7 Creative Ways Florida Residents Are Preparing For Hurricane Irma

by Jessicah Lahitou

When it comes to hurricane preparations, seriousness is the order of the day. This seems especially relevant in the case of Hurricane Irma, the monster storm heading through the Caribbean and towards the east coast of the United States. Designated a Category 5 hurricane, Irma's wind speed is the highest ever recorded for an Atlantic-based storm. Getting prepared for the potentially catastrophic impact of Hurricane Irma is an imperative for anyone living in its trajectory. Of course, being "prepared" may take on a slightly different meaning on the individual level, and people are getting creative in prepping for Hurricane Irma's landfall.

For some south Florida residents, "preparing" means leaving town. For others, it means bunking up with friends and family — power in numbers, as they say. Most plans include stocking up on water, food staples, batteries, and other necessary items should power go down. There are even some who view the hurricane as a break from school or work, perhaps even an excuse for a "hurricane party," which seems an positive attitude to take in the face of a potentially damaging natural disaster — assuming no one is ignoring evacuation orders.

Here are just a few creative ways people are preparing for Hurricane Irma.


Employing the ingenious "quarter in a cup" trick.

Power outages are a common occurrence during a hurricane. But if you're not home, how can you tell if perishable food items in the refrigerator and freezer are still good when you return?

Enter the brilliance of whoever thought up this handy shortcut: freeze a cup of water, put a quarter on top, put said cup of frozen water back in the freezer. If, upon your return, the quarter remains on top of the frozen water, then power stayed on and your food stuffs are good to eat.

If, however, the quarter sunk to the bottom and is now frozen below, the ice clearly melted, meaning power went down. Time to throw out the perishables.


Librarians are the best.

While humans are able to leave town during a hurricane, whole libraries of books obviously cannot. So thanks is in order to all the librarians out there taking care of one of humankind's most precious resources — books.


Repurposing refrigerators.

For those who choose to stay in place, or who simply do not have the option of leaving, there are definitely ways of doing so that are more safe than others. Storm shutters or boarding up windows is recommended.

Unplugging electronic devices is also a safety measure during hurricanes. One clever tweet demonstrates how to also use said unplugged appliance as an extra precaution against glass windows or doors that might shatter in the wind.


Finding products you never knew you never needed.

As anyone who has lived through a hurricane knows, it can be a real challenge to find basics like dried food, batteries, and of course, water during the preparation phase. Besides old standbys like filling up a bathtub and/or sink ahead of time, perhaps you too will stumble across previously unheard of products in the emptied out water aisle, as in: caffeinated water?


Adult beverages at the ready.

Caffeinated water is probably not for everyone. But there are undoubtedly plenty of people who don't want to be trapped inside by Hurricane Irma without other types of adults-only beverages on hand.


Remember "attitude determines your altitude?" Turns out, it's still true.

Moving patio furniture doesn't sound fun. But moving patio furniture to '80s music? Game changer.


Get your Perudo (or other dice/board/card game) on.

Sure, we can't all be Richard Branson. But everyone probably has Scrabble, Life, Monopoly, or just a pack of cards lying around. And those will definitely come in handy if the power goes down.

This writer neither condones nor condemns any of the above options (except the preservation of library books, of course — I'm all for it). As Kurt Vonnegut once observed about a fellow prisoner of war who dared make a joke during the fire bombing of Dresden: "Nobody laughed, but we were still all glad he said it."

Here's hoping Hurricane Irma goes back out to sea to die a peaceful death on the ocean, far from any humans and their creative prepartions to avoid and survive it.