Windstorm Hacks


Mimi Gaudiano

STORMY WEATHER: Winter weather in the Northwest inevitably brings wind storms. Do you know how to stay warm and get around with heat or light?

Jaylin Sullivan, Staff Writer

Issaquah has had a couple windstorms over the past few weeks and they have taken a toll on many people’s home life. The storm, causing more than 150,000 people to lose power, left most with still having to go to school and work. We all know that our power is bound to go out again so here are some “life hacks” for when it does.

First off, we need some light. We all need to be able to see or else we will not be able to do anything. If you need to light up an entire room, take a jug of water, or even a bottle of water, and put a head lamp around it or a flashlight under it and now you have a lantern. No flashlights at all? You can use a crayon as a candle! Grab a plate and hold the crayon on it, light the tip of the crayon and wait until the paper catches fire, then lay the crayon on its side. It helps if there is some wax melted from the crayon on the plate to hold it in place to prevent rolling. Now say you have flashlights but you are all out of AA batteries. If you happen to have AAA, do not fret. Using a piece of tinfoil, you can carefully turn an AAA battery into an AA battery by placing tinfoil where the battery’s negative terminal connects. Make sure the tinfoil fills the gaps or else your device will not turn on. Another source of light you can use is solar lights! Charge them up when its day time, so at night time you can bring them inside to use as light. Just make sure they do not blow away in the wind.

Now that we can see, on to food. Your fridge and freezer are now shut off. What about all that precious food? Waste not, want not. You can use your washer, yes your clothes washer, as a cooler! Place some ice in there and store as much food as you can. Do not worry about the ice melting, the water will drain! Leave any frozen food in the freezer. Do not open the freezer door! Frozen food can stay cold for up to 48 hours, so do not let out any of the cold. Senior Jessie Estes says, “When the power goes out, I worry about the food going bad, so these tips will really help.”

Knowing Washington State, it is most likely cold outside. No power means no heat, so here are some ways to keep warm. You can layer your clothing and close doors to rooms you are not using. If it is too cold for a couple blankets to help, everyone should huddle in one room to trap the heat. Close blinds and any curtains and use towels to block drafts. If all else fails, use a battery operated heater safely as to not start a fire. Have a cat or dog? You can also cuddle up to them for body heat.

Speaking of pets. Something common that happens during rainstorms or windstorms is pets getting scared. What happens is static electricity can build up in their fur. Grab a dryer sheet and rub it through their fur to help alleviate the static and help call them down. Try to drown out the sound of the storm and keep your nerves and emotions calm because pets pick up on our emotions. Hugging your pet also helps. Hugs can make them feel safe or secure from the storm. A little goes a long way.

When all else is established regarding your well-being, you should check everything else in your home to prevent fires or blown fuses. Make sure to unplug pretty much everything so it does not damage your items. These are some of the hacks I was able to put together to help during the next power outage or storm to at least make things easier.