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Posted on: August 24, 2017

Severe Weather Hacks for MacGuyver Wanna-bes


Both the original and revived MacGuyver TV shows have one thing in common, a smart guy who had endless knowledge about “hacks.”  But before delving into them, a related topic…September is National Preparedness Month, a time to examine your home, business and community’s readiness. Plano Department of Emergency Management (DEM) does a great job of educating citizens about disasters (that usually pop up without much notice) and how to ready your loved-ones to weather the incidents. The 2017 theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

Pay attention to DEM’s informative display in the Municipal Center lobby in September and periodically check their website for links to emergency resources and tools. During the month, simple action items are spelled out to help get your family on track for the next emergency:Natl Prepredness Month 2017 theme


Week 1: September 1-9         Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends

Week 2: September 10-16    Plan to Help Your Neighbors and Community

Week 3: September 17-23    Practice and Build Out Your Plans

Week 4: September 24-30    Get Involved! Be a Part of Something Larger

Severe Weather HACKS

Here’s how everyone can show-off a few MacGuyver-like moves during a disaster with some simple hacks. In a nutshell, hacks are just unconventional problem-solving tactics rooted in kitchen sink science. DEM’s Judith Aubrey (Community Emergency Resource Team, CERT, administrator) shares some interesting ones:

  • Turn a can of shortening into a candle during an emergency. Place a string or piece of cotton into the middle of the can, place on a plate and light it.
  • Make sure you know if your freezer has been compromised. Freeze water in a bottle then place a penny on top. If the penny sinks, you’ll know your freezer has thawed.
  • Wear a helmet. This extra layer of protection could help prevent head injuries during a tornado.
  • If you run out of AA batteries, you can convert AAA batteries with a ball of foil. Just insert a ball of foil between the negative end of the AAA battery and the device to generate power.
  • Put short screws in the bottom of old tennis shoes to help walk on icy roads.
  • Turn a bottle of water into an emergency lantern. Place flashlight facing bottle.
  • Rub a raw onion half on your windshield the night before a big freeze; this strange trick will keep frost from forming on the glass.


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