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Why you need to try the cup and quarter trick before a hurricane

by Lindsay Cohn / / Source: TODAY

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This year’s hurricane season has been particularly catastrophic. It’s only September and we’ve already seen massive destruction from Harvey and now Irma — unfortunately, it’s not over yet.

When a major storm is approaching, packing your necessities and getting your family and furry friends to safety is, of course, your first priority. But when the storm passes and you’re able to return home, you may not realize that hidden danger is lurking.

Spoiled food poses a real health risk, and if the power goes out during the storm, the contents of your fridge and freezer can go bad. But there’s a simple trick that can help you tell if they were running while you were away — and it’s as easy as a cup of water and a quarter.

North Carolina resident Sheila Pulanco Russell shared this tip on Facebook in 2016. But in the wake of this year’s devastating storms, it bears repeating.

Here’s how it works: Place a cup of water in your freezer. Once it’s frozen solid, put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer. When you get home, if the quarter is where you left it, your food is safe to eat. If the quarter has fallen, it's a signal that the frozen water has thawed and it's best to toss everything.

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Such a smart, simple and helpful tip. And it seems that Facebook users agree. To date, Russell’s post has been shared more than 422,000 times. Every little tip helps.

RELATED: How colleges are keeping students safe from Hurricane Irma

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