With hurricane season in full effect, it is important to be well prepared. While some people gather their belongings and devise an evacuation plan, others prepare their homes in efforts to wait it out and ride the storm. For those of you who don’t have evacuation plans and prefer to stay in your homes during this hurricane season, here are a few super easy and fun hacks to help you prepare.

1. Washing Machine Cooler

If in need of additional cooler space, here is an efficient option for you. When at the  grocery store picking up essentials, grab a couple of extra bags of ice for your washing machine. Fill your machine with water jugs or any other items to keep them cold add the ice and close the lid. This makeshift cooler will keep things cold for several hours, dependent on how often lid is opened. Don’t panic when the ice melts, washing machines are designed to drain excess water.

2. Cup and Coin

The cup and coin tip helps ensure that your food is safe to consume during a power outage.  For this hack all you will need is a cup of water and a coin. Freeze the cup of water and place a coin on top, then place it back in your freezer. When experiencing a power outage, the placement of the coin within the cup will determine if the food in your freezer is safe for consumption. If the coin is found frozen within the cup this tells you that the water had melted at some point. If the water in the cup melted then refroze, the same can be said for the food in the freezer. So, you may need to reconsider that yummy steak dinner you’ve been saving.

3. DIY Candle

Don’t be stuck in the dark during a power outage.  If picking up candles happened to have slipped your mind, look around the house for these useful household items. Grab a can of Crisco and string to create your own candle. A can of Crisco can burn for up to 45 days. If this isn’t an item in your cabinet, use a crayon instead. A single crayon will burn for up to 30 minutes. Other useful household items that can double as a candle during an emergency are liquid oils, butter, oranges, lard, canned meats or fish in oil, cheese wax, and Vaseline. As for the wick, almost anything that will pull wax or oil into the candle flame can be used, cotton or linen works best. Always pre-prime your wicks with melted wax before making the candle, this will help with the burn quality.

4. DIY Sink

Save  the laundry detergent jugs after using the last drop.  These jugs are useful during a hurricane since water is not always readily accessible. Fill the jugs with water and have soap and paper towels handy to form a makeshift sink/hand washing station. The spout on the jug will allow for easy access to keep your hands clean.

5. Pet Potty Place

Pets are a major part of our families as well, so let’s make sure  they are hurricane ready just like you. When the storm starts to blow, your pets will need a dry, safe place to go. Create a “potty place” for your pets with a few simple items. Putting pieces of sod in a kiddie pool creates a safe place for your dogs to potty during the storm. A kiddie pool and some sod can also create the illusion that your pet is doing its business outside.

So, whether you decide to evacuate your home or wait it out, be sure to be prepared for anything the storm throws your way.