It’s that time of year Florida. It’s time to stock up on bottled water, toilet paper and all the other stuff Floridians will panic buy when the first threat of a hurricane happens. There’s nothing worse than getting to Publix only to find out shelves are empty. But beyond grabbing the obvious hurricane supplies, what else should you do?

Who better to answer that question than Tampa Bay’s most trusted ‘cane expert Denis Phillips from ABC Action News? Because of Denis, there’s been a frozen quarter sitting in my freezer for the past year. After you read his life hacks, you might do the same.

10 Florida Hurricane Life Hacks from Denis Phillips

  • Get the laundry done!

    Denis points out that without air conditioning, anything dirty will start to stink your place up! And when the AC goes out, you’ll want clean sheets because you’ll be sweating a lot!

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  • Dig that OLD phone out.

    When you know the storm’s coming charge up those laptops, and OLD phones… not just the one you use now. Old phones call still call 911!

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  • Fill up trash cans with water.

    Use that water to flush toilets.

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  • Cook meat and perishable foods.

    Freeze cooked food too. Denis says he loves a hardboiled egg as a snack on that first day without power.

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  • Backpack it!

    Stuff all your important stuff in a backpack so it’s easy to grab in case you need to leave quickly.

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  • Hit the ATM!

    If power goes out for a while or systems go down, it’ll be good to have some cash on hand.

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  • Lower your AC in advance!

    This is certainly one I wouldn’t have thought of doing… but it makes sense. Higher temps in the room will lower the temp in your fridge to preserve those foods longer.

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  • Scrub!

    Hit the shower just before the storm’s about to hit.

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  • Unplug!

    Unplug your electronics because there will likely be power surges.



  • Freeze a cup of water and put a coin on top.

    If the coin stayed on top after the power went out, your food stayed frozen!

    Quarter in my Freezer

  • Here's a bonus tip from our listener Rebecca...

    I know if you have water to flush your toilet with, you’re good, however, not every toilet will flush, even with water, and you might need an additional toilet, especially if you have others staying with you, so the best home made port-o-potty I’ve ever seen is really easy. Take a bucket, like a Home Depot or Lowes type bucket­č¬ú, fill it with a garbage bag and about 1/4 to 1/2 full with kitty litter. Then take a pool koozy and slice it down one side, half way through. Place the koozy around the top of the bucket and cut it to fit the top of the bucket just right. Put a roll of toilet paper on the handle of the bucket and wha-lah, you’ve got a relatively comfortable, durable port-o-potty. When it gets full, pull out the garbage bag and replace it with another and fill it about 1/4 to 1/2 with litter and you’re all set.

Have some other life hacks to get through a hurricane? We Floridians have lots of experience with wild weather so there might be some good advice you can share that we can share with our listeners. When the winds pick up and the power goes out, life gets miserable fast. Tag @GenoRadio with your best pre-hurricane tips and we’ll add them here.

Hey it's Geno. Thanks for reading. Got something to add to this story? Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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