Hurricane Florence is now a strong Category 2 hurricane as of 5 a.m. Monday with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the "rapidly strengthening" Florence is about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west-northwest at 9 mph and is "expected to become a major hurricane very soon."
NBC Charlotte has compiled a list of 'life hacks' to help those in the storm's path prepare for the potentially life-threatening event.
Your washing machine can be used as a cooler
Before the storm hits, fill your washer with ice. You can put water and other drinks in the washer to keep them cool -- the ice will just drain out once it melts.
Fill your bathtub with water
Fill your bathtub with water before the storm hits, that way if you lose power you can use the water in the bathtub to flush the toilet and wash cooking utensils.
Fill Ziploc bags with water and freeze them
To ensure your fridge stay cooler a little longer during a power outage, freeze some Ziploc bags, fill them with water and then freeze them standing upright. Pop a quarter in the top of one of the ziploc bags, this way you'll know if your fridge lost power. (The quarter will be sitting at the bottom of the bag.)
How to stay cool if the power goes out:
Freezing your washcloths can be a handy way to keep yourself cool during a power outage. First, wet the washcloth, and then place it in your freezer. If the power goes out, you can use the frozen washcloths to keep cool -- especially at bedtime.
Not really a lifehack, but make sure you keep important documents and valuables with you. If you evacuate -- take them with you. You'll also want to snap photos your belongings before the storm hits, that way you have pre-damage photos (for insurance.)
Phone Charging Trick
We saw this tweet from a news colleague showing a cellphone being charged with a car charger, a cable, a 9volt battery and a spring from a pen. Seriously, people.
This is like Macgyver at its best...right?!?!
Now, the 9volt battery isn't going to fully charge your phone, but it could keep it alive enough for you to send the text messages you need to or make that call. 2 Wants To Know wanted to try it out and two things happened right off. The producer impaled himself with the coil and I mistakenly touched the coil and got branded. I show and tell you this so you don't do the same. This is a safety thing.
Here's the 101 on this; you need a 9volt battery, some type of metal (the next time we used a key and taped it on). Whatever metal you use needs to make contact with the charger and the negative side of the battery. You can see when put together, the blue light is charging.