Why a quarter and a cup of water could help determine how long you’ve lost power

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What does a quarter and a cup of water have to do with power outages? They can help you figure out how long your power has gone out.

This is called “the Quarter test”. First, you put a quarter on top of frozen water. That’s important, the quarter has to sit on top of the frozen water in the cup.

If you have space, you can always keep this in your freezer for unexpected outages but this could be good to do if you’re leaving town for the holidays just in case you lose power. Once you get home, or once the power has been restored, look at the cup. If the quarter is on top of the frozen water still, then either you didn’t lose power for long or at all and your food is still good to eat.

If you find the quarter at the bottom of the cup, then the power was out long enough for the ice to melt and the quarter to sink to the bottom. This is what you don’t want to see. It means that the food in your fridge and the freezer are not safe to eat and should be thrown out

Here’s where it could get tricky… if the quarter is in the middle of the cup, then the freezer food may be safe but what’s inside your refrigerator might not be.

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