Here’s why freezing water is smart for disaster prep -- plus other clever hacks

Water bottles. (Image by Hans Braxmeier.)

When it comes to severe weather, safety and preparation are always top of mind.

Regardless of whether it’s a hurricane or another form of severe weather, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself now for what’s to come.

Our news partner in Houston, KPRC-TV, asked viewers what they were doing in preparation for a potential storm and got some unique and helpful ideas. One idea: freeze water bottles — a lot of them.

Why freeze water bottles?

For starters, the frozen bottles will help to keep your food cool or frozen longer during a power outage. You can also move some of those bottles into the refrigerator, depending on how long you will be without power.

Freeze water-filled zip-top bags

If you don’t have much freezer space, or if you’re unable to get bottles of water, this is another option that can save some space.

Tip: Lay the bag on its side to freeze flat. It will make a large chunk of ice that you can put around food to keep it cool.

Speaking of other ways to freeze water, save some empty milk jugs and fill those with water to freeze. They will serve as large blocks of ice to keep things cool.

Fill your bathtub with water

Clean your bathtub really well and then fill it with water. One of the most ingenious things we heard was this, because you can use the tub water for things like flushing toilets, washing dishes or even drinking water, if it comes to that.

More tips:

  • Fill your gas tank.
  • Have some empty plastic tubs on hand in case you need to throw some items in and leave your home quickly.
  • Freeze washcloths.
  • Use the washing machine as a cooler. (This is one we found particularly ingenious. Read more about how to do this by clicking here.)
  • Be sure all your laundry is clean.

Learn more about some of these tips on

About the Author:

Dawn Jorgenson, Graham Media Group Branded Content Managing Editor, began working with the group in April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.