If you’re ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in the path of a hurricane or an oncoming storm, the first thing that you should do is immediately evacuate the area. However, even if you’re only going to be away for a short while, it’s important to know whether or not your power has gone out during the storm. Unfortunately, it’s just a simple fact that losing your power during a spell of bad weather can lead to all of the food in your refrigerator spoiling, and nobody wants that!
So, over the years, people have come up with a few simple tricks to help determine if they’ve lost their power at all after returning home from a vacation or an emergency evacuation.
Here are seven tips that might just save your fridge full of food!
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1. “It’s called the one cup tip,” a woman named Sheila wrote in an October 2016 Facebook post. “You put a cup of water in your freezer, freeze it solid, and then put a quarter on top of it. Then just leave it in your freezer.” So that’s it? Well, there is a simple genius behind her idea. If the power went out for a long time, the ice will have melted and the quarter will be floating at the bottom of the cup. If the power came back on, then the freezer probably restarted, and the water re-froze itself with the quarter still at the bottom of the cup. “If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup, that means that all of the food has defrosted and you should throw it out,” Sheila wrote. “But, if the quarter is either on the top or in the middle of the cup, then your food may still be okay.”
2.There are lots of other similar, low-cost methods for diagnosing a power outage. For instance, one of them only requires simply keeping an ice pop handy in your freezer. This particular trick calls for evacuees or vacationers to lay a frozen ice pop down on top of something else in the freezer that’s flat, like a box. For this to work properly, the ice pop needs to hang halfway off of the flat surface. Determining if the power went out is as simple as taking a look at the ice pop when you return. If it’s still lying horizontally and not drooping, then good news – the power never went out!
3. This next trick comes with a treat, too – ice cream! So what do you have to do? Simply eat half a pint of ice cream, then stuck it back in the freezer lying on its side. For the lactose intolerant people out there, freezing a half-filled bottle full of water works just as well, too. If the power went out, the ice cream or the water, which were frozen in the bottom of the container, will have melted. Those returning home knew their power was out for a long time if the ice cream had pooled out into a horizontal position.
4. Similarly, this next tip suggests putting a couple of ice cubes into a plastic bag that can be sealed, and then leaving them in the freezer while you’re away. As long as the freezer remained in working condition, then the ice cubes will have remained in a solid shape. If the power went out, though, you’ll be left with just a bag full of water, or maybe even a frozen sheet of ice if the freezer had come back on after a while.
5. Not every method for diagnosing power outages involves melting ice or frozen treats, though. This next hack simply requires just an ordinary digital clock. If it’s blinking at midnight, then that means that the power has gone out overnight. Still, this doesn’t exactly tell people when the power went out, or for how long either. So, one internet user suggests that people buy a plug-in analog clock instead. The idea is that the hands will stop ticking if the power goes out, but when the electricity eventually returns, the gears will start to turn again. However far behind the actual time it is was how long the power had been cut off.
6. Say after employing one of these tests that someone found out that their power had indeed gone out while they were away. One tip recommends just keeping all of your food pre-stored in garbage bags, so that in the event of a power outage, disposing of it would be extremely simple.
7. The most extreme of any of these life hacks is to simply empty the fridge completely before a vacation or an evacuation. That way, if the power does shut off, it won’t really matter as much. It should be noted, though, that anyone emptying the fridge would benefit from leaving a bit of activated charcoal or baking soda inside while you’re gone. This will stop odors from accumulating inside of your fridge, and it will keep everything nice and fresh for your return.
In any event, the best thing that you can hope for after returning from a relaxing vacation or a tense evacuation is that you didn’t lose your power at all. However, if you did, hopefully you were prepared with one of these simple tips that can help you easily diagnose an outage!
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