Here’s Why You Should Put a Quarter in a Cup of Frozen Water Before a Major Storm

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This trick is so simple—and so worth doing

If you’re anticipating a major storm, whether it’s a severe snowstorm or another type of natural disaster, protecting yourself and your loved ones will always be first priority. Unfortunately, the lasting effects of the storm can be just as dangerous, if not more, than the storm itself. If you’re in an area that’s prone to devastating storms, it’s crucial for you to know what to do when the power goes out, how to prepare for a hurricane and how to prepare for a tornado.

If your home loses power, all the food in your fridge is at risk of going bad pretty quickly. However, thanks to this brilliantly simple trick, you’ll know if the power went out while you were gone—and if the food in your fridge is still safe to eat.

Why should you put a quarter on a frozen cup before a storm?

In her Facebook post, Sheila Pulanco Russell explains what you need to do. First, place the cup full of water in your freezer. Once it’s frozen all the way through, take it out and put a quarter on top of the ice. Then, put back the cup—with the quarter—and leave it there when you head out the door.

You might already know where we’re heading with this. Upon returning home, pull the frozen cup out of your freezer again. You’ll ideally want to find the quarter exactly where you left it: on top. Why? That indicates your freezer’s contents stayed frozen the entire time.

The quarter’s location will also be a sign that your power went out, and in that case, your food—frozen or not—might no longer be safe to eat. If the quarter has moved to the bottom of the cup, then you’ll know your food became defrosted while you were gone. A quarter in the middle suggests that the food is likely still OK, since it only partially thawed. Still, you should throw it out if you have any concerns, Pulanco Russell says.

Next, learn about the best refrigerators you can buy, the strongest hurricane ever and how to help after a natural disaster.


  • Country Living: “You Should Always Put a Quarter on a Frozen Cup of Water Before a Power Outage”
  • Facebook: Sheila Pulanco Russell

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for