We've all been through what's considered the East Texas "stormy season". We've been bombarded with heavy rains, flooding, lightning - and what all usually follows those major swells? Power outages. Although we're headed into the summer months now, we're sure to still have our chances for heavy and severe storms, and we need to be prepared.

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Check Your Pantry

It's imperative that you keep up with our local meteorologists regarding the risks during severe weather where you live, but I wanted to share something I think you should keep in mind just in case you lose power during a severe thunderstorm. Run over to your pantry and make sure you have (and KEEP) a plastic cup (a red SOLO one if you're feelin' fancy), and a quarter - wherever you keep change in your house. Once you've got word that a severe thunderstorm is threatening your home, I need you to fill up your plastic cup with water and immediately put it in the freezer. Once it's frozen, place the quarter on top and leave the cup in the freezer.

Don't open your freezer at all. You'll need all of the cool air to keep your food as frozen and cold as possible.

So I have a frozen water cup and a quarter in the freezer. Now what?

As you ride out the storm, lets say your power does go out. For those of you that don't have power generators to help you pass the time and save your food inside your fridge, you really don't have an idea of just how much temperature your fridge has lost during this time. For those of you that did the trick - you do!

Once you open your freezer, check your cup. If the quarter has dropped to the bottom, then you now know that your food wasn't kept cold and it's no longer safe for you to eat.

Lets say the quarter dropped halfway through the cup, that means that your freezer did keep some of its temperature and your food is probably ok to refreeze. That's up to you to judge. Ice cream, for example, probably won't pass this test.

And of course, if your quarter remains on top, then your freezer made it through the storm and your food is ok. That's a relief to not have to spend a few hundred dollars to replace all of your freezer's contents (if you're anything like me).

Think for the future

My husband finally broke down and bought a generator ahead of the winter storm in February. It's a game changer, but it's also an expensive purchase. It may be something to consider this year and have on hand before things get...well, out of hand.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages


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