These Hurricane Hacks Could Help You Survive the Big One, or at Least Have Fun in the Dark

Hey, Miami, hear those mangoes falling and exploding on your roof? That can only mean one thing: Hurricane season is here. So are the same stories you read every year about the need to stock up on the basics: water, canned goods, flashlights, and other items on your average hurricane supply checklist.

But you're not average, are you? No, you're not. Because you grew up watching MacGyver, and that dude taught you there is more to survival than candles and Zephyrhills water. 

The materials that could set you apart from the guy next door and make you a neighborhood hero are already around your house — all you have to do is gain some know-how. When the time comes to save the world, or at least your subdivision, you'll be ready to spring into action. These hurricane hacks will keep your life as normal as possible while FPL and AT&T get you back up and running. Publix won't be open when the supplies run out, so get yourself a little knowledge.

Get a Water Bob
Everyone knows you're supposed to fill your bathtub full of water when a hurricane strikes, but nobody ever thinks about what comes next — actually drinking the water that's been marinating in the place you go to wash the nastiness off you every day. Luckily for you, for $19.99 you can have 100 gallons of water, without the foot cheese, ready for you to drink or cook with for up to four weeks. You might not want to invest 20 bucks on this today, but that's nothing compared to what you might pay for water when everyone is looking for it after the big one. 

Stock Up on Crayons
If you have kids, you probably have a crap-ton of crayons lying around — which means you also have a bunch of mini-candles at your disposal if disaster strikes. File this under "good to know" and leave crayons and a paper plate in various drawers around the house.

Turn Your Terra Cotta Pots Into a Refrigerator 
This one will take some preparation, but if you can master it, you'll be thankful. Once your refrigerator goes warm, this trick can keep perishables cold for up to days. All it takes is some sand and a couple of large flower pots to keep things cold that would otherwise go bad rapidly if not chilled. 

Save Those Soda Cans — They Might Just Come in Handy Later
Soda cans can be used in a multitude of ways during a long power outage. Everything from a fishing hook to a torch can be made out of a single Coke can, so hang onto a few during hurricane season — you never know when you might need one. 

Know the Herbs and Fruits That Can Double as Bug Repellent 
Herbs such as basil, and fruits such as limes, double as bug repellent, so you might want to keep those around in case you forget to stock up on Off! For the basil, you actually can light it on fire to repel bugs. If you have a couple of limes lying around, all you have to do is cut them in half to keep those annoying mosquitoes at bay. 

Covert AAA Batteries to AA batteries in a Pinch
Many more devices take AA batteries than AAA batteries, so in the event of a prolonged power outage, you'll probably find yourself running out of the right size batteries. Fear not, because if you have some AAA batteries, you can easily turn them into AA batteries with just some foil. I wouldn't recommend doing this out of pure laziness in a nonemergency situation due to the fire hazard potential, but in a pinch it can work.

Make a Sweet Ambient Light out of a Headlamp and a Water Jug
This idea just looks cool. You can pick up cheap headlamps at Walmart or even the Dollar Store, strap them to a gallon water jug, and — kabloosh — instant awesome ambient light. Setting these around a house without power will not only do the trick but also make you feel much safer than if you used fire — because it involves materials that are completely safe to have around even when sleeping. 

Start Saving Dryer Lint in an Egg Carton
If a hurricane hits, everything will be soaking-wet, so it will be only a matter of time until you run out of charcoal or wood. This handy tip is easy and free and could keep your fire going for days.

Oranges + Olive Oil = Orange Lamp Whaaaaat?
Apparently, you can turn an orange into a lamp that will burn for six to eight hours. Who knew? Some of these ideas will serve to just lighten the mood if you're stuck in a crappy situation — especially if you have kids — so that itself is a great reason to learn this trick.

Make a Microwave Out of a Pizza Box and Foil
Again, this is one of those survival hacks that's equal parts fun and useful. Save your next pizza box, keep around some foil, and the next time a hurricane hits, you won't have to use any gas or charcoal to make a grilled cheese sandwich or heat up that leftover pizza.
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.