food on shelves. In case of a flood, non-perishable food that's stored higher is less likely to become contaminated.