Here's why you should always put a quarter on a cup of frozen water before evacuating in a hurricane

Alex Lasker,

With three powerful storm systems currently swirling over the Atlantic ocean, one woman's useful tip for hurricane preparedness is more relevant than ever.

Shiela Pulanco Russell of Lumberton, North Carolina, took to Facebook in October 2016 to share a useful tip for those evacuating their homes during Hurricane Matthew.

"For those of you that are evacuating from the coast, I just heard a great tip. It's called the one cup tip. You put a cup of water in your freezer. Freeze it solid and then put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer," Russell wrote at the time.

"That way when you come back after you've been evacuated you can tell if your food went completely bad and just refroze or if it stayed Frozen while you were gone."

"If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup that means all the food defrosted and you should throw it out," she continued. "But if the quarter is either on the top or in the middle of the cup then your food may still be ok."

"If you don't feel good about your food, just throw it out. The main thing is for all to be safe."

Although it's nearly a year old, Russell's advice is particularly relevant as North America braces itself for the potential impact of three large storm systems.

Tropical Storm Katia, which formed on Wednesday morning, is expected to intensify into a hurricane in a couple of days before it approaches the coast of Veracruz, Mexico.

Tropical Storm Jose, the tenth tropical storm of this year's hurricane season, is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday night, threatening island territories in its path with heavy rains and flooding. 

But both of these storm systems pale in comparison to the powerful Hurricane Irma, which is officially one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded.

The Category 5 storm is expected to slam the eastern Caribbean islands with devastating winds, heavy rains and catastrophic storm surges as early as Wednesday night.

SEE: Hurricane Irma storm preparations: