Hurricane Hack #1

By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC

Hurricanes and tropical storms definitely qualify as a potential crisis. This means you need to prepare for three phases of the storm: Before, during, and after.

Today’s Hurricane Hack is my favorite tip. It is based on my experience as a TV Reporter, storm chaser, and Gulf Coast resident. What I’ve learned is that after a storm, people crave three things: 1) Drinkable water, 2) ice to cool that water, and 3) ice to protect the contents of their refrigerator if there is a power outage.

You can have all three if you follow these tips:

1) Before the storm, fill plastic storage containers with water and place them in your freezer until they are frozen.

2) After they are frozen, place a penny on the tip of the ice. We’ll tell you why in a moment.

3) Before you evacuate, or if the power goes out, leave some of the containers in your freezer. Place other containers in your refrigerator. These containers of ice should help keep the contents of the freezer and the refrigerator cold.

4) If the ice in your storage container starts to melt, the penny will begin to sink. If you come home from an evacuation and find the penny is in the bottom of the container, that means you lost power for a significant period of time and the contents of your freezer and refrigerator may have spoiled.

After the storm, if your community’s water supply has been contaminated or interrupted, the water and/or ice in those storage containers is drinkable. Sure, it may taste like a penny, but you at least have additional drinking water.

Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”

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